Pioneer Garden and Feed in Villa Park closing its doors after 100-plus years

 
Posted8/7/2022 1:00 AM

VILLA PARK -- Pioneer Garden and Feed will serve its last customer and close its doors permanently this August.

Owners Angie and Tony Rojek, Villa Park residents for over 25 years, sold the business, citing rising costs, supply chain problems and big box (and online) store competition as some of the reasons for closing.

 

From now through the next few weeks Pioneer will continue their normal hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.

Founded in 1918, Pioneer has been a staple in a town known as the "Garden Village," with deep roots that helped Villa Park retain its small-town charm. When it first opened, Pioneer largely served the agricultural needs of the local farming community.

As the town grew and the population changed, the business focus turned to other outdoor pursuits such as gardening, lawns, plants and décor, according to the Rojeks, who purchased the business in 2015.

Since purchasing Pioneer, the Rojeks worked hard to update the business and building infrastructure to current operating standards and keep it thriving during a time of market unknowns.

"We've always been inspired to provide the best service and products possible, especially for a new generation of gardeners and bird watchers," Tony Rojek said.

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Operating through the pandemic brought its own set of challenges, and the decision to close was a difficult one for the couple, who have raised their two boys in Villa Park and developed strong ties to the community over the years. They say the end is bittersweet.

"We are so thankful to our loyal customers that have shopped here for many years, and all of the new ones that have joined the Pioneer family since we made the life-changing decision to purchase this piece of history more than seven years ago," Angie Rojek said.

"We especially want to thank Bill Karges for his years of employment at Pioneer and service to Villa Park. And Maggie Krott who has been with us since our first day," the Rojeks added.

As this door closes, the couple is excited to watch developments blossoming nearby.

The Rojeks hope customers will visit the next few weeks and pick up merchandise for their gardens. All items (except bird seed) will be 50% off.

"It'll be a good way to remember this piece of history. We've loved serving Villa Park," they said.

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