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6 Family-Run Chicago Western Suburban Local Shops to Support

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Coffee Shop Barista Pouring Milk into a Latte

Are you looking to support local, family-owned businesses this year? Look no further.

With the pandemic about to hit a year-long, small and family-owned businesses are struggling more than ever. After a year of off-and-on closures, people are just hoping to keep their stores alive. They need your help! Seeking out family-run businesses in your area can be daunting, but we’ve compiled a list of places you can ethically shop at while feeling safe and supported by years of hard work. Check out our list of a few family-owned and operated businesses that are essential to check out in 2021.

Endiro Coffee

With 2 locations in Aurora, IL, you should feel incredibly lucky to check out and order from this incredible coffee place. The reason? All of their other locations are in Africa! They began their journey in Africa, and the family is now bringing the roots of Africa coffee to the Western suburbs.

According to their website, Endiro “believe[s] in the power of hospitality, sharing, conversation, prayer, collaboration, partnership, community, and family. This is where we find the power to brew a better cup of coffee, to operate a better business, and to discover better solutions to local and global problems.” To check out their menu, hours, and even if delivery might be an option, visit their website here.

The Little Popcorn Store

If you’ve ever been to Wheaton, IL, you’ve probably been to the little popcorn store. A Wheaton classic, this store is TINY, hence the name, and is just 49 inches wide by 60 feet long. In case you were wondering, that’s only about 4 feet wide! But where they make lack in size they make up for in the product. This family-owned and operated store has been around for almost 100 years and is a beloved Wheaton and western suburb hot spot.

They sell deliciously fresh popcorn made daily as well as candy and other treats. E Clair Brown bought and started the store in 1921, and it has been said since then that “Many came from all over the Chicago area to buy Brown’s popcorn – and some as far away as Milwaukee. When asked why, Brown replied, “most of them say it’s the tastiest they can buy anywhere.” On many sunny summer Sundays, as many as 50 people at a time could be found lined up in front of the narrow shop ready to buy Brown’s delicious popcorn.” You can read the store’s whole story here, as well as check out all their current offerings and promotions.

Anderson’s Bookshop

If you’ve ever been to downtown Naperville, you know that Andersons is a pillar of original businesses and hosts some of the best crowd driving events in the western suburbs. Their history dates back as far as the late 1800’s when the family’s distant ancestor opened a pharmacy. From there it has transformed over the years to the shop we know and love today, selling books, crafts, toys, and gifts and of course hosting authors and holding events year-round.

According to their website, “The 5th generation that own and run the businesses today all started to work at a very young age at our family’s drugstore. Working alongside with your grandfather, parents, brothers, sister, and children is a family tradition that creates community within your family, and reaches your employees, your customers, and beyond. We are proud to have the sixth generation now working in the businesses. For 143 years, we have lived and breathed this community; we are here to stay, thrive, and help make it a great place for all with whom we come in contact.” Check out Anderson’s Bookshop and all its events and offerings for 2021 here.

Beidelman’s Furniture

If you’re looking to purchase new couches or new furniture sets, look no further than Beidelman’s Furniture, one of Naperville’s oldest businesses. According to a Chicago Tribune Article, “The furniture store at Washington Street and Jackson Avenue has been around for 159 years and run by the same family for its duration.” 4th and 5th generation family members are still running the shop that sells furniture and home accessories. They say business is booming since people stay inside more and spend more money making their spaces and homes nice. When looking for a new couch, don’t forget about Beidelman’s.

Connie’s Restaurant

A Berwyn, IL favorite, Connie’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant that prides itself on classic diner food done right. They have been serving customers since 1944 and are still thriving.

“Started by Connie and John Kallas as Connie’s Snack Shop and Johnny’s Bar many changes have happened throughout the years but our commitment to provide a quality product in a friendly and clean environment has not changed.  Generations of customer’s have walked through and still come through our doors, which is fitting as our story spans over many generations of family as well.”

With a menu to match, they do everything right. If their website doesn’t tell you enough, just check out their yelp reviews. This place seems to have been a favorite for decades. Check their menu and hours out here.

Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art

Reading the words ‘Lapidary Art’ might have you a little bit confused, but when it comes to family-owned museums, Lizzardo’s corners the market. Now located in Oak Brook, Lizzardo’s has been a hot spot since its origin in Elmhurst. Lapidary art is the art of cutting and polishing stones, and if you think this place sounds one-of-a-kind, you’re right. You won’t find a place like this anywhere else! The museum’s original owner, a young man named Joseph Lizzardo started cutting and polishing rocks and eventually ended up with enough that he felt a display was necessary, and thus the beginning of the museum.

The collection has grown over the last 100 years and “Today the museum welcomes visitors from its new location in Oakbrook to both view some distinguished examples of the art of lapidary and learn more the array of minerals that make up our world. Housed within the museum are rare pieces such as a jade imperial altar set completed during the Ming Dynasty, (1368-1644), and a cinnabar screen encrusted with gemstones that were a gift to the Chinese emperor, Qianlong, in 1791.” Don’t hesitate to check this museum out, you will remember just how fun looking at rocks are.