At Vessels of the Paut Neteru, Far South CDC Marketplace vendor, people can buy a variety of African art, jewelry, figures and other items. Credit: Maia McDonald/Block Club Chicago

PULLMAN — Southeast Side businesses are gearing up for one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year.

In Roseland, Pullman and East Side, business owners, makers and artists are selling candles, menswear, home decor, photography packages, books and more. With new businesses like the Pullman Club Coffee Shop and the Far South CDC Marketplace as well as local creatives that call the area home, there are plenty of spots to shop on the Far South Side, both online and in person.

Check out these local businesses and artists:


Left to right: Joseph Johnson, founder of Mr. Dad’s Fathers’ Club; Jurema Gorham, founder of Burst Into Books; and Angel Lofton of Angel’s Touch create activity bags at the LaTanya & the Youth of Englewood Youth Center April 5. Credit: Provided

Burst Into Books, 11001 S. Michigan Ave. Website.

Find books of all kinds at Jurema Gorham’s Burst Into Books bookstore, home to her literacy nonprofit of the same name. Featured books on the shop’s website include black history, healthy living, mental health and more. 

The Roseland bookstore also serves as a community center that hosts book drives, literacy fests, a book club, after-school programs and other events.

Burst Into Books is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 312-970-9551.

The Aloe Shoppe, 117 E. 95th St., Website 

The family-run Aloe Shoppe continues a decades-long tradition of bringing natural ingredients like Aloe Vera to remedy dry skin, digestion problems and more to the South Side.

Stay soft and supple this winter with hair butters, moisture-rich creams and other products.

Spa Skin care sets ($60) are 10 percent off for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Suit jackets for sale in Edwards Fashions, 11363 S. Michigan Ave., in the Roseland community on Feb. 8, 2022. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Edwards Fashions, 11363 S. Michigan Ave.

A community staple run by Roseland native Ledall Edwards, Edwards Fashions has been the source of menswear fashion and accessories for years. Edwards, who took over the store from his father, sells everything from suit jackets and shoes to hats and coats, at a range of prices. 

Edwards Fashions is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. 773-928-6130.

Iesha Malone set up her Rose Café in her classroom at Chicago Collegiate Middle School, 11816 S. Indiana Ave., in Roseland on Feb. 7, 2022. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Rose Cafe, online. Website.

While Roseland native Iesha Malone works to establish a physical location for her Rose Cafe bookstore in the Roseland neighborhood, you can shop for books at her online bookstore. Many of Malone’s offerings focus on race, history and other important subjects.

Malone hopes to promote literacy, education and peace through her bookstore, which hosts community events throughout the year.

Books for sale on the Rose Cafe website include Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall ($14.88-$24.18) and The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation by Natalie Y. Moore ($18.60). There are also kids’ books like The Dory Series by Abby Hanlon and The Last Kid on Earth Series by Max Brallier.

Rose Cafe also sells merchandise, including T-shirts, hoodies, hats, tote bags and mugs, as well as gift cards. 

Old Fashioned Donuts owner Burrit L. Bulloch in 2019. Credit: Facebook/Old Fashioned Donuts

Old Fashioned Donuts, 11248 S. Michigan Ave.

For over 50 years, Roseland’s Old Fashioned Donuts has sold hot and fresh donuts, apple fritters and other sweet treats. While they may not keep if you wrap and put them under the tree, why not grab a dozen to share with your loved ones sometime this holiday season?

Old Fashioned Donuts is open 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 773-995-7420. Facebook.


Universe of Harth, online. Website

Universe of Harth, a Pullman-based candle and fragrance brand began during the pandemic as a project by owner Andrea Harth. It has since grown into a full-grown business you can shop this holiday season for your loved ones.

“What I found with the creation of these fragrance products was that it was providing an emotional need for people,” Harth told Block Club Chicago last year. “I was able to connect with others through fragrance at a time when we were locked in our houses not able to really interact with people.”

Harth sells fragrance bundles ($42-$60), candles in a variety of scents ($40), and universal sprays ($32). She recommends Denim, a scent that’s available both as a spray and a candle and can be layered with other fragrances.

For those who like homey and warm scents, there’s House and Harth, and for those who like light and grounding scents, there’s Human.

An exhibit in the Pullman National Monument during its grand opening on Sept. 3, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Pullman National Historical Park, 610 E. 111th St. Website.

The Pullman National Historical Park has welcomed droves of history buffs since opening in 2021. After visiting, it might be a good idea to check out its souvenir shop, where you’ll find Pullman-themed books, mugs, games and other fun items. 

Pullman National Historical Park is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 773-468-9310.

A mural on the back of the Historic Pullman Foundation Share Exhibit Hall. Credit: Provided

Historic Pullman Foundation Exhibit Hall, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Website.

Run by the Historic Pullman Foundation, the exhibit hall sells several Pullman-related souvenirs and gifts. There is also an extensive exhibit with original Pullman artifacts and videos that detail life in the historic South Side neighborhood. Volunteers can answer history questions or recommend gifts to get your loved ones.

The exhibit hall is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 773-785-8901.

An artist spray paints a piece during the PullmanArts and Culture Fest in 2021. Credit: Oscar Sanchez

PullmanArts and Block House Gallery, 11137 S. Langley Ave. Website.

Many Pullman-based artists sell their work through the PullmanArts website, run by the Block House Art Gallery. There are stickers, T-shirts, pins and prints, plus PullmanArts memberships ($25) for the students and seniors in your life. PullmanArts family memberships are $60.

Megan Krout’s “Welcome To Pullman” print is $15 while Joyo’s “Samurai” print will cost $30.

Block House Art Gallery is open noon-6 p.m. Thursdays and noon-2 p.m. Saturdays. You can also shop on the PullmanArts website.

