Know Your Neighbors: Kevin & Karen O’Malley

By Kristin Boza

Community Involvement with a Splash of Coffee

Kevin and Karen O’Malley made a huge splash on the neighborhood small business scene when they opened B-Sides Coffee + Tea, 9907 S. Walden Pkwy., last summer. The family moved to Beverly/Morgan Park three years ago and are raising their children, Cassidy, 2 and Aiden, 6 weeks, in a neighborhood that they’re committed to contributing to.

“We chose to move to Beverly because it’s close to downtown, it’s a supportive community, and there are many beautiful homes and young families like ours,” Karen said. “The thing we like best about living here is definitely the people. Everyone is so friendly and it is a true sense of community.”

Eager to get out and walk with their stroller, the O’Malleys realized how important amenities are to a neighborhood.

“We want Beverly to be the best neighborhood possible; we thought the shops at 99th and Walden provided the perfect location for a coffee shop. It is convenient for commuters, parents dropping their kids off at school, salon customers, and those wanting to work away from the office,” Karen said.

For the O’Malleys, the location also had some special perks.

“The advantage to working so close to home is being close to the kids, as well as shorter days since there is no commute,” Karen said. “With our daughter at All Day Montessori, across the street from our shop, it is very convenient to drop her off and pick her up before and after work.”

The O’Malleys take pride in showcasing their inviting atmosphere, friendly staff, and quality food and drinks at B-Sides. The shop also offers an extensive collection of vinyl records, so customers can enjoy great music while caffeinating. Karen says their customers are eager to enjoy their Instant Karma latte (made of dark chocolate and caramel), pistachio muffins from Iversen’s Bakery in Blue Island and Turmeric Ginger herbal tea. B-Sides Coffee + Tea is a BAPA Business Member.

In addition to contributing to the build-up and buzz around 99th and Walden, B-Sides will be making appearances at the 95th Street Farmers Market this summer, selling coffee and 12 ounce bags of Metropolis beans to brew at home. For and hours, call 773-629-6001.