If you think the Evergreen Park Public Library is just a building with books, you have a lot to learn. Our public library is a friendly, welcoming place that is filled with wonderful resources available to everyone.

The library promotes lifelong learning and enriches the quality of life in Evergreen Park through its materials and services. If you are looking for a particular book or curious about a topic, the helpful staff can direct you.

You may not realize that the library offers a variety of items that you can check out. You can borrow vinyl records, bird watching kids, disc golf sets, eBooks, wifi hotspots, laptops, and more!

The library also has four study rooms and additional community meeting spaces that patrons can reserve. It truly is a fantastic community resource!

About the Library

The library opened its doors in 1944 in a WPA-era building behind the Village Hall after residents and Village officials held a fund raiser and donation drive. The library quickly ran out of space and moved to a storefront at 95th Street and Homan Avenue before finding a permanent home at 94th Street and Troy Avenue in 1957, where it remains today.

A library addition was completed in 1976, and the space was renovated in 2006. Today it is home to more than 58,000 items and a variety of community spaces, including meeting and study rooms, a computer lab, teen area, and a quiet reading room.

Our May Meet a Member is Porter Cullens Irish Pub & Restaurant, at 3541 W. 99th St.. A charming pub with delicious food, Porter Cullens opened in 2014 when two Evergreen Park families saw the need for a local place to gather, socialize, and create their own memories. 

Co-owner Anne Doorhy said that Porter Cullens is like the bar from “Cheers,” because “all are welcome and each time you come in, you will probably meet up with a neighbor or old friend you haven’t seen in a while.”

She and her husband Jerry opened Porter Cullens with neighbors Mike and Jill McGrath, and they succeeded in building a business that compliments the family feeling of Evergreen Park.

Porter Cullens is a comfortable space known for offering traditional Irish food, including corned beef, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. They have an expansive selection of beer, wine, and cocktails, a seasonal food menu, and they are  also popular for catering.

Group shot of Dr. David Beckmann, Dr. Kenneth Finkelstein, Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke, and EP Chamber of Commerce President Sara Klein

Dr. David Beckmann and Dr. Kenneth Finkelstein of Family First Medical Group & Women’s Healthcare of Illinois, invite Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke and and EP Chamber of Commerce President Sara Klein to their office for a visit.

We’re pleased to feature Family First Medical Group and Women’s Healthcare of Illinois as our April Meet a Member. The practice opened at 9730 S. Western Ave. in October 2019 and offers complete family care, from newborn babies through adulthood and into the senior years.

Dr. David Beckmann, shown on the left, said his his goal was to build a warm, family-centered practice that is driven by sound clinical outcomes and offers varied options for each step in a patient’s medical journey. His team strives to make patients feel that they are the most important part of their day.

“With the ever-changing healthcare landscape, we’re seeing larger and larger groups buying up medical practices or merging with big hospitals and big health systems,” Dr. Beckmann said. “Because of these massive changes, the doctor-patient relationship is suffering. We’re here to help fix that.”

Eileen Johnson, Director of Operations, said Family First is happy to serve Evergreen Park and the surrounding area because of the community of residents, fellow business owners, and public support they have received since opening. “Evergreen Park feels like home,” she said.

To learn more about the practice and their services, you are welcome to visit them online.

Monique Jones, left, the owner of SmallCakes Cupcakery and Creamery, enjoys a visit with Chamber President Sara Klein.

As a global pandemic was raging and crippling many businesses, Monique Jones (left) took a big risk. She opened the doors at Smallcakes Cupakery and Creamery at 9605 S. Pulaski Ave. in October of 2020, and hasn’t looked back.

“I’m loving every minute of it, especially running a company from start to finish,” she said. It was her first experience managing all aspects of an organization, and her first business investment, too.

“Made fresh daily” is Jones’ slogan. Every day at 6:00 am, her team of bakers gets to work, handcrafting and frosting 18 delectable flavors of cupcakes. They also offer a rotating selection of specialty flavors that changes daily, so there is no chance of ever getting tired of their offerings. Their menu includes gluten-free and vegan cupcakes, as well as larger cakes. And don’t forget the ice cream: SmallCakes offers more than 10 signature flavors that you can get in a cone, scoop, shake, or a hybrid cupcake shake.

Jones credits picking the right location as a huge part of her success. “Evergreen Park was the right location; it’s in a family-oriented community where families love to support their local businesses,” she said.

SmallCakes is open six days a week, on Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. View their online menu for details on their offerings.

Grinderz Training Academy gym

Grinderz Training Academy

Congratulations to Grinderz Training Academy, a sports performance training service that celebrated one year in Evergreen Park last month. Grinderz offers a variety of fitness and conditioning classes for kids and adults, as well as youth sports training (hitting and pitching lessons) for athletes ages 8 to 18.  

Owners Dave Torres and Matt Meierkort opened Grinderz at 10200 S. Kedzie Ave. after traveling outside of Evergreen Park in search of athletic training for their kids. Since opening, they have added one-on-one private coaching as well as team training, which are 90-minute sessions customized to the needs of an athletic team.

Visitors to Grinderz enjoy a positive, high octane atmosphere, with coaches who will “push until you realize you can go further,” Torres said.

The benefits for student athletes go beyond physical fitness. Torres has seen many children blossom and improve their confidence through athletic training at Grinderz. “We get feedback from parents all the time saying their child is happier and that they have improved in other aspects of their life as well after working with us,” he said.

Free Circuit Training Class on Feb. 11

Grinderz is offering a complimentary fitness class for EPCC members on Friday, February 11, 2022 at 1:00 pm. Their gym can accommodate 12 visitors, so if you would like to attend, please send an email to EPCC Member Liaison Kelly Moroney.

 

AAA of Evergreen Park

We’re delighted to introduce Sara Klein of AAA as the new President of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce! Sara is a Retail Sales Leader for AAA, where she has worked for more than 10 years. She manages four branches, including the Evergreen Park AAA Car Care branch at 91st and Western. Sara has lived in the Evergreen Park Community for almost 10 years, and her kids attend the amazing D124 schools.

 Sara loves being a part of the local community and has been a longtime member of the Chamber of Commerce. In 2021, Sara served on the Chamber Board as a Director and supported local businesses by leading seminars on growing your social media presence, building your network, and supporting fellow business owners.

As president, Sara will continue finding ways to help our local businesses thrive. Shop local promotions will remain a priority, as well as using social media and other marketing platforms to highlight our members throughout the year. She also wants to focus on business-to-business partnerships in which members promote one another, refer those we serve to each other, grow together, volunteer in the community together, and stay EP Proud.

Would YOU like to be featured in our Meet a Member segment? Please send an email to Kelly Moroney, and she’ll be in touch to gather your information. 

Percy J. Allen Jr., right, with his father, Percy J. Allen Sr., who also works for M.E.P. Exterminating

M.E.P. Exterminating

The Chamber brings back its ‘Meet a Member’ feature this month with M.E.P. Exterminating. A Chamber member for 12 years, M.E.P. Exterminating is a licensed, bonded and insured company that specializes in pest and rodent control.

Owner Percy J. Allen Jr. says he has “always had an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to start, own, operate, and expand my own company.” He established M.E.P. Exterminating 16 years ago, naming the company after his daughters Mahogany, Ebony, and Pyeisha Allen.

During these unprecedented times, Allen says he maintains a positive attitude about his business and community. “My hopes for M.E.P. Exterminating and Evergreen Park are hopes I have for our world post Corona (COVID-19)—and that is of health, happiness, and prosperity.”

To learn more about Allen’s services and request a quote, call M.E.P. Exterminating at 708-422-9902.

Cool Clouds Vapor Shop owners pose in front of store sign

Cool Clouds Vapor Shop

 

Cool Clouds is a retailer of electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, also known as vapor products. The business, located at 3837 W. 95th St., assists adult smokers in their transition away from combustible tobacco products. 

The store is owned by Evergreen Park residents Bridget Carey and Reid Nuttall. Both are former smokers who enjoy helping other adults find a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes. Their approach starts with educating customers about the range of smoke-free products available, then finding a good fit.

“We walk our customers through the process, asking questions about their smoking habits and how much they smoke, as well as finding their level of comfort with this technology,” said Nuttall. “Then we work with their budget, lifestyle and goals to find a device, nicotine level and flavor that will be satisfying and make the task of quitting smoking less daunting.”

About Vapor Products

According to the Cool Clouds website, vapor products are electronic devices with three components: a battery power source, a heating element, and e-liquid. E-liquid is applied to the heating element directly or passively with the use of a tank and with the power of the battery, the liquid is heated to the point that it becomes vapor. 

Vapor products include electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, mods, pens, cigalikes and vapes. The one unifying characteristic is that these devices do not burn, so they do not expose users to harmful smoke or tar. 

E-liquids usually contain a mix of these four ingredients:

  • PG (Propylene Glycol) is used as a base and a stabilizing agent.
  • VG (Vegetable Glycerin) assists in producing a thick cloud of vapor.
  • Natural or artificial flavors that impart a sweet or tobacco-like taste.
  • Nicotine can be included at various levels, allowing customers to decrease nicotine over time if they choose. E-liquids are also available without nicotine.

The Evergreen Park shop opened in 2014 and is their original location. They also have a second store in Tinley Park. 

Cool Clouds also offers a range of CBD (cannabis) products, as well as glass and accessories for customers who use cannabis.

To learn more about Cool Clouds, visit them online at https://www.coolcloudsvapor.com/.

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Biros Real Estate

 

The Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce is delighted to introduce its new “Meet a Member” spotlight with our first featured business, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Biros Real Estate. This real estate company is a longtime Chamber member and a strong supporter of the business community in Evergreen Park. 

About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Biros Real Estate is a full service company with 40 brokers providing residential and commercial real estate services.  The company Biros Real Estate was founded in 1982 by Bill Biros and became an affiliate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2014. During this time their focus has always been community centric, serving residents and business owners where the brokers work and live. These areas include Evergreen Park and adjacent communities including the Beverly area, Mount Greenwood and Oak Lawn.

The real estate company is ranked #1 by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in our market areas.  And, we are a top three company within the entire U.S. Midwest Region of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

Relationships & Referrals are Their Key to Success

The future success of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is based on maintaining their reputation of honesty and professionalism when representing clientele, according to broker Laura Freeman, who also is the president of the Evergreen Park Chamber of Commerce. Another critical point, Freeman said, is remaining focused on the communities where the brokers work and live. In fact, the company’s motto is “Serving Our Community!”

The best compliment the company can receive is a referral from past clients to their family and friends. “Trusting us to help the people that mean the most to them makes for a successful relationship,” Freeman said. “We truly appreciate these referrals from community members. Please keep them coming!”