By Kristin Boza
Morgan and Kate Ciani had a circuitous route to their new home in Beverly/Morgan Park. Kate grew up on the South Side and was familiar with the area, while Morgan, who lived in San Diego before moving to Old Town, had never heard of this neighborhood before the couple and their daughter, four-year-old Isla, found their dream home here.
“During COVID, we decided to move to Florida, where Kate has family, to hole up in a spot with great weather while we worked remotely,” Morgan said. “We were looking for a home in San Diego, but the market was moving so fast that house-hunting became a part-time job. We ended up stumbling on our home, saw it during an open house, and fell in love with it and the neighborhood.” The Cianis moved into their new home in July.
Both Morgan and Kate are seeking ways to get more involved in the neighborhood and ensure its vibrancy for years to come. Morgan is a partner in a West Loop firm of business advisors who work with small business owners. Kate works on the corporate side with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
While shopping at one of their favorite shops, Oak & Bloom on 99th and Walden Pkwy., they met co-owner Erin Cox, who connected them with BAPA. Morgan was intrigued to learn more, especially after the family enjoyed their time at BAPA’s Garden Walk last summer.
“I told Erin that there are so many things I would love to be a part of to help the community. I read in The Villager about BAPA volunteer opportunities, and I had a conversation with Mary Jo [Viero] about how I can help,” Morgan said. Now, Morgan will utilize her small business expertise to help BAPA with strategy implementation to increase residential and business memberships, and she will work as a resource to help the local business community.
“I feel that this is such a tight-knit community and there are a ton of opportunities and resources that many business owners may not be aware of,” Morgan said. “I’m excited to open that lens up for business owners here.”
Kate is devoting her free time to finding fun activities for Isla and the family to participate in together, as well as finding kid-related opportunities for volunteering. She’s looking forward to being a part of the bigger community — the whole family enjoyed participating in their first Turkey Trot in November.
As for other neighborhood favorite places, all three get their hair done at Marlo Salon, and are excited to check out the vegan and vegetarian options at Beverly Bakery.
“The great things that everyone says about Beverly/Morgan Park have definitely been reflected in the short time we’ve been here,” Morgan said. “We’re enjoying hanging out in our yard and meeting new neighbors.”