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  • David A.F. Sweet

New Normal: Pop-Up Shop Welcomes Many Changes

By David A. F. Sweet Beloved by the community since it launched during the holidays in 2020 to support local non-profit organizations, the pop-up shop just opened again. And the changes are amazing to behold. It is flush with a new name (the Think Local Pop-Up Shop), brimming with new items and is housed in a new location in Market Square twice the size of its previous spot at the East Lake Forest Train Station.

Customers gathered at the new home for the popular Pop-Up Shop. Not only that, the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the City of Lake Forest to run the shop for the first time. “It is not only showcasing the participating organizations and providing the opportunity to pick up some unique and fun items with a local twist, but there is also information available about things to do at our local arts and cultural spots,” Chamber President Joanna Rolek said. Rolek noted that aside from the non-profits that have been involved in the past, such as CROYA and the Lake Forest Open Lands Association, new partners have been recruited and have added even more locally themed gifts – for instance, a throw blanket with Lake Forest images on it. Also new this year is a mailbox for letters to Santa at the front door of the shop – “a great way for kids to send that all-important message,” Rolek said. And old favorites are still there, such as Chamber Checks, which are sold in $20 denominations and redeemable at local stores and restaurants. “They are a very popular gift for friends and family of all ages, as well as the perfect teacher gift!” Rolek said.

The original Lake Forest Station Pop-Up Shop opened in 2020 during the pandemic. The City of Lake Forest worked with business sponsors and more than a dozen local non-profits to raise visibility for their organizations and to offer limited-edition merchandise. Why has it been so popular? “Ours is a generous community with countless people who donate time and support to organizations that touch the hearts and lives of many,” Rolek explained. “The pop-up shop concept has proven to be a unique opportunity to learn about and support some of the many valued nonprofit entities under one roof, and this year’s shop will continue this wonderful tradition.” The Think Local Pop-Up Shop is open Thursday-Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at 252 Market Square until Dec. 31. To find out more, click here.


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