The floriculture industry lost one of its finest leaders Saturday when Todd Bachman, chairman and CEO of Bachman’s Floral, Home & Garden in Minneapolis was tragically killed on a tour of Beijing, China, during the Olympic Games.
A man stabbed Todd and his wife, Barbara, with a knife, and Todd died as a result of his injuries. Barbara is listed in serious but stable condition at a Beijing hospital after undergoing eight hours of surgery on Saturday, but as The Star-Tribune in Minneapolis reported Wednesday, she has recovered enough to speak with relatives. A female tour guide was also injured.
Todd’s daughter Elisabeth, a past Olympian in volleyball who is married to men’s indoor volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, was also at the scene of the attack. She was not injured. The Bachmans were on the second floor of the Drum Tower, an ancient building in Beijing, when 47-year-old Tang Yongming attacked them. Yongming committed suicide immediately after the attack by throwing himself over the second-floor railing.
In honor of Todd, all Bachman’s locations will have a memorial display throughout this week. The six Bachman’s Floral, Home & Garden stores will display an arrangement of vibrant, colorful flowers along with a poster, while the 22 smaller retail stores and Cedar Acres Garden and Landscape Center will also honor Todd with a memorial poster.
Bachman’s has set up a Web site to keep the media and community posted on the latest developments related to Barbara’s recovery and memorial services. The site has a guestbook where people can share their memories, thoughts and sentiments.
Hundreds of people from all over have posted their prayers and shared how the Bachmans have touched their lives in Minnesota and in the industry at large. “Bachman’s is in the business of helping families express their sentiments at times of joy… and at times of sorrow,” says Dale Bachman. “And we are simply overwhelmed with gratitude at the outpouring of sympathy and well wishes from around the world.”
Todd and his cousins represent the fourth generation of Bachman’s, which was founded by German immigrant Henry Bachman Sr., in 1885 as a vegetable farm. Based in Minneapolis, Bachman’s operates 29 retail stores in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud. In this region, when you think of flowers, you think of Bachman’s. The company also operates indoor and outdoor landscaping divisions, a nursery wholesale division, eight acres of greenhouses and a 629-acre growing range near Lakeville, Minn., which produces many of the plants, flowers and landscaping products sold at Bachman’s locations.
Bachman’s also is known for launching the popular line of Department 56 collectibles of ceramic, lighted villages that are so popular for Christmas. Last year, the company acquired the grocery division of Minneapolis Floral, providing merchandise and service to 21 Lund’s and Byerly’s in-store floral departments.
While Todd was chairman of the board and CEO, Dale is president, Lee is chief financial officer and Paul is vice president of marketing, merchandising and store operations. Dale and Lee are brothers and second cousins to Todd. Paul is Todd’s first cousin. The entire family has devoted itself to giving back to the community and the floriculture industry.
Todd was recently named chairman of the board at Hortica Insurance Co. after serving on the board for 12 years. He was also serving on the boards of Yoder Brothers, Inc. and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Foundation. Throughout his career, he also served as chairman of American Floral Endowment and the Society of American Florist’s Foundation for Floriculture and on the OFA board. Locally, he was president of North Central Florists’ Association and Minnesota Commercial Flower Growers.