Currently run by third, fourth and fifth generation members, the firm of Kurt Weiss Greenhouses has been growing and expanding for over a century. The present family members are the great grandchildren of Otto Muller who emigrated from Germany around 1900.
Initially starting a partnership in Astoria Queens, catering to the carriage trade in New York City, he re-established his business in Whitestone, home to many other greenhouse operations, when the partnership dissolved in 1910. The original firm remained in Whitestone until Mr. Muller's death in the 1960s.
Otto Muller's son-in-law, Kurt Weiss, and grandson Russell Weiss, developed the East Meadow facility that had been purchased in 1929. In 1960, the operation was incorporated as Kurt Weiss Florist, the forerunner of the present company. In 1972, the East Meadow location was sold to AT&T for use as a satellite communication center. Concurrently, Kurt Weiss was in a serious automobile accident and could not continue in the business. The entire company was relocated to Center Moriches in eastern Long Island and continued to use the Kurt Weiss name. As the customer base shifted, in the 1970s, from New York City retail flower shops to larger volume grocery chains and wholesale distributors, sales exceeded production. Russell Weiss decided to purchase the well-known firms of Dupuy Greenhouses and Daurenheim Inc.. The latter, the number one pot plant grower of the time, could trace its origins back to the 1850s in Brooklyn.
By 1980, annual sales had reached five million and there were seven ranges totaling over one million square feet of production area. By the middle of the decade, Kurt Weiss expansion moved out of state with the construction of several operations along the east coast. Designed to take advantage of optimum growing conditions, each location focuses on different aspects of production to meet the demand of today’s market. The individual facilities taking advantage of their geographic diversity give the company a unique depth of product. All this coupled with Kurt Weiss Greenhouses' commitment to producing quality product and excellent service insures their place as an industry leader.