Business is impacted by local construction

Nina Shearrill, Business manager

The Beautiful Beginnings Baby Donuts (BB’s Donuts) shop started as a small stand, open every Saturday morning. Over the last five years the shop has turned into a Western Springs favorite, even having been featured on Chicago’s Best. However, as the construction on Lawn Avenue progresses, the restaurant is not meeting its projected sales due to decreased accessibility.

“The way the construction is configured, it is really a deterrent for anyone coming into the store,” owner and founder Debby Feiler said. “It’s hurting us a lot. I am having to do a lot of physical work and I am not seeing much benefit.”

The projected annual sales for 2018 were expected to increase 34 percent from the 2017 sales, Feiler said. Currently, sales are slightly under the projection, with their new figure set at 26 percent. However, this year’s September sales have increased 14 percent and October’s has increased 19 percent, from last year’s.

“That is still good, don’t get me wrong, but I know we could have exceeded that 34 percent if we had not had such major construction right in front of our shop,” Feiler said. “God willing we can pull that number back up to 34 percent using our December sales.”

Since the construction started, the Village of Western Springs has taken measures to attempt to help the situation; however it has not had much effect.

“The village actually did a really nice thing for me,” Feiler said. “I asked if they could find a way to let us sell donuts on the sidewalk, but they did us one better.”

After she inquired about a solution to the construction damaging foot traffic to the store, a representative of the village granted her permission to sell donuts and coffee in the train station at Western Springs. However, it does not make up for the loss of sales in her own shop.

“It is not going that well,” Feiler said. “I must get up at 4:15 a.m. to be done by 6:30 a.m. to open our shop. It was a really nice gesture though.”

Some of her employees have also noticed a change in the amount of customers they receive.

“We definitely have seen less customers coming in the last few weeks,” employee of three years, Jessica Santana, said. “The parking situation in front is really difficult with the construction.”

The construction was projected to be finished before Thanksgiving, Feiler said. Even without the curb appeal, many customers still come to visit.

“It was really hard to get in because all the sidewalks were blocked,” customer and LION art director Pilar Valdes ‘19 said. “It was difficult to navigate and to even see it, since it is such a small place, but the donuts were worth it.”

As of Saturday, Nov 24, construction has not been completed.