Business Blooming For St. Charles' Wasco Nursery After Reopening

ST. CHARLES, IL — Matt Zerby has seen a lot of dreary days during his 28 years working at Wasco Nursery and Garden Center, but nothing compares to the coronavirus-induced gloom that hung over it in mid-March. The St. Charles nursery closed its doors for several weeks, but the sun has come again after reopening its 8-acre garden center and greenhouses to customers.

Thanks to the size of the facility, customers can get out of their cars and check out about 100,000 plants while following social-distancing and other safety guidelines, said Zerby, who now owns the nursery that was founded in 1925. The nursery has established an outdoor, contactless checkout system, which customers have been “very complimentary about,” Zerby said.

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“Customers are really happy that we’re open, and [they’re] coming out and shopping and wanting to get in their yard,” Zerby said.

Wet, cold springs and hot, dry summers have presented difficult challenges for Wasco’s seasonal business in the past, but until the coronavirus outbreak, nothing had ever made Zerby consider the idea of “not having a spring.”

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While shut down, Zerby and others at the nursery tried to find ways to “pivot” to online sales and delivering products, but with such a large facility, “it’s huge” for the nursery to be fully open to the public again, he said, adding the nursery has been “quite busy” since it reopened.

Zerby recommended customers should try to visit the nursery during the week if they can, as weekends are usually much busier. The nursery also has “ a ton of great gift ideas” for anyone looking for a Mother’s Day present, Zerby added.

St. Charles Patch is featuring the city's restaurants and small businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Patch created a simple survey to let everyone know they are open and their current hours of operation. More than 40 St. Charles businesses have been added to Patch's directory so far. If you want to add your business to Joliet Patch's list of open and closed businesses, you can do so here.

This article originally appeared on the St. Charles Patch