Splashing the Earth with Flowers
Since 1932 and spanning four generations, the Auwaerter family has been bringing joy through flowers to Long Island. Bayport Flower Houses has always existed at 940 Montauk Highway in Bayport and is a long-standing tradition on the South Shore. Paul and Maria Auwaerter arrived in New York in 1928 from Germany with hopes of establishing a life full of promise. In 1932, they were able to purchase the property and business that is Bayport Flower Houses, planting roots for the future.They began as wholesale carnation growers along with their three children, Norma, Gisbert and Karin, selling to the New York City market. While the carnation crops were being harvested many of the stems would break off short. The wholesale market only demanded long stems so the short stem carnations were put in a bucket and placed outside the packing shed for people passing through to the local cemeteries.
Under the direction of Gisbert, the business changed from wholesale carnations to a renowned Florist & Garden Center with a focus on customer service that never wavered. As the bedroom communities of the south shore began to grow so did business and Bayport Flower Houses expanded to growing cut flower crops such as sweet peas, roses, and field flowers, and developing a niche market in greenhouse plants and florist crops.
Today, over 80 years later – Bayport Flower Houses is still under the management of the Auwaerter family. Karl Auwaerter and his sister, Christine Auwaerter Saroka, head up a dedicated team of horticulturists and floral designers creating beauty with their flowers & plants. Bayport Flower Houses has been named one of the Top Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers in the U.S. by “Today’s Garden Center” magazine for the past five years.
As in every family business no one escapes working in the shop or greenhouses. It is marvelous to have this tradition to pass on and each family member has contributed their talents whether they stayed working at the flower shop or entered other professions. The Auwaerter family includes: Gisbert’s wife, Jo Ann, a well known, now retired, teacher of the Bayport Blue Point Schools, Karl’s wife, Amy, responsible for modernizing and shaping the way you see and shop Bayport Flower Houses, Christine’s husband, Les, Landscape Manager, who has served the country as a both a US Army Ranger and a NY National Guard Reservist, Gisbert’s sons, Dr. Paul Auwaerter, PhD, Clinical Director, Division of Infectious Diseases at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., and John Auwaerter, Historical Landscape Architect with SUNY Research & National Park Service, Gisbert’s sisters, Karin, a Cranio Sacral therapist and a founder The Guild of Wholistic Practitioners in Sag Harbor, and Norma, a retired teacher of the South Country Schools, now deceased, and niece, Susan Orsinger Hart, a Sayville HS History Teacher. The fourth generation of Auwaerter children, with their busy school and sports schedules, are also helping and learning the business
As or families grow, so does our love of flowers and its reach into each family. Flowers have the ability of enhancing the lives we share and live. We are very blessed and thankful to have the beauty, quality and success in this life of flowers.
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