Bringing Rome, Home

by | Oct 2022

THERE THEY were, a young couple in love, walking hand in hand down cobblestone streets in Rome. The two were giddy, swooning equally over one another and the romantic allure of the ancient city surrounding them. Pop-up shops and vendors filled the streets. The markets were bustling with activity, but it was one little vintage Italian farm truck, parked off to the side, that caught the couple’s attention. Its truck bed spilled over with beautiful flowers for sale. Their sweet smell was divine. The couple thought a fresh-cut bouquet from the truck would be the perfect way to memorialize their long-awaited honeymoon trip.

But, as we all know, just as flowers bloom they also wither. And no matter how well-preserved a bouquet might be, there is nothing like creating a whimsical atmosphere where the sweet smell of fresh flowers abounds. Therefore, before the two left the city they agreed they would bring the same type of charm they were experiencing on the streets of Rome back to their quaint hometown of Fayetteville. After returning stateside, the two got to work establishing Roma’s Petals Flower Cart, tenderly named after their beloved city of Rome.

The unique pedaled flower cart, owned by Hannah and Joseph Faulkner, has been a staple at Fayetteville’s First Friday outdoor market for the last two years. The outdoor market, hosted by Fayetteville Main Street, takes place on the downtown square on the first Friday of every month from April to September. Though the world-famous Colosseum is nowhere in view, and the streets are not made of cobblestone, the atmosphere downtown on a Friday afternoon is just as moody and spectacular.

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

Beginning in front of the Lincoln Theater, food trucks with eclectic gourmet food, line the historic downtown streets. Other vendors are scattered about under pop-up tents, each selling their own unique and handcrafted goods. Fresh fruits and vegetables of every color and hue are laid out as local farmers unpack tables full of their most recent harvest. Excitement and new energy fill the air as people roam about, popping in and out of local shops and restaurants that have vowed to stay open late on these nights!

Then, tucked off to the side is the adorable Roma’s Petals Flower cart. Hannah shared, “The cart is set up as a DIY (do-it-yourself) cart. People are welcome to come up and completely customize a bouquet. Or some people prefer to give me a price point and then I will put a bouquet together for them. But it’s all about the experience.” The gorgeous cart showcases blooms grown in the Tennessee Valley by local farmers, and honey from Faulkner Bee Company, a partner business run by Hannah’s beekeeper husband, Joseph. Together, the two make the perfect pair spreading joy to Fayetteville locals one stem at a time. GN

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