Two longtime friends and Frankfort residents are the owners/operators of CD & ME, home to many of the area’s special events and banquets. Chuck JaBaay and Dean Vaundry began their landscaping business, JaBaays Outdoor Creations, in 1992 after leaving their successful careers; Chuck, as an engineer for People’s Gas, and Dean, as an art director at D.D.B. Needham in downtown Chicago.
The two friends were landscaping and building decks together as side jobs around their careers. They were becoming so successful at it that they decided to take a chance, and bought a piece of land where JaBaays Outdoor Creations and CD & ME now stands. Chuck and Dean ran their landscaping business while living and working out of their landscaping warehouse, which would later become CD & ME.
They hosted yearly parties for their landscaping employees out of that warehouse. A friend attending the festivities, affiliated with the National Association for Downs Syndrome, approached Chuck and Dean with a heartfelt request. They asked if CD & ME would be willing to host a fundraiser for the organization. Driven by their desire to make a positive impact, Chuck and Dean readily agreed and the annual fundraiser would span for 13 years, with the attendance swelling from 250 to an incredible 1,200. The annual benefit became so popular that more and more people began approaching Chuck and Dean to ask if they could host parties there too. The two friends thenrealized they had another potentially successful business on their hands.
Today, CD & ME stands as a testament to Chuck and Dean’s unwavering dedication.The venue now hosts a wide variety of events, from weddings and fundraisers to concerts, corporate events, celebration of life ceremonies, and more! Transforming their modest landscaping startup to a thriving multi-structure venue, Chuck JaBaay and Dean Vaundry have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Their passion and perseverance have shaped CD & ME into a place where dreams come true.