Shop Small Challenge #300: Blue Box Cafe

As most of you are probably aware, Saturday was Small Business Saturday, a day meant to bring awareness to supporting our local small businesses. I have mixed emotions about this American Express event (interesting itself since many small businesses can’t afford the transaction fees charged by Amex). Obviously, supporting our local businesses is important for any- and every community- but they need our dedicated support more than one day a year.

We spent this past Saturday shuffling between ice rinks for my son’s hockey tournament: Bensenville to West Dundee. I’m not very familiar with either area, but since we had a few hours to kill between games, my daughter and I decided to take a little adventure trip searching for cool small shops.

blue boxGeneva would’ve been an obvious choice, but we’d never been downtown Elgin so we made that our lunch destination.

Unfortunately, like many smaller towns, too many of the stores were closed, but we did luck out and find the Blue Box Cafe.

Admittedly, the entire concept of this place was lost on us…I’ve never seen