New Business Blooms on Walden Parkway 

By Brittany Wiley 
BAPA Business Liaison 

On July 11, Oak & Bloom celebrated the grand opening of their boutique at 9909 S. Walden Pkwy.  Step inside their captivating space to find a meticulously curated collection of vintage home décor by Angelina Schmelling accompanied by stunning stems thoughtfully arranged for you inhouse by floral designer Erin Cox. 

You may be familiar with Erin Cox Designs, a local staple who focused on designing floral arrangements for homes and events as well as for outdoor and seasonal plantings.  Her style is based on the “free flowing design of a stem and adding in texture and novelty flowers and accents.”  This process allows her offerings to stand apart from other bouquets and designs.   

With a background in luxury styling, it is no wonder Cox’s customers have said “her eye for styling and design [is] unmatchable.” She has worked for top productions houses and retail stores in Chicago and the North Shore, and was commissioned to design for top event planners in Chicago, LA and even as far as Hawaii.   

Cox is now back in school for a Landscape Design certificate and planning on continuing her education in sustainability in agriculture. She is taking her first shot at growing her own flowers to cut and sell in the store. Her love for texture in nature shows in her floral works of art. 

Angelina Schmelling began her journey toward this collaboration working for Rachel Ashwell.  She managed Ashwell’s store, Shabby Chic, in Chicago then in interim manager positions in New York, San Francisco and Malibu.   

Schmelling created lasting relationships with her clients and, once she moved on from Ashwell’s company, they reached out to her for their home décor needs.  A design consultation business grew from there.   

Schmelling began collecting vintage pieces for her projects and created Starling Vintage & Home Décor.  For the past decade, she managed a successful e-commerce website along with local home and theatrical rentals while continuing interior design.   

These two women are longtime friends who have always wanted to open a store together.  Their admiration for each other’s style and work ethic made that an easy decision.  But why open during a global pandemic?  Both said COVID redesigned their business models.   

Schmelling’s design business began to take on smaller projects, which she was able to tackle through Zoom.  This freed up time for her to focus on the home décor portion of her business.  And Cox saw some of her biggest sales in floral deliveries during COVID.  She equates this to people having a “new look into humanity” and finding ways to “make other people smile” through the difficult times.  

Once a storefront became available in their desired location, they jumped on the opportunity. “This Beverly Station shopping area is an established destination thanks to the existing businesses here and on 99th and Wood, and the neighbors are so welcoming, popping in almost every day during the build out,” Schmelling said. “This whole process has been a beautiful experience and we are grateful for the positive reception we have received.” 

Stop into Oak & Bloom, open Tues. through Sun.and experience their sustainable, equitable and beautiful floral and home design. Take a sneak peek into their gorgeous style and space and follow their story on Facebook at Oak & Bloom and Instagram @oakandbloomchicago. 

Business Update 

By Brittany Wiley 

Welcome Andre Erving and Erving’s Companies, LLC. Erving started this brand in 2017, and it is the foundation for many other companies. Their goal is to help individuals and businesses succeed. Erving’s Training & Consulting provides Freight Broker Training & Consulting services for those who are interested in joining the logistics industry. The training course is one week, after training, students are placed with a brokerage to exercise what they learned. Erving’s Connect Logistics provides full service brokerage services to the logistics industry, including full and LTL truckload services, specialized services and rail services.  

Byron Wooten opened 1-800 WATER DAMAGE of South Side Chicago because of a passion for helping customers when they’re in a home or commercial property emergency. “We have top of the line equipment that’s designed to achieve the best results possible when dealing with any home restoration project,” Wooten said. “We offer competitive pricing for direct bill services and will work directly with insurance companies. Our focus is on quality with every service that 1-800 WATER DAMAGE offers.” The company openly communicates the customers about what’s their projects and works to ensure 100% satisfaction. . 

Beverly Dry Goods Brings South Side Pride to Walden  

By Brittany Wiley 
BAPA Business Liaison 

Mary Bujwid and her fiancé Jason Moss have been bringing South Side-inspired wares to the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood since January 2019.  Through their hard work and the support of the community, they will open Beverly Dry Goods bricks-and-mortar on Thurs., July 2 at 9915 S. Walden Pkwy (formerly occupied by Capsule).   

