CICERO, Ill. (CBS) — This is the time of year when nurseries and garden centers segue to more holiday-themed items like poinsettias and wreaths.
Seguin Gardens and Gifts in Cicero is far more than your ordinary plant shop.
What makes it so special is that it’s staffed primarily with special-needs adults.
Seguin Services has been providing education, living, and job opportunities in the Chicago area for decades. They even have an auto center and car wash. But it’s the 2 ½-year-old garden center that is truly thriving.
What they do here is to teach these adults with disabilities a vocation — horticulture. It’s a skill they can use the rest of their lives.
“It was something that they liked to do, so their knowledge base has just expanded, in some cases well beyond what we expected,” Julie Lerch, who oversees Seguin Gardens and Gifts, tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.
With the Christmas gift rush upon them, the center has briefly walked away from the hydrangeas, begonias, and geraniums to instead craft ornate metal wreaths, stock the shelves with poinsettias and make beaded jewelry.
Seguin Gardens and Gifts made nearly $150,000 last year, exceeding the center’s goal by 40 percent.
Submit Your Favorites!
Tell us about your favorite places in the Chicago area. We could pick you and your idea to be on TV. Tune in every Thursday at 10pm to see ideas from viewers just like you! It’s Your Chicago!
Submit your favorite place at: chicago.cbslocal.com
Check out picks from previous weeks:
- Chicago Bronze Handbell Choir
- Defining Moments Scrapooking Store
- The Pedway
- Morton Arboretum
- Chicago Human Rhythm Project
- Route 66′s Starting Point
- Joy Yee Shabu Shabu
- Cooper’s Hawk Winery And Restaurant
- Haymarket Brewery
- Jazzin’ At The Shedd
- Feed My Starving Children
- Hero’s Submarine Sandwich Shop
- Davenport’s Piano Bar
- Mystic Blue