Palace Florists' Story
Our family has been cultivating beautiful moments with floral art and design in the Greater Washington DC metropolitan area for over 75 years.
The lineage of Palace Florists is long and goes back four generations. Barney Klateman founded the business in 1943. He began his career working for Blackistone Florist in the 1930’s, where he learned the trade and honed his craft, working with flowers and floral arrangements in an artistic way. Feeling confident, he decided to branch out on his own and decided upon the location of a DC ice-skating rink, The Ice Palace, which was located at Connecticut Avenue NW and Van Ness Street NW. With the ice rink upstairs, Barney sold his flowers from a small kiosk and refrigerator located on the first floor. And once established, he drew his name from that wonderful location: Palace Florists. Barney’s youngest daughter, Donna, joined the family business in 1978 and her husband, Steve Dolgoff, came aboard when they got married in 1967.
Later, Donna and Steve’s two daughters, Beth and Andrea, came on and continues to work in the business today. Beth started in 1992—and her husband, Lee Herman, joined the family business in 1994. Andrea worked continually from 1994 to 2005, until she started her own family and continues to work on and off in the business to this day. The fourth generation started a little sooner than expected when the pandemic hit. Without our daughters in school (Alexa 22, Allie & Julia 18), it was all hands on deck while we navigated our new situation. They learned the school of real life in these unprecedented times.
Growing our business has always been a priority to each generation of Palace Florists, and Barney began that philosophy early in our history. Barney expanded the business in the 1940’s to 10th and E Street, and moved to Dupont Circle in 1943 to expand once again. The shop had dual entrances on both 19th Street and Connecticut Avenue. As well as a full basement for storage and a much, much larger design and display area.
In the early 1980’s, with the pending arrival of the DC Metro, Palace Florists had to make another relocation decision. So, in 1985, Steve, the second generation owner and his staff moved Palace Florists to the south end of 19th street, one block from the top of Dupont Circle. For 35 years, Palace Florists served its DC, Maryland and Virginia clients from this wonderful location.
In 2016, we decided to move once again. This time with Beth and her husband, Lee in the lead. With the changing climate and ever increasing costs of real estate in DC, and the need once again for a larger space, we were on the move again, however, this time, we decided to venture to the suburbs, just over the DC/Maryland line to the Rockville/North Bethesda area of Maryland. We opened a full floral design center with parking to serve our clients better.
Once again, expanding our design and retail area, as well as growing our storage for wedding and event props but most importantly expanding our refrigeration and cold storage for our beautiful fresh flowers.
Despite many changes in location over the years, our formula has never wavered – We buy the freshest, most beautiful blooms available, have amazing talent and treat our clients both big and small like family.
Having forged relationships over the years with so many; from individuals to corporations, vendors to growers, we are passionate about maintaining our presence as a local, small, family business providing the highest quality flowers and products available on the market today.
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