Vaseful proves flowers for customers — and work for those with disabilities

Nonprofit Community Options to open third location of retail outlet in Forked River

Vaseful Flowers & Gifts is a unique floral business that provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities in an integrated setting.

The business, started by Princeton-based nonprofit Community Options, helps people with disabilities gain valuable work experience while also building skillsets that they can carry on with them in employment opportunities.

This week, Community Options announced plans to open a Vaseful Flowers & Gifts shop in Forked River.

Community Options Managing Director Dina Casalaspro said the stores are a win-win.

“Many people with disabilities want to work. At Vaseful, individuals are afforded the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a work setting while earning a competitive wage,” she said. “We have seen great success with our Vaseful stores, and our employees love coming to work every day to make flower arrangements, process online orders and work the cash register, among other tasks.

“It is truly incredible to see them learning skillsets and gaining confidence in themselves through their work experience.”

Community Options supports 5,000 people with disabilities through innovative housing and employment programs in 10 states. It also operates eight entrepreneurial businesses in New Jersey to provide integrated employment for people with disabilities.

The Forked River store will be the third New Jersey location for Vaseful, which also has stores in Princeton and Edison.