As the owner of a company focused on heirloom foods, Lee Greene of Scrumptious Pantry (@scrumptpantry, 3230 W. Fullerton Ave.) is enthusiastic about traditional, regional flavors and how they represent the uniqueness of a location. But her love of community shows in more than just her culinary offerings; her business is one of dozens coming together on Dec. 1 for a new local, Logan Square tradition, “Holidays on the Square.”
The second annual event is a series of activities, special offerings and promotions at more than two dozen businesses in Logan Square, designed to ring in holiday festivities and kick off the shopping season in a way that promotes local small businesses. Most of the activity is centered around the Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Boulevard and California Avenue business corridors, though participating businesses are scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Sales, specials and treats will be offered at the various retail stores and restaurants from 10 am–8 pm. Some of the festivities will include pop-up shops—small booths selling items such as handmade and artisanal goods—and trunk shows, where designers can showcase special products.
Fleur (@fleurinc, 3149 W. Logan Blvd.) is hosting a Truffle Truffle (@trufflesquared) pop-up shop, Wolfbait & B-girls (@wolfbaitbgirls, 3131 W. Logan Blvd.) will host a trunk show, and participants can sample goodies or build their own gift baskets at Provenance Food and Wine (@provenancefw, 2528 N. California Ave.), to name just a few activities.
In addition, the Logan Theatre (@thelogantheatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will be showing holiday movies all day, and participants can have their photo taken with Santa Claus at *Play (@playlogansquare, 3109 W. Logan Blvd.). Libby Day Photography will be available from 11a-2p to capture your child’s holiday moment.
The full list of participating businesses is available at www.holidaysonthesquare.net.
“It will be nice to open our doors and give back to the community that supports us,” Greene said. “I’m calling it our ‘Holiday Customer Appreciation Open House.’ I wanted the chance to be able to say thank you to our customers.”
Greene, who participated last year serving peppery Bloody Marys at RefreshEase (@RefreshEase, 2735 N. Milwaukee Ave.), is excited to host this year’s events in Scrumptious Pantry’s own space, an office and tasting room on the 3200 block of Fullerton that opened in May. Greene is planning a craft corner for kids, where they can design their own holiday ornaments made from all-natural materials such as red beans and lentils. Adults will be treated to complimentary cider and snacks—simple finger foods that Greene hopes will serve as inspiration for holiday cooking and dining. Scrumptious Pantry also will have food items, gift baskets and gift sets for purchase, and will offer a complimentary bottle of extra virgin olive oil with any $50 purchase.
Though Holidays on the Square is focused on the Logan Square community, Greene hopes to attract curious shoppers from outside of the neighborhood too. “It’s really a good reason for people to come out,” she said. “I’m always surprised when I run into people who think this neighborhood is a little iffy.”
Holidays on the Square is the brainchild of Ann Kienzle of *Play and Shop 1021 (2650 N. Milwaukee Ave.), Tracy Kellner of Provenance and Kelly Marie Uss of Fleur.
“We wanted to promote shopping local, as well as offer something fun and festive for the neighborhood to give back a little,” said Uss. “We originally thought it would just be a few businesses, but as word spread, everyone was interested in being involved.”
Uss said last year organizers only had about four weeks to plan and spread the word, but the event was still a huge success. That’s good, not only for the neighborhood residents, but for Logan Square businesses as well.
“Shopping local is so very important in this economy,” said Uss. She and other local businesses owners are part of an informal network that aims to support and promote neighborhood small businesses and Logan Square as a whole.
“The community is what keeps us strong,” said Uss.
In addition to the Truffle Truffle pop-up shop, Fleur’s Holidays on the Square activities will include an offering by Tru Studio of gift vouchers for portrait photography. Those who make a purchase from the studio will receive 15% off their purchase from Fleur. The store also is taking donations of dry goods for the Chicago Food Depository.
“These are really smart business owners,” said Mike Doody of PageArts Development, a website development and social media company based in Logan Square. “They’ve worked hard to find unique things for Logan Square.”
Doody, a 14-year resident of the neighborhood, is helping to organize the event. He said this year’s Holidays on the Square will be a little different from last year’s in that now there are more retail shops participating as opposed to mainly restaurants.
“The big thing is to support the community,” said Doody, who acknowledges that shopping local is something residents are interested in now more than ever. “If the neighborhood continues to respond to unique businesses, we’ll get more here.”
Editor’s Note: We’d love to showcase how the community celebrates this year’s Holidays on the Square. Tweet us @LoganSquarist or post on our Facebook page your pictures throughout the day and we’ll collect them into a great slideshow.