Profile: Robert Hiestand, roadside rose vendor

Robert Hiestand has sold roses at the intersection of West Paces Ferry Road and Northside Drive since 1986. His shop consists of an umbrella and a bucket of roses placed between lanes of traffic. He began selling roses on the street for the Sunshine Floral Company in 1977. He works for himself now.

Hiestand's formula for roadside rose-selling success: "Take a good corner, invest time and the patience to build a corner; a little bit of elbow grease, a little bit of sticking with it."

He says he sold 72 dozen red roses, 56 dozen colored roses and 13 mixed-flower bouquets last week.

His first job was working at a metal fabrication shop. There his boss gave him advice he still lives by today: "Find a place where you fit, and fit there."

Hiestand's first roadside stand was at Northside Drive and Interstate Parkway North.

His stand has never been robbed, but someone has attempted to grab a couple of his flowers.

Hiestand says he loves "cheering people up with the flowers."

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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