“I truly feel that there is nowhere else in the city where we would be as successful as we’ve been in such a short time.  This community makes Beverly Dry Goods possible, and we feel a large sense of responsibility to provide them with products they can be proud to wear, use in their home, or give as gift,” said Bujwid. 

In 2017, Bujwid and Moss moved to Beverly/Morgan Park.  They were drawn to the “clear sense of community” when they previously drove through on Moss’s motorcycle.  Bujwid explained that it was easy to tell, even just passing through, because “everyone smiled and waved, neighbors chatted in the street, families played in yards, [and] there were beautiful homes wonderfully kept and restored.”  They knew they wanted this for themselves. 

Bujwid grew up in retail and always wanted to open her own shop. After moving here, she was inspired.  She found her why. “No one was celebrating how special this neighborhood and the people are, so I decided to take that on,” Bujwid said 

Bujwid and Moss have created a hyperlocal line of candles, apparel and accessories with names that represent the neighborhood, “Walden,” “Longwood” and “Frunchroom,” to name a few.  They will be expanding their line to include beard balm, room sprays and diffusers.  

Dog treats will be making their way into the store shortly following the opening (their line is delayed due to COVID closures) to accompany the bandanas they’ve created for our furry friends.  The store will not only carry items for your pet, but it will also be dog friendly.    

Their desire to be pet friendly was not only inspired by their dog and the number of families with dogs in the community, but also because Bujwid had a vision for the store  “to be interwoven into the daily lives of customers and not just a place to go and grab something.”  She wants to be a spot for people to gather, to hang out, to feel at home.   

Support your neighbors and South Side pride at the new Beverly Dry Goods location on Walden or online at Follow their journey on Instagram @beverlydrygoods and 

City Grange Plans May 9 Opening

The opening of the new City Grange location at 1818 W. 99th St. has been delayed by the pandemic, but hopes are they customers will be welcoming them to the neighborhood in spring.

The company has ramped up its website and restocked its inventory to offer shoppers flowering plants and herb, vegetable and fruit plant accompanied with online education – items that are on the top of the request list.

City Grange is bundling complete garden kits and online classes together to help anyone be successful. Online classes are taught by City Grange gardening pros, and are interactive, so students can ask questions.
Because growing our own food more top-of-mind right now, City Grange is offering a wide selection of certified organic herbs, fruit and vegetable plants online for safe curb-side pick-up at their north side store or delivery anywhere in Chicago.

City Grange also offers a range of products from organic potting soils and composts, as well as containers of all shapes and sizes for decks, porches, patios and yards. Shop online at

Biz Spotlight: Two Mile Coffee Bar Plans Second Location 

By Kristin Boza

Two Mile Coffee Bar, 1766 W. 95th St., revolutionized the 95th Street Metra train station for a unique family-operatecoffee experienceCreated and co-owned by Nate and Sonia Hollister and Gretta and Patrick DertingerTwo Mile is ready to expand to a second location in the space previously occupied by B-Sides Coffee + Tea, 9907 S. Walden Pkwy.  

B-Sides Coffee + Tea recently closed when its owners moved to another state. However, the attractive location on the Metra Rock Island line aligned with Two Mile’s branding to enhance the train commute for local residents, and provide a welcoming space to enjoy coffee and entertainment. 

Co-owner Sonia Hollister said she expects to open the second location in April. “Kevin and Karen [previous owners of B-Sides Coffee + Tea] built a strong foundation at 99th and Walden Parkway. The timing was right for us to expand into that existing space and make it our own,” she said.  

Customers can expect a similar feel to the branding and design of the new location, as well as of course enjoying plenty of Intelligentsia coffee expertly crafted by Two Mile’s coffee design team.  

Hollister said that they may expand their hours at the second location, and will utilize the outdoor space to bring musical guests and other entertainment that they’ve featured at the 95th Street location to Walden Parkway.  

“The response from the community has been overwhelming! We are so excited to have the support of our customers and the other businesses on Walden,” Hollister said. “We can’t wait to bring our coffee to Walden.” 

