Ferdinand (Fred) Pesche Sr. immigrated from Folschette, Luxembourg to Chicago around the turn of the 20th century. He first began a growing business in Evanston, but in 1923 he started Pesche’s Flowers in Des Plaines and has remained for 90 years. Fred purchased and developed a 5 acre site, which is still part of our 7-acre facility in use today, got married, and had 11 children. Originally, he specialized in carnations, mums, and pom poms growing cut flowers for florists and wholesale markets in Chicago. In 1941, Fred expanded the business by adding a tropical plant conservatory next to the carnation houses.
During World War II, Pesche’s Flowers became an employer for prisoners held at Camp Pine, a tiny fortress nestled in the woods along the west bank of the Des Plaines River; a German POW camp. German prisoners have returned to Pesche’s since the war, recalling their employment picking and delivering carnations.
Following the war, Des Plaines began to change from a farming center to one of the leading industrial, commercial, and residential centers in the northwest suburbs. An enterprising and practical man, Fred expanded the business in 1948 to include a supermarket, which remained an active part of the business for 30 years.
Following in their father’s footsteps, Fred Jr. and Frank and his five sisters took over the family business in 1955, Frank taking control of the supermarket, Fred the greenhouse and the girls running the flower shop. This continued growth has led to the purchase of an adjacent acre and the opening of a nursery division. Today, Chris Pesche (Frank’s son) & Christopher and Shantelle (Chris’ children), help run the business and all three can be found on the grounds almost every day!
A visit to Pesche’s will show you what four generations of experience can provide; attentive service, expert advice, and uncompromising quality.