Philip T. Dalsimer was the founder of Dalsimer Florist Inc.
A man of humble origins, born in 1882, Phillip was in the poultry business for many years. Eventually, he would choose to leave the agricultural life, and emulate another branch of the Dalsimer family, who ran a prosperous retail shoe business in Philadelphia for more than a century.
For his first retail endeavor, Phillip and his brother, Nathan S. Dalsimer, were engaged in the hosiery business. The two ran Dalsimer Bros. on Broadway from 1905 to 1912.
In 1918, Phillip began a new enterprise – a flower shop on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, which was officially incorporated as Dalsimer Florist Inc. in 1920.
Not just a businessman, Philip T. Dalsimer was prominent in local politics. He served as the Democratic Leader of the Fifth Ward of Queens County (Rockaways). He was a member of the Local School Board, and the Deputy Clerk of the City Court of Queens.
In March 1926, Phillip T. Dalsimer served on “The Boardwalk Committee” of The Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways. Among his fellow committee members was A. Louis Nebenzahl of Nebenzahl’s department store on Central Avenue. Both men were leaders of popular retail businesses on Long Island. Little did they know that decades later their two families would become connected by marriage. A connection that would unite these two merchant families in business as well.
Following the death of Philip T. Dalsimer in 1927, two of his sons, Steven P. Dalsimer and Allen F. Dalsimer continued the floral business. Steven as President and Allen as Vice-President. In addition to running the floral business, both men were active in the community.
Steven Dalsimer was President of the Far Rockaway Exchange Club. He served as Vice-President and then President of the Metropolitan Retail Florists Association. He also held the positions of Vice-President, and then President of the New York Florists Club.
In 1944, Stephen married his second wife Selma Rothschild Nebenzahl. This was also her second marriage. Her first husband was Harry Nebenzahl, son of A. Louis Nebenzahl, the founder of Nebenzahl’s department store mentioned above.
Allen Dalsimer was an award-winning floral designer and popular public speaker. Allen often gave lectures on flower arranging and gardening to local clubs and civic organizations. He was a President of the Long Island Nurserymen’s Association and a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association of Nurserymen. He also served as a President of the Five Towns Community Chest Drive and a member of the zoning board of the Village of Cedarhurst.
By 1944, Dalsimer Florist had expanded to four locations. They had a store in Manhattan on Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street, plus three locations on Long Island: 1930 Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, 239 Beach 116th Street in the Belle Harbor area of Rockaway Park, and 576 Central Avenue in Cedarhurst. In addition, Dalsimer also operated their own greenhouse and 30-acre nursery in Brookville, Long Island.
After serving as a member for many years, Steven Dalsimer was named Director for Region 2 of the Florist Telegraph Delivery Association in 1954. Region 2 was the largest region, comprised of the New York-New Jersey area. In 1957, he was elected Treasurer of the national FTD organization, in 1958 he was named Vice-President, and in 1961 he became President.
During this time, Dalsimer Florist won numerous flower show awards. Allen Dalsimer and his wife won multiple awards at the annual International Flower Show in 1946. In 1950 Stephen Dalsimer won the New York Horticultural Society trophy and a gold medal their annual Flower Show. Entries from Dalsimer Florist won first prize for “Best Garden Entry” at the International Flower Show during 4 consecutive years (1954 – 1957). Again, in 1959 Allen Dalsimer won a gold medal for his garden entry in the 42nd International Flower Show. In 1960, he won the Betty Blossom Trophy for his garden entry in the 43rd International Flower Show. Eventually, Allen became the architect for the 45th show in 1962, and his garden entry won 3 top awards that year.
In June of 1962, Steven P. Dalsimer passed away. One year later, his brother, Allen F. Dalsimer died in July of 1963.
Steven P. Dalsimer’s stepson, Michael Nebenzahl took up the reins of leadership for Dalsimer Florist following his stepfather’s death. Michael Nebenzahl is the grandson of the retail giant A. Louis Nebenzahl mentioned above. Nebenzahl’s was the first department store in Rockaway, established in the 1880s and has a place in history. The first Jewish services in the area were conducted in a room above the store, and in 1908 the congregation would form Temple Israel of Lawrence. Michael brought his business acumen and his skill in Landscape Architecture to bear on Dalsimer Florist and the enterprise continued to flourish.
Having previously closed their Manhattan and Mott Avenue locations, in 1977, Dalsimer Florist sold its Rockaway Park location to Georges Florist, a firm that had also served the Rockaways since 1945. Under Michael Nebenzahl’s leadership, Dalsimer Florist consolidated its operations and made the Cedarhurst location its headquarters. Dalsimer Florist on Central Avenue in Cedarhurst became one of the most popular, and well-respected floral shops on Long Island.
Over the years, Dalsimer has expanded from a retail florist operation to a major special events production company, providing decor for hundreds of weddings, mitzvahs, social gatherings and corporate events every year.
During the 1980s, Michael’s three sons: David, Steven and James Nebenzahl had all joined the enterprise and were involved in its daily operations alongside their father, becoming the fourth generation to run the family business.
Michael next looked to expanding the Dalsimer Florist brand to South Florida. In 1989, Dalsimer opened a florist shop in Boca Raton. Over the next two decades, they also opened retail locations in Jupiter, Hollywood, and Miami. They eventually consolidated all of their South Florida operations to their present location, a large showroom, warehouse, and production facility in Deerfield Beach.
In 2007, Atlas Floral Decorators of Florida, another prominent event company in South Florida, joined forces with the Dalsimer Brand to create Dalsimer Atlas Floral and Event Decorators.
Meanwhile, in New York, another well-established florist looked to join forces with Dalsimer. Spitz & Peck Florists, a popular florist in business since 1963, combined their operations with Dalsimer to form Dalsimer Spitz and Peck.
Today the business is still family-owned and operated. David’s son, Shaun, joined the company in 2016, marking the start of a new generation.
In 2018, Dalsimer celebrated its 100th Anniversary honoring the legacy of service and creativity that was begun by Phillip T. Dalsimer and his first Rockaway florist shop in 1918.
Dalsimer maintains its reputation for its unique blend of gorgeous event designs, reliability, and exceptional customer service. This powerful combination brings clients back to Dalsimer again and again. Multi-generation family clients are not uncommon. Many of Dalsimer’s current wedding clients chose the firm because their parents also used Dalsimer for their own wedding decades ago.