Founding... Mathilda and Carl Otto Koch founded Dundalk Florist, Inc. in 1909. The story begins earlier... Mathilda Augusta Henning married Carl Otto Hugo Koch in 1884. One year later the newlyweds arrived in Baltimore from Germany. Mathilda's brother, Herman Henning, was already operating a greenhouse on German Hill Road from which he hauled and sold flowers in the local markets. On Christmas Eve 1909 Herman returned home from "over-celebrating" the holiday. Due to the evening's freezing temperature, Herman unhitched his horse and took it inside to sleep with him. Waking late the next day, Herman found his entire greenhouse frozen solid and the florist business lost. Discouraged, he left for Wisconsin telling Mathilda and Carl who were farming at the time, they could have whatever they could salvage.
History... M.H. Koch and Sons was thus established in 1909 to support the Koch Family of six daughters, Wilkelmina Ruhland, Lillian Behr, Louise Berman, Bertha Heinlein, Dora Strong, Christina Yeager and three sons, Herman, August and Carl. Father, Carl Otto Hugo, died in 1924. Son, August, helped run the business for his mother to support the remaining younger brother and sisters. In 1926 Mathilda and August moved the business to our current location. This property had been purchased by Carl in 1912 and used for farming until the family moved the flower business. Eldest son, Herman, started his own flower business several country blocks away on German Hill Road. At this time the business consisted of growing flowers for sale at local markets and a roadside stand by the home. With the new property the family added wedding, funeral, and all occasion floral gifts, along with a delivery service. August and Mother Mathilda added the FTD wire service in June of 1940. Following Mathilda's death in 1941 her son, August H. Koch Sr., purchased the business in its entirety from his brothers and sisters. In 1942 a Trade Name, Dundalk Florist, was added. August and his wife, Catherine, operated the shop with sisters, Christina and Dora, remaining on board.
August and Catherine's four children, Mathilda, Ramona, August H. Jr. and Robert M., also assisted in the business. Father August opened a Modern Flower Shop on March 19, Located at 545 Dundalk Avenue. August Koch, Jr,. married A. Louise Komornik in 1955. All three children and spouses worked in the business with August Sr. August H. Koch, Sr., died in November 1980 leaving his florist business to his wife, Catherine, sons August and Robert, daughter Ramona, and nephew Millard. This team continued to own and operate Dundalk Florist, Inc., until January 1984 when August Jr., and his wife, Louise, purchased the corporation from his family. Four of their five children Cindy, Mary, Lynn, and August III, assisted in the operation. Their eldest daughter Dawn, had prior commitments and was not involved in the business. August Jr. closed the Dundalk Avenue shop in 1984. Catherine Koch died in 1987. She remained active in the business until the day she died. The Koch family purchased a second flower shop, Love Line Flowers, and merged both of the companies in April of 1996.
Present... With a flourishing retail florist/greenhouses and gift business Dundalk Florist,Inc. remains committed to provide the best quality and service for our customers, to expand our products to surrounding areas, and to maintain a "family" business atmosphere in today's corporate world. We are an all occasion florist. Dundalk's daily operation includes delivery service, wedding flowers, rental merchandise, floral tributes for sympathy, welcome arrangements for babies, anniversary and birthday arrangements, memorial arrangements for grave sites, as well as fruit and snack baskets, balloons, cards, and gift items. Its current clients include local Dundalk residents, organizations, churches, hospitals, commercial accounts, and surrounding area clientele. Dundalk literally runs the gamut as it services homemakers to business associates throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan Area including Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Harford County, and Anne Arundel County. August H. Koch, Sr., had always involved himself and Dundalk Florist, Inc. in community affairs. Honored as Citizen of the Year by the Greater Dundalk Chamber of Commerce in 1979, August Koch, Sr. was also a charter member and past president of the Dundalk Rotary Club (formed in 1938), charter member and past president of the Greater Dundalk Chamber of Commerce (formed in 1946), past president of the Baltimore County Business Men's Association, participant in the Baltimore County Board of Education Cooperative Work Study Program, named a Paul Harris fellow, active in the Rotary Club's annual azalea sale (which benefited local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts), and a member of the advisory board of the Floral Cultural Course of Dundalk Community College. He also received a citation from the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce for his work on behalf of small business and civic groups. Other activities include inviting elementary school children for tours of the floral company, Grand Marshall of the Dundalk Parade in 1980, honorary member of the Board of the Patapsco Federal Savings and Loan Association, and Small Business Citizen of the Year 1978. Dundalk Florist continues August's legacy of community support. August was always dedicated to the Rotary Club constructing and decorating floats for the 4th of July parades. Dundalk Florist continues to decorate Heritage Park with flowers for the annual 4th of July Heritage Fair.
Future... for the 5th generation to continue... Bernadette Stanley, Jessica Stanley, Yvette Morrison, April Wells, Amy Morrison, August H. Koch IV, and James Ryan McWilliams, Caitlyn Hershner and Garrett Koch.