|It’s a long-standing family business that, over the course of 100 years, has brought joy and solace to thousands.|
Frisch Greenhouses will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Saturday, with an ice cream social from 1 to 4 p.m.
“This is our way of saying thank you, to our friends and families and customers who have supported us all of these years,” Jim Frisch said. “We appreciate everyone’s business.”
A century-old business is rare, and even more so to find one that has remained in the same family for 10 decades.
According to fourth generation proprietors Jean Hubatch and Jim Frisch, it’s all about trust.
“There is a relationship you develop between the business and the customer,” Hubatch said. “We have an opportunity to touch people in many ways through our floral arrangements, ranging from the happiness of births, weddings, birthdays and anniversaries to the sadness of funerals.”
Frisch and Hubatch said there is also a sense of personal satisfaction.
“We love to be able to create or grow something for people for all occasions,” Frisch said.
It’s the kindness of coincidences that Frisch started the same year as the Rose Bowl, since both celebrate all things floral.
According to a business history written by John Frisch for the anniversary, the greenhouse began in June, 1914 under the ownership of Joseph, Ignatius and Peter Frisch, measuring 18,000 square feet of growing and office space bordered by Sixth and Seventh Avenues and Aurora and Watson streets.
The operation was later continued singly by Joseph Frisch before its purchase in 1928 by Ignatius and Martha Frisch, grandparents of Jim and Jean, the current owners.
Ignatius and Martha had five sons, Donald, Delmar, Alan, Clarence and Thomas and, with their help, built a company that became known throughout Wisconsin for the quality of its products.
As the business grew, it expanded regularly, and in 1949 it took a major step forward with the construction of the first type of steel and aluminum truss greenhouses in Wisconsin.
Ignatius retired in 1953, after 25 years in the growing business, and handed over the reins to Delmar and Clarence.
Delmar and his wife, Elvera, had seven children—Mary, Joanna, Jean, John, Jim, Margaret and Julie—who, like their uncles, grew up in the greenhouse business and played a role in its success.
A new showroom was constructed in 1973 that complimented the 20,000 square feet of greenhouse area, adding a gift shop, storage facilities and an enlarged design and work area.
Jim and Jean became the sole owners in fall, 1982, after Del died and Clarence, known as Con, retired.
Regular upgrades have continued and in 1988 the company celebrated its 75th anniversary.
“We are a family here at Frisch Greenhouses and have developed many good relationships with our customers and employees,” Hubatch said. “Every day is something new because we work in a business that deals with people’s emotions. We have the opportunity to touch people in many ways with our plants and floral arrangements.”
Jean Hubatch and Jim Frisch at the 100th anniversary display at the greenhouse.