The Far South CDC Marketplace, which launched last November and was initially supposed to end in May, was extended until Dec. 23, 2023, due to new grant support. Credit: Maia McDonld/Block Club Chicago

Far South CDC Marketplace,  837 W. 115th St. Website.

The Far South CDC Marketplace gives several South Side small businesses the opportunity to sell their products in person. From medical scrubs to African home decor, art, candles, accessories and more, there are plenty of unique gifts to be found.

Businesses that have sold at the marketplace include Chic T Boutique, Cosmic Creole and Max Candle Co. They were joined this summer by Aries Rising, Body and Soul Experience, Belans Scrub Line Collection, Javez Java Coffee Roastery and Vessels of the Paut Neteru. All will be at the West Pullman location through Dec. 23.

Pauline Sylvain-Lewis, owner of Max Candle Co., is selling her products at the marketplace while she works to open a brick-and-mortar location. Like many of the businesses at the marketplace, you can shop for her products online or in person.

Sylvain-Lewis recommends her candle-making kits ($75) and holiday bags ($25-$35) which will be available starting Dec. 1. Max Candle Co., name for Sylvain-Lewis’ late brother, also sells gift certificates, a Relax and Renew Box ($45) and other candle-related items. 

The Far South CDC Marketplace is open noon-6 p.m. daily. 773-831-7107.

Pullman resident Angela Turner was inspired to create her jewelry and reversible bags by the crafting she did as a teenager and a career working with ancient jewelry at the Field Museum. Credit: Provided

Speak You by Angela Turner 

Pullman resident Angela Turner sells original handmade jewelry and bags. Her work is inspired by her love of crafting that began as a teenager and the ancient jewelry she saw during her previous career at the Field Museum.

Turner’s necklaces range from $20-$60 and her reversible bags are $25-$40.

Turner plans to open an Etsy shop. Until then, those interested in Turner’s pieces can email her at

Band ToGGether. Website, Instagram.

Pullman resident Garrett C. Jones is the brains behind Band ToGGether, which sells mugs featuring his art. 

The business is named for Jones and his brother Gavin, who both have Pelizaeus Merzbacher Disease, a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Jones had participated in an art therapy course while in a transition program at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education after high school, according to the Band ToGGether website. What started as a way for Jones to share his art has grown into a business. 

Band ToGGether sells 11-ounce mugs ($30) and 15-ounce mugs ($35) featuring Jones’ art, which he creates using a computer and a wheelchair joystick. 

An interior library of One Florence Boulevard, home of the Pullman House Project. Credit: Pullman House Project

Pullman House Project and Club Coffee Shop, 605 E. 111th St. Website, Facebook.

The Pullman House Project welcomes visitors into historic Pullman homes for tours, where they can learn about what life was like for the train car company’s workers.

If there’s someone in your life whose been waiting for a chance to check out the Pullman neighborhood, or who missed the annual Pullman House Tours in October, you might consider buying them tickets to the Pullman House Project ($20).

They can also visit the accompanying Pullman Club Coffee, which, like the house project, is run by the Bielenberg Historic Pullman House Foundation. It serves coffee, espresso, lattes, hot chocolate and other beverages, plus biscotti, scones, muffins and other baked goods. 773-397-3022.

East Side

The Valentine’s Day gift set offers a sampling of Toci, La Diosa’s product line, including soap, body butter and more. Credit: Toci, La Diosa

Toci, La Diosa, 3656 E. 106th St. Website

In 2021, East Side resident Ines Ornelas opened Toci, La Diosa, a space where Southeast Side residents could find unique, handmade goods made by their neighbors.

Toci, La Diosa, which started as an Etsy shop, sells an array of items from East Side small businesses — from body care items to candles, clothing, accessories and more made by her and other East Side natives. The shop also serves as a community space for workshops, pop-ups, meetings and other events. 

“At one point, I had over 30 businesses that were part of Toci, La Diosa. They’re all makers and artists,” Ornelas said. “They create their own items, and I give them space to showcase their merchandise. … It’s been a wonderful journey.”

You can shop from Toci, La Diosa online or in person 3:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays, noon-6 p.m. Tuesdays, 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, noon-8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. 773-516-9459.

East Side photographer Vanessa Bly offers photo sessions for weddings, birth announcements, portraits, quinceañeras and more. Credit: Provided

Vanessa Bly Photography, Website.

East Sider Vanessa Bly channeled her love of photography as a young girl into a thriving career making portraits and family photos and shooting weddings, quinceañeras and other events.

This holiday season, Bly thinks booking her for a family photo session would be a great gift for those wanting to capture their memories in a tangible way.

“A lot of the time there’s pictures of family and mom’s not in it or dad’s not in it, right? Someone always has to take them. … For me to capture moments where you’re interacting with your kids and you get to be in the photos, I think that’s so precious,” Bly said. 

Customers can book a 45-minute photo session ($225) or a 20-minute photo session ($120), or Bly can customize sessions. She also offers gift certificates for those wanting to gift a session to their loved ones.

Those interested in booking Vanessa can contact her on her website or Instagram.

Luna’s Enlightenment LLC, 2959 E. 88th St. Facebook.

Luna’s Enlightenment LLC is a metaphysical supply shop based in South Chicago and owned by Luna Arielle. The Southeast Side native specializes in candle art and spiritual goods, including bath salts and body scrubs. Arielle launched Luna’s Enlightentment LLC after she broke her arm and underwent a spiritual awakening in 2021, she said.

Since then, Arielle has gone from selling her products at pop-up events and Toci, La Diosa to opening her South Side shop, which sells three holiday packages and products ranging from $3-$25.

Arielle is working on a website and online shop. For now, people can shop in- person at her store.

Luna’s Enlightenment, LLC. is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. 773-502-9638,

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