Messenger - Vol. 4, No. 4, Page 5
Cultivating Corporate corridors

     It's difficult to walk through downtown Philadelphia without
seeing evidence of Bryan Hoffman, Delaware '84. He has left his leafy
calling card at the city's most prestigious business addresses, from
Liberty Place and Commerce Square to Independence Place and Penn
     Hoffman is president and owner of Hoffman White & Associates, an
interior landscaping, floral design and holiday decorating company
based in Aston, Pa.
     After founding the company in 1991 with two partners, a
bookkeeper and $7,000 of start-up capital, Hoffman had turned his
business into one of the Philadelphia area's 100 fastest-growing
companies by 1994, as selected by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
     But, his business is less about numbers than it is about
daffodils in January. "Everything we do is top of the line," Hoffman
says. "Nobody else does the type of flowering plants we do. No one
does anything over the top the way we tend to do them.
     "I think of Longwood Gardens, and I try to create that effect in
commercial spaces. We look at the Philadelphia Flower Show, and we try
to create that. We always do the extra thing, like daffodils in
January. Who's expecting to see those?"
     Hoffman graduated from Delaware with a degree in agricultural
engineering and agricultural business administration. He was waiting
tables at the 4-star Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia when a
direction for his life began taking shape: He decided to apply for a
job with the company that was providing floral and interior
landscaping services to the hotel.
     And, he got it. Eventually, he moved on to a second company,
where he was assigned the job of cultivating clients. Later, Hoffman
took the plunge and started his business, eventually buying out his
     Hoffman focuses on providing corporate clients with cost-
effective services-and doing so with flair. "We are quality-oriented,"
he says. "We are designers, and we try to enhance a building and its
environment rather than just plopping plants all around."
     Hoffman leases or sells plants to companies and then maintains
them or rotates them seasonally. His floral design service provides
arrangements for hotels, office buildings, weddings, funerals and
other events. And, the Christmas decorating business focuses on large,
lavish holiday displays for corporate clients.
     The company's staff of 10 begins preparing for the Christmas
holidays as early as June, readying hundreds of trees, wreaths and
garlands. Then, over the Thanksgiving holiday, the staff works round
the clock to ensure that decorations are in place when employees
return to work.
     Springtime is Hoffman's second busiest season. As the weather
warms, his company increases the amount of locally grown, seasonal
flowering plants it uses. Clients who own high-rises in Philadelphia
often order large baskets of flowers for every office in the building
on the first day of spring.
     "There are certain times of the year and certain holidays when
people like something a little extra," explains Hoffman.
     His interior landscaping company provides that extra something.
This summer, his displays focused on vivid tropical flowers and plants
uncommon to the mid-Atlantic region, even during the warmest growing
                                         -Marylee Sauder, Delaware '83