Brumm’s Bloomin’ Barn
Location: 2540 45th St., Highland
Jerry Brumm, co-owner of Brumm’s Bloomin’ Barn in Highland with his wife Nancy, says he feels lucky to have beaten the odds. “We’ve been around since 1970 and we’ve seen a lot of gift boutiques come and go. It’s tough to be a small business and we wish the others were still around.”
Their secret to long-term success? “We buy unique gifts that big box stores and other independent stores don’t have,” Brumm explains. “We have good quality merchandise at a good price and keep it fresh, new and well displayed.” The store carries gifts for the home and has expanded into other areas, including a wide selection of women’s clothing, jewelry and handbags.
Brumm also attributes his ability to withstand cyclical retail trends to the attentiveness, knowledge and friendliness of his sales staff. He notes that they are professional and always willing to assist customers in finding the perfect item.
Holidays at Brumm’s Bloomin’ Barn are usually celebrated with special events, giveaways, food samplings or a free gift with purchase. Most notable, says Brumm, is the Christmas Open House, held the first Sunday in November, which draws a multitude of customers into the store to see the array of holiday-themed merchandise. Throughout the year, Brumm’s hosts ladies’ nights and also offers a loyalty program that rewards customers with a percentage off of their purchase when they accumulate a required number of points.
Brumm says he stands by his store’s slogan: “Quality and service aren’t expensive . . . they’re priceless.”
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion
Location: 10630 Wicker Ave., St. John
Little Green Apple Hallmark
(formerly Maria’s Hallmark)
Locations: 923 Ridge Road, Munster; 10827 Broadway, Crown Point
Phone: 219-836-5025 (Munster), 219-661-0420 (Crown Point)