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ShortStems: Fighting Hunger With Recycled Aluminum Cans

ShortStems is a flower design company, and their unique "can of blooms" bouquets help fight hunger. (Courtesy Photo)

Hunger is never pretty but fresh flowers always are. Combining the two may seem an unlikely match, but given the clever idea of ShortStems owner Wyndy Sloan, there is a real benefit for many due to her fresh idea.

Created by Sloan in 2017, with locations on the North Fork and New York City, ShortStems is a flower design company, and their unique "can of blooms" bouquets help fight hunger by up-cycling aluminum bean, vegetable, and sauce cans into vases. Sale proceeds are then donated to CAST Southold, a local food pantry that feeds over 5,000 families per week on the North Fork.

In addition to the canned food donations, Sloan also volunteers to prepare dishes for twice-monthly CAST Dinners, which feed over 100 healthy meals to those in need. A committed lady whose is certainly committed to her community.

"I found that I was increasingly spending more time on the North Fork since the pandemic began. I have spent the last 13 years working in the nonprofit sector so giving back was essential to any business I was to be involved with," she said. "Prior to that I was an art director for 20 plus years and have always loved flowers. I combined these three elements and came up with the concept of 'Flowers you CAN feel good about.'"

Sourcing flowers from North Fork farmers and purchasing beans and other supplies from local businesses, Sloan explained, "The prices are reasonable, and because we put a lot of creativity into dressing up our cans, they are keepsakes that customers can use over and over again, and with the wedding and event industry put on pause for the past 15 plus months, business decreased, however there's a surge now because of all the cancellations in 2020."

In particular, Sloan advised, "Some of our popular designs include artwork by Dabney Lee, a talented pattern designer with licensed accessories sold in major retailers across the country."

Continuing, Sloan relayed, "My ShortStems Flower Truck can be found on the North Fork at vineyards, events including CAST Drive Inn Movie Nights, July 1 and September 2, and on Fridays and some Saturdays starting Memorial Day weekend, on the Main Road just past Southold across from the North Fork Animal Hospital."

ShortStems mission is "To bring happiness to tables across the North Fork, providing delivery from Mattituck to Orient Point," but it should also be noted that the happiness referred to has been most pleasing to both the eyes and stomachs of those in need. How fresh!

For more information go to www.shortstemsnyc.com or follow on Instagram @shortstems_ny for updates.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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