Hefko family moves on to next generation while marking 110
By Shay Lelonek
MARSHFIELD – As Marshfield’s Hefko Floral company marks 110 years, the business is transitioning to the next generation.
Hefko Floral has gone great lengths in these many years, from its founding by Theodore “TD” Hefko in 1912, to now, still going strong with Seth Koenig, alongside his wife, Tammy.
The company started when TD came to Marshfield and purchased the floral business.
TD married his wife, Mabel Hood, July 11, 1916, and the two had four kids: June, Terry, Ruth, and Baby James— who died as an infant.
After graduating from Marshfield High school, Terry joined the family , but his work was interrupted when he joined the marines in 1942. When Terry returned in 1946, he picked up the business once more and partnered with his father, TD, in 1948.
The two together formed Hefko Floral Company in 1950. Terry’s wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Gustafson, also became part of the business and worked with her husband in arranging flowers and managing the shop.
Terry and Betty had seven children: Rick, Tom, Mary, Jack, Lizz, David, and Bob.
Liz and Bob eventually started working in the company together alongside their parents. Once Terry and Betty retired, Lizz and her husband, Chuck, bought the company and were owners until this year.
“My wife, Tammy, and I have started to purchase the business this year. We officially became the owners of the business this year when my mom retired,” Lizz’s son, Seth Koenig said.
Seth was a part of the business even before taking it on from his mother, and he says that he enjoys the pleasure it brings their customers.
“I’ve been with the company since 1997, when I got done with college. My area of expertise is marketing, specifically internet marketing. I built our website from the ground up originally and got us to the point where people could order online,” he added.
“I like making people happy and the products that we have, make people happy. One of my favorite parts of the business is when I get to go out and deliver flowers… It reminded me how much I enjoy seeing people smile when they get our flowers and how much happiness our flowers and plants bring into peoples’ lives.”
“T.D would be proud of us for keeping the business up-to-date with the latest technology,” Lizz said in a speech when they hit the century mark.
The business has been passed down for four generations of the Hefko family.
“It’s been a long journey for our family and our business – a journey that, with Seth as the fourth generation planning to take over someday, isn’t over yet. From delivering $1.75 a dozen roses by bicycle…to filling orders that soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have placed through our website…what a journey it’s been,” Lizz said.
With digitized ordering the business has expanded beyond Marshfield and surrounding areas, making the business grow even more in the recent years.
But, Seth said they will quietly mark the new milestone.
“We probably won’t do anything real extravagant, I would probably hold out until 125 years to do something bigger,” he said.