What began as a feed store in 1918 has grown into a Villa Park icon known as Pioneer Garden and Feed.
“People would be brokenhearted if it went away,” says Angie Rojek explaining why she and her husband Tony purchased the store in April 2015.
Like so many Villa Park residents, the Rojeks have visited Pioneer Garden and Feed year after year because the landmark is more than a store, it’s become a gathering place for aspiring and expert gardeners alike.
“[People] like it because they can come here and get a cute gnome for their garden, but they can also get aluminum sulfate for their hydrangeas,” Angie explains.
In addition, the store also offers plenty of organic supplies. Pioneer is also working together with the Village on future Cortesi Park improvements.
For those who have come to depend on Pioneer for more than just materials, Bill Karges, Pioneer’s staff botanist, continues to man his post as “plant guru,” offering solutions to the trickiest botanical bothers or simply sharing stories.
“Everybody who comes in here has a story,” says Angie, who loves getting to know the store’s loyal customers.
While the Rojek family represents a new beginning for a Villa Park fixture nearly as old as the town itself, they value the history.
“It was very important to us to keep a family business alive,” says Angie.