When you ask anyone about Lou, a smile is the first response you typically get. That’s because one of the most defining characteristics of Lou’s personality, is his exuberant and ceaseless sense of humor. Regardless of the topic conversation, Lou will likely find a way to work in a joke somehow.
But don’t let his silly demeanor fool you. Lou has had an interesting and rich background, before even arriving at Farmington Gardens almost a decade ago. After attaining a degree in Electrical Engineering, Lou spent 24 years as an applications engineer, fabricating parts for the electronic scientific industries. When the company he was working for relocated to the West coast, Lou did too.
While working , Lou spent an extensive amount of time traveling, most often to Asia, with more than 38 trips to China alone. While he was overseas and had time off, he loved to explore and enjoy their rich culture through people, food and gardens. “I’d spend all my time visiting the most beautiful gardens. They were truly incredible,” he recalls.
After nearly two and half decades, the product line he was working on was discontinued, and Lou got the layoff. “It was a little too soon to retire, so I went back to school to learn more about what I loved–horticulture.” He fondly remembers how he got the job at Farmington Gardens. While he was shopping, someone asked if “he was finding everything okay”, When he replied (you guessed it–with a joke), he said No–he actually couldn’t find the winning lottery ticket. That someone appreciated his keen sense of humor and asked if he needed a job. The very next day he started.
Lou’s lighthearted and fun personality has led to a significant number of loyal customers who seek him out to help them or answer their questions. “I just really enjoy kidding around with the customers and they seem to like it.”
Lou can be seen doing any number of things around the garden center. From customer service and answering phones, jumping in on projects and special events with great enthusiasm, to sharing his knowledge and passion about Japanese Maples, and even teaching a class on these fascinating trees every year. Because Japanese Maples are definitely Lou’s favorite. It was through his travels to Asian where he became especially passionate about them. On his quarter-acre-property, he grows about 25 different varieties, including his very favorite ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’. “It has a natural Bonsai habit that is just the coolest.”
So next time you see Lou around, be sure to have your next joke READY!
More Cool Facts about Lou
He has two sets of twins (out of 5 children). – Loves Movie Theater popcorn and spicy food. – Lou grew up in Chicago. – He really loves to dress up at Farmington Gardens Customer Appreciation events.