Two Mile has weathered the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic and offers mobile orders and curbside delivery. To place a mobile order, visit them at or call 773-614-8115. 



Barre it All Offering Mom and Child Yoga 

By Kristin Boza 

Yoga is known as an amazing workout and stress reliever, for both adults and children. Barre it All Fitness, 3202 W. 111th St., introduced Mother/Child Yoga classes to help moms connect with their children while engaging in a fitness practice that promotes mind/body wellness. Children should be at least five years old, or able to handle staying in a designated area for close to an hour, to participate with their moms in the class. 

“The benefits of offering a class for moms and their children are endless, with the biggest benefit being connection,” said Kelly Lucio, founder of Barre It All. “We live in a world where we are constantly distracted by electronics; this class gives parents and their children an opportunity to disconnect from the world for a full 50 minutes.” 

Lucio got the idea for mother/child yoga classes from her cousin, who posted the idea to Moms of Beverly and Moms of Mt. Greenwood Facebook pages to gauge interest. More than 100 moms said they would love to see a mom/child yoga option in the community. 

“This concept really took off in our community and spun into classes for birthday parties, sports teams, and Brownie troops,” Lucio said. “All of the classes and parties have been a positive experience for all. 

Mindfulness is a big part of yoga, and especially in the stressful times our country is experiencing now, participating in yoga will benefit moms and kids in numerous ways.  

“We teach participants about the power of your breath. No matter how crazy life gets, we can always come back to our breath!” Lucio said. “Meditation and mindfulness have real benefits and can reduce both stress and anxiety, which are both things that adults and children can suffer from. By teaching these techniques early on to children and teens, they become more resilient and we are better equipped to handle the potential challenges that life throws at them.” 

Lucio hopes to be back in the studio in April. However, if the studio must still be closed due to the “stay at home” directive, she intends to live stream the mother/child yoga classes online. Stay informed and follow them on Instagram (Barre_It_All_LLC_Fitness) and Facebook ( 

“The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. To see moms hold hands with their children in poses or during shivasana (a mindfulness practice), just warms my heart!” Lucio said. 

To sign up, visit To schedule a private event, email Kelly Lucio at 



Biz Spotlight: Keir Foot & Ankle Specialists 

By Kristin Boza 

Spring is nearly here, followed soon after by sandal weather. Now is the time to address foot and ankle issues that have been put off over the winter to ensure healthy feet, especially in time for the Ridge Run 

Keir Foot & Ankle Specialists, 11628 S. Western, opened in Sept. 2019, and is owned and operated by Dr. Whitney Castle, DPM, a life-long Beverly/Morgan Park resident, and Dr. Sabrina Landers, DPM. The podiatrists offer a full-spectrum of foot and ankle care, including sports injuries, diabetic foot care, custom orthotics, gout, bunions, tendonitis, ankle sprains and pain, ingrown toenails, warts, flat feet and more.  

The doctors seek to promote the health and well-being of the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood communities by providing high-quality and accessible podiatric care to address the foot and ankle needs for patients of all ages.  

“We are comprehensive podiatrists who are trained surgeons for conditions of the foot and ankle, and specialize in sports medicine and wound care,” Landers said. It’s been a whirlwind six months for us in the area. Other small businesses and our neighbors have reached out to offer support. We look forward to serving this community for many years to come, and we can’t wait to take part in the upcoming community events in 2020!” 

“Local physicians have been really supportive [as the practice gets started],” Castle said. “I grew up in Morgan Park, went to St. Barnabas and St. Ignatius, and my sister and parents all live nearby. This is one of the few areas of the city where you still find multiple generations of a family; there is a tight-knit community feel here that you don’t’ find in other parts of the city. I wanted our practice to be a part of the community and become a household name.” 

Drs. Landers and Castle have built their patient base on physician referrals, insurance company referrals, and advertising. Potential patients can contact Keir Foot & Ankle Specialists to determine if they need a referral from their insurance company. All major insurances are accepted. Find out more at or call 773-941-4040. 

Keir Foot & Ankle Specialists is a BAPA Business Member.