By Jennifer Karras
Opening a new store can present a variety of challenges under normal circumstances. Creating one that involves multiple community groups during a pandemic may seem insurmountable. Not in Lake Forest. A new Pop Up shop called Lake Forest Station opened on Friday, November 27 and is the product of the City of Lake Forest along with business sponsors and more than a dozen local organizations.
When city officials considered ways to support Lake Forest businesses over the holiday season the idea for a Pop Up surfaced. It became clear that creating a place with items from beloved area organizations and a collection of limited-edition merchandise could build enthusiasm for shopping locally and for supporting non-profits in the process.
“Seeing so many groups come together to open a Pop Up on an accelerated schedule indicates how motivated Lake Foresters are to foster our town’s holiday spirit and support local non profits during this challenging time,” says Lake Forest Mayor George Pandaleon. “We live in a caring and giving community.”
Lake Forest Station is located at the East Lake Forest train station in the building west of the tracks. It’s the ideal space to display an array of products and apparel offering gift ideas for all ages including puzzles of Mark McMahon’s renditions of Lake Forest, favorites from Elawa Farm, a new cookbook from Gorton Community Center, and branded apparel from Lake Forest High School (LFHS) Spirit Store, Lake Forest Open Lands Association, CROYA, Paws for Patrick, and Lake Forest Sailing. There are additional items for purchase or ways to support Ragdale, Lake Forest Library, History Center of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff, Mother’s Trust, and Reading Power.
“The community has embraced our cause with such love and support,” says Fronzie Roemer, founder of Paws for Patrick. “We are honored to have Paws for Patrick be a part of this special Lake Forest Pop Up this season.”
Lake Forest Station also debuts a new series of Lake Forest Love merchandise. The collection features charcuterie boards, throws, t-shirts, hats, socks, key chains and masks. Lake Forest Love artwork was created by LFHS graduate and first year Savannah College of Art and Design student Lindley Wiesner. The illustration of Lake Forest Station appearing on shopping bag stickers and various promotional materials is the work of George Erkenswick, a current junior at LFHS.
Lake Forest Garden Club generously installed the beautiful holiday arrangements in the urns at the Pop Up’s entrance.
Lake Forest Station is sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Lake Forest, Coldwell Banker, @properties, Compass and Griffith, Grant & Lackie.
Proceeds from the Pop Up benefit participating non-profit organizations. It is open on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays through January 9th.