Schmidt’s Flowers…..All Seasons...All Reasons...Since 1895
by Cate Murway
The spiritual premise in The Purpose-Driven Life is that there are no accidents---God planned everything and everyone. Horace P. Schmidt, Jr., the 1st President of the Bristol Borough Business Association and the 2000 President of the Bristol Rotary, who participated in music and drama and played the clarinet in the marching band, graduated from Bristol Borough H.S. in 1971. He then headed “as far away as possible” to liberal arts Shimer College, in Waukegan, Illinois to “read the great masters”. When his father, Horace P. Schmidt, Sr., a District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler of the Bristol Elks Club ’48-‘49 became extremely ill, Horace, Jr. returned home to help his dad and his Aunt Ruth Veit, ultimately inheriting the family business. Schmidt’s Flowers is located at 201 Old Route 13 in Bristol Borough but the original location, also the family home, was on Otter Street. Horace is currently reading and thoroughly appreciating the premise behind The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren.
Horace and Betsy Schmidt, a DelHaas High School grad, have been married for 25 years and have 2 sons, Harry S. Truman High School grads. Erik graduated from Penn State and Drexel University and is a civil engineer. Karl, also a PSU grad, is involved in business management. Horace is currently a Bristol Township resident and proudly serves as Senior Warden of St. James Episcopal Church, the parish in which he is a life-long member, located at 225 Walnut Street. When asked, he couldn’t choose a favorite color but most assuredly loves “any Italian food”, despite his German/Irish heritage, and prefers unsweetened home-brewed ice tea. He thoroughly enjoys listening to Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli and watching Philadelphia sports [Eagles and Flyers], and vintage black and white films. More current favorites are “The Sopranos” and anything starring Marlon Brando, especially “The Godfather”. Horace has two sisters, Claire, who lives in New Hampshire and Debbie, a Quakertown resident.
Schmidt’s Flowers, founded in 1895, is a 3-generation family business, originally started by Horace’s grandfather, Jacob Schmidt who came to the United States from Germany when he was 16 years old.
Jacob and his wife, Amy, maintained 16 greenhouses and raised their family of 2 sons and 3 daughters on 501 Otter Street. After an oil crisis in the early 1970’s, Horace’s father sold the many acres of property because it was too costly to run the machines necessary to maintain the wholesale business and he started the original retail business at this same Otter Street location.
Schmidt, Sr. passed away in 1978 and Horace Schmidt, Jr., who grew up in the family business, learned “by doing” and attending design seminars. He moved Schmidt’s Flowers to its current location about 4 years ago, which, Horace shared, “was first the Serrie Market and then a Church”. He and his most valued, knowledgeable and trusted associate designers and wedding consultants, Grundy Tower resident, Harriet Green, who retired in 2005 after working with the Schmidt family for 55 years, and now Lea Hepler and Donna Britland, have “colored the world” with plants, flowers and basket presentations for almost 20 years.
Tumbling, brightly hued flowers in baskets nestled in open dresser drawers; classic vases, and plush stuffed teddy bears with open arms welcome you to Schmidt’s Flowers. A “Snap Out of It” mug containing [appropriately] snapdragon seeds and a “Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup” crock to fill with your choice of flowers, are some of the creative “hope you feel better” packages. An antique coke machine, complete with an original glass Coke bottle, is positioned next to the “check-out” counter which holds an assortment of gift cards for every occasion. Balloons, fruit gift baskets, gourmet baskets, breakfast baskets [complete with muffins, bagels, coffee and tea], snack baskets and theme baskets [of course, Horace offers an Italian basket- with pasta and sauces!] are among the choices. Schmidt’s Flowers is an affiliate of FTD [Florist Transworld Delivery], TeleFlora, LLC and the Bucks County Chamber of Commerce. Horace has been a member of, and meets with daily in Center City, a 50 Florist Delivery Co-Op for over 15 years. Flowers from South and Central America, California and Holland, silk floral arrangements, baskets and ferns are all transported daily to Philadelphia & the Suburbs, Lower Bucks County and Burlington County. Schmidts’ provides same day delivery of your floral order right to your loved ones front door! Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, weddings [current hot color- sage], graduations and funerals are a huge part of Horace’s business.
HIS hours [personal choice] are 9:00 to FOREVER but the
store hours are Monday thru Thursday 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Closed on Sunday.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
Happy Horticulturists Hang Here!
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