About Us

Tom Perlite founded Golden Gate Orchids in 1981 as a wholesale nursery supplying flowering orchids to the San Francisco Bay Area.  With over 40,000 square feet of greenhouses located in San Francisco and Pacifica, we are able to grow an assortment of species but specialize in the cooler growing varieties of Odontoglossum, Masdevallia, and Dendrobium.  Nevertheless, we also have an extensive collection of more tropical plants to offer. 

We are recognized internationally for the high caliber of plants we grow as well as the hybrids we create, and truly believe in quality over quantity. Tom is one of the few remaining Odontoglossum growers and hybridizers in the United States.  His breeding stock has been carefully cultivated over the past 30 years, and is second to none.

Tom Perlite began his career in the orchid business while still in college, working for the Rod McLellan Company as a laboratory assistant. After receiving his degree in Botany from the University of California at Berkeley, Tom continued to learn all aspects of the orchid business as the head Cattleya grower and hybridizer, and finally as Production Supervisor for McLellan’s extensive Orchid Department.

Recently retired after 25 years as a judge with the American Orchid Society, Tom continues to serve on the planning committee for the Pacific Orchid Exposition, San Francisco’s annual orchid show at Fort Mason.  Tom works tirelessly with hobbyists and novices alike to nurture their understanding and appreciation of orchids.