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Several Villa Park business owners have collaborated to launch a new Facebook page promoting Old Town Villa Ave.
“It’s not a business owner’s association. It’s a neighborhood,” explained Gayle Baker who owns the Rampant Lion Celtic Traders store at 47 S. Villa Ave. with her husband Jack Baker.
Gayle and other local business owners want to take advantage of Villa Avenue’s neighborhood feel and encourage residents who live nearby to run their errands at the array of shops on Villa Avenue.
“It’s all right here,” Gayle said.
She pointed out many stores on the street offer everyday conveniences. She imagines a local resident could stop by Kuppie’s Bakery on a Saturday morning to pick up a treat for breakfast, snag a good read at Cornerstone Used Books and spend a few hours getting lost in the pages at Funky Java Coffee House over a cup of joe. Fully caffeinated, a Villa Avenue neighbor might then enjoy a leisurely walk to check out the other stores on the street before stopping by Mike’s Market to pick up dinner.
According to The 3/50 Project – an organization devoted to promoting independent brick-and-mortar businesses – $68 of every $100 spent in locally-owned independent stores stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
Gayle explained when Villa Park residents shop at locally-owned businesses like hers, they support their community. Shoppers and business owners also have the opportunity to form relationships that contribute to the shopping experience. Gayle recalled one recent experience when a Scottish gentleman living in Villa Park discovered the Rampant Lion. She said he was elated to find formal Scottish garments for his groomsmen who would be arriving in town for his upcoming wedding.
Gayle said the experience was a prefect reminder of why it’s important to spread the word about Villa Park’s independent businesses and what they have to offer.
For more information about Old Town Villa Ave. businesses, visit the group’s Facebook page or stop by Villa Avenue in Villa Park between St. Charles Road and Park Boulevard.