GLEN ELLYN – What started as a one-time honor has blossomed into a perennial tradition for long-time establishments in Glen Ellyn.
This year, several businesses and organizations in Glen Ellyn painted flowerpots in honor of Barone's Restaurant.
The painted flowerpot tradition started seven years ago, when the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company celebrated its 100th anniversary, said Irel Portorella, one of the founders of the program.
"When they turned 100 years old, we wanted to recognize them in a special way," she said.
A group of businesses and organizations got together and decided to paint flowerpots. The village provided the pots and planted the flowers in them after they had been painted.
This year, flowerpots were decorated by the village of Glen Ellyn, the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce, FloorOpedics, Girl Scout Troop 2087, M and Em's, Bottle & Bottega, Precision Payroll, Run Today, Any Art You Want, The Green Branch, SkyWriter and Geoff Bevington.
The group takes suggestions every year to determine which business it will honor. They tend to choose businesses that have a history in the village.
"We've been honoring the oldest businesses in town," Portorella said.
Barone's was selected in part because it has been around for 43 years. But Portorella said it's also because the business has been "very, very generous to the community."
Rick Bellino with Barone's Restaurant said they were "surprised" by the honor and are thankful for the recognition.
"We're just really honored and thrilled," he said.
He added it was great to see the community come together on the project.
To give back, Barone's is holding a contest to vote for the best flowerpot. A picture of each pot is posted on its website. The group that receives the most votes will win a $100 gift card.
Portorella said they will definitely continue the project in the future by honoring another business next year.
"We have a lot of talented people in Glen Ellyn," she said.
Cast your vote
To vote for your favorite Barone's flowerpot, visit www.shawurl.com/1bx7. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card.