In 1880, a horse-drawn cart traveled Windmiller Hill (now Madison Avenue) offering fresh produce to the residents of Mankato, Minnesota. That humble operation quickly evolved into a brick-and-mortar business selling flowers and plants. One of only a few florists in the area, its pieces became prized memorials for funerals across the Midwest. Eventually the business was sold and the second owners, Opal and Bill Fratzke changed the name to Hilltop Florist.
Over the years Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse grew and became a bustling retail florist and garden center. In 1956, Marguerite and Ed Keane bought the florist and greenhouses. In 1976, the business was purchased by Larry Van Tol and Noel Van Tol, from Noel’s parents. Hilltop Florist has a long-standing family-owned presence within the community.
The legacy of Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse was founded on providing the best quality of product, providing exceptional service and fast, friendly delivery.
The greenhouse processes were in production until the summer of 2015 when the Van Tols decided to grow in a new direction and repurpose the historic land that once housed its growing ranges. At that time, the seed to mature product business model concluded its existence from that point on, the shop focused on its retail presence of offering exclusive and unique gift ideas, home décor accessories, plants, and floral arrangements that still conveyed the emotion and sentiment Hilltop Florist is known for by its customers.
In July 2019, Deb and Kevin Newman became the fifth generation and newest family to own Hilltop Florist.
Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse has been growing for you since 1880 and today is the premier source for flowers, plants, stunning floral arrangements, weddings and design services in the Mankato area and southern Minnesota. We also offer flower delivery nationwide.
We look forward to welcoming you to Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse where we offer freshly grown flowers, plants, seasonal home décor, classes and event consultations. Shop online now
to have beautiful, unique floral arrangements delivered anywhere in the country.
Hilltop Florist makes regular deliveries Monday through Saturday and funeral deliveries daily.
Orders placed by 2:00 PM (CST) receive same day delivery. All flowers arrive by special delivery with a smile from our friendly staff.
- Mankato/North Mankato $10
- Eagle Lake $15
- St. Peter/Kasota $20
- Nicollet $20
- Lake Crystal $20
- Madison Lake $20
Deb Newman, Owner & COO
Deb joined the Hilltop Florist team as the new owner in August of 2019. Over the years, she has developed a knowledgeable background in interior design and restoration. While developing these skills, Deb also held a variety of top executive roles within the community. Within the last four years, Deb was the Executive Director for Partner's for Affordable Housing and the Children's Museum of Southern MN. Her creative skills and business acumen make her a great asset to the Hilltop Florist family.
Deb manages all aspects of the business, from the daily floral operations to the retail shop. Her unique design style, her experience of managing a highly professional and creative staff, and her commitment to bettering the community helps uphold Hilltop Florist & Greenhouse’s mission and goals.
In her 30+ years in Mankato, Deb has dedicated her time and talents to the community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Greater Mankato Area United Way and Junior Achievement. She is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Mankato Family YMCA and City Center Partnership.
Kevin Newman, Owner & CFO
Kevin also joined the Hilltop Florist team as the new owner in August of 2019. He graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. In 2014, Kevin completed his master’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Minnesota.
Not only is Kevin well-versed in the business world, he has a refined knack for carpentry and woodworking. His knowledge of business management, finance, and creative woodworking skills make him a great addition to the Hilltop Florist team.
Throughout his time in Mankato, Kevin has dedicated his time helping the community by teaching classes at local elementary schools throught the Junior Achievement organization, volunteering for Pedal Past Poverty, serving on the Board of Directors for the Greater Mankato Area United Way, and as the Campaign Chair. He is also Kato Engineering's Advocate for community volunteerism.
Katie Henderson, Marketing & Design/Retail Sales
Katie joined Hilltop Florist in August of 2019. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Geography. After several years working at Greater Mankato Growth gaining experience in office administration and community relations, Katie decided it was time for a change and a new challenge. She brings with her great attention to detail, outstanding customer service skills, and experience in business and community relations. Katie's skills and talents are a perfect fit to building long-lasting and positive relationships with Hilltop Florist’s customers.
The importance of giving back to the community you live in was instilled in Katie at a very young age. Katie has volunteered for Feed My Starving Children, Pedal Past Poverty, Raw Fusion, National History Day, and the Greater Mankato Young Professional. She has also served an Employee Campaign Leader for Greater Mankato Area United Way.
Sarah Gilberto, Designer and Wedding Designer
Sarah came to Hilltop Florist in 2007 after relocating from her hometown of Rochester, Minnesota. Her experience spans 13 years in the floral industry. Sarah earned an Associates degree in Computer Art and Design from Rochester Community and Technical College. She also graduated with honors from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Art degree in Mass Communications and Advertising from Winona State University. Like most college students needing a part time job to make ends meet, she started out as the low man on the totem pole at a reputable florist in Rochester. She quickly worked her way up and learned that floral design was her talent.
Besides being a talented floral designer and with her background in advertising, Sarah is an integral part of our marketing and social media here at Hilltop Florist.
Sarah’s passions are designing unique, contemporary arrangements and working with brides to design their dream wedding. The highlight of her young career was being named the Minnesota State Florists Association Designer of the Year in 2013. She is a great inspiration to all new aspiring floral designers and she looks forward to propelling Hilltop Florist into the future.
Judy Abdo, Administrative Assistant
Judy joined the Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse team in the Fall of 2009. After a long career as a customer service representative for Taylor Corporation, she was ready for a new direction and challenge.
Her sunny disposition, attention to detail and people skills, along with her sense of humor landed her dream job as Administrative Assistant.
Judy, a.k.a "Jude", has many responsibilities including overseeing the perpetual care and "Blooms for a Year" programs. She handles all the accounting, technical support and human resources for Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse. During the holiday seasons she is always willing to lend a hand for any task that needs to be done.
Her impeccable customer service and team leadership skills are keys to our continued success.