Check out these unusual and inventive stores around our area.
15 S. Third St., Geneva, (630) 402-0444, haveninteriorsltd.com
This full-service interior design firm delivers a professional staff equipped with the expertise to transform any room into a work of art.
Bridget Carroll and Donna Sweet launched Haven Interiors in Milwaukee 12 years ago, after they branched off from another design firm. They purchased a 100-year-old former furniture factory and built a professional interior design studio inside.
Building off their expertise and local connections, Carroll and Sweet found success and began searching for a second market outside Milwaukee.
After looking at numerous locations, the pair fell in love with Geneva.
The new, larger showroom/studio carries a variety of modern furnishings, fabrics and home accents. Haven distinguishes itself from other retailers by carrying numerous brands and providing professional designers who can tie together the many elements of a room.
The bright and airy Geneva showroom has several display models, including a loft bedroom that overlooks the main showroom.
“When we get involved in a project, it’s not about just selling furniture,” Sweet says. “It’s about creativity and creating a beautiful space for our clients.”
Hours: Mon.-Wed., Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thurs. to 7 p.m., Sat. to 5 p.m.
Anderson’s Candy Shop
10301 N. Main St., Richmond, (888) 214-7614; 128 E. Main St., Barrington, (847) 304-7985 andersonscandyshop.com
Arthur Anderson started making his own sweets in 1919 when he left a Chicago candy maker to set up his own shop. After seven years he relocated to Richmond and began selling candies out of his front porch and living room.
Arthur’s Richmond house is still the epicenter for his candymaking descendants, who still use Arthur’s recipes, little changed over the decades.
About 60 percent of the regular crowd first visited Anderson’s in their youth, says manager Katie Anderson-Tedder, Arthur’s great-granddaughter.
“Whenever there are kids in the shop, I’m always sure to treat them especially well, because at one point, many of our customers now in their 50s and 60s were standing in this shop as kids themselves, and they kept coming back,” Katie says.
Anderson’s was rated the best chocolate in North America by Reader’s Digest in 1996; it’s also been recognized as the best in the nation by the L.A. Times, and it’s made frequent appearances in other publications.
Hours: Mon-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Open late during the holiday season.
J. Robert’s Menswear
17 S. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn, Wis., (262) 723-2610, jrobertsmenswear.com
For more than a century, this family-owned business has specialized in menswear for a variety of occasions and body styles.
Whether you’re looking for a sharp suit, a tasteful collared shirt or some casual sportswear, J. Robert’s Menswear reflects the latest trends.
“There’s a common preconception that small-town shops don’t stay up-to-date on fashion trends, so a lot of people come in and are surprised by the new designer clothing we carry,” says Jim Schoberg, who owns the store with wife Marilyn.
Many J. Robert’s customers arrive from areas like Chicago and Rockford, but Jim recalls a time he received a call from someone in Manhattan who was looking for a shirt that couldn’t be found in New York. Sure enough, it was at J. Robert’s.
Though it’s evolved over the years, this store has been selling men’s clothing since the late 1800s. The Schobergs purchased the business in 1983 and were joined by their son, Jacob, in 2013.
Employees are trained tailors, and they provide personalized alterations quickly on-site.
Tuxedo rentals are available.
Hours: Mon.-Wed. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Thur.-Fri. to 7 p.m., Sat. to 5 p.m.
Town & Country Gardens
790 S. Randall Road, Algonquin, (847) 658-3181, tncgardens.com. Also in Geneva, Elgin and Bartlett.
This family-owned florist and its beautiful flower arrangements have been brightening up special occasions for more than 50 years.
“Our primary focus is on fresh-cut flowers and the occasions that go with it,” says Laurel Engelmann, co-owner. “We also sell green plants and giftware as well.”
The business began in 1962 as a wholesale greenhouse that specialized in raising cut flowers, bedding plants and vegetables that were then sold to other retail flower shops.
“The retail side of the business grew, and we ended up finding our niche,” says Engelmann.
What separates this floral shop from others in the area, she adds, is the ever-changing variety of flowers available in the shop.
“We have an incredible variety of flowers, and they’re all fresh,” she says. “We don’t have anything in the shop for more than a week, so everything that comes in is new and fresh.”
The Algonquin location is one of four shops Engelmann is involved with. Nearly 25 suburban communities are served by locations at 219 Douglas Ave., Elgin; 216 W. State St., Geneva; 154 Bartlett Plaza, Barlett, and on Randall Road in Algonquin.
“There is always something new and stimulating about the business, and I enjoy it,” Engelmann says. “Most of the time, people come in for happy occasions, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. to 2 p.m.