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After nearly 10 years, Roses for Autism will close its doors on Saturday, June 15. Representatives say the closure is a result of financial struggle.
Roses for Autism, a project of Ability Beyond, a non-profit that provides a variety of resources to people who are disabled and their community, opened nearly a decade ago on the former Pinchbeck property with the goal to help individuals with autism and other disabilities gain employment within a small retail horticulture business. Managing Director Michelle Ouinette said the business model came to be known as a social enterprise in the community, but is no longer sustainable.
“Roses for Autism has inspired many over the years and truly made an impact in helping people learn employability skills and get jobs,” she said. “However, the business has faced numerous challenges given the demands of the horticulture industry, much like the Pinchbecks faced when they decided to close their three-generation family business. The stagnant Connecticut economy along with the high costs associated with the greenhouse operation, the cyclical nature of the floral business, and the low margins have made it hard to compete as a small operation. Therefore, the difficult decision has been made to close Roses for Autism in various stages over the months.”
According to a press release, in the last nine years, Roses for Autism has helped 128 people gain employability skills and work experience and sold more than 3,621,626 roses
Roses for Autism will close on June 15, but Ouimette said patrons and residents can still come and buy flowers for Mother’s Day and continue to support employees of the business.
Check Zip06.com for updates on this story.