Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jacksonville, Illinois and Just Good Trade

Most all of us know Hwy 36. Here in Kansas, it traces across the northern part of the state, as it does in Missouri—straight across.  Well, stay on that same highway on into Illinois and you will run right into Jacksonville.  Interestingly enough, the terrain and sights are about the same across two and a half states, farms. 

It’s not highway 36 that I really want to write about.  Rather, Just Good Trade.  JGT is the name of niece Amy Kay’s new business on the town square of Jacksonville.

JGT is a fair trade store.   As I understand the movement, it helps producers in developing countries get fair value for their wares, whether it is coffee, chocolate, jewelry, stone work, baskets, or clothing.  Amy Kay is an ordained minister, but felt leading a congregation full time would be hard with her young family.  She believes strongly in fair trade.  She began out of her home and when this storefront opened up recently, she jumped at it. 

Dan and I traveled on to Jacksonville from Weston, an easy 288 miles.  Amy Kay needed a little carpentry work done and Dan’s the man for that.  I helped with painting and her and Dane’s two charming boys.  Turns out, all I needed to do was put up the pickup camper and the boys took care of themselves.

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Amy Kay’s store is on the town square, I think in a perfect location.  First, the town square was recently entirely renovated.  The middle has the statue with lots of green.  The businesses around the square are viable, book store, barber shop, art glass, restaurants, an retro movie theater, not just antique and craft shops.  Jacksonville has the big box stores, but I can and did see local people coming to the downtown area to shop.  Jacksonville has two small colleges and lots of history.  I wonder if  people come through Jacksonville in route to Lincoln’s historical Springfield, on down the road only a half hour away. They should as Jacksonville is itself a destination with its historical district and huge beautiful homes. And Farris Wheel manufacturing plant.IMG_3453

I took this picture from the store’s front door.  Across the street to the picture’s left is the movie theater.  Further down the street to the left is a locally owned cafe.  Another two or three blocks left is Amy Kay’s husband Dane’s college, MacMurray College where he is athletic director. 

From her Facebook page, it looks like the soft opening went well today.  (Check it out and give her a like) I think the Grand Opening is next week.  All I know, Amy Kay is very excited about this project and we wish her the best.

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2 comments:

Pablo said...

There is a fair trade store in Overland Park that we visit often. It's a great place to get unique gifts.

amy kay said...

Geesh, Aunt Linda! Thanks for all of your help, a great post and for the fun postcard ;) I love the way you wandered home too! Dane and I spent a few days in Elsah seven years ago and I remember it well. Such lovely little towns... Thanks a million for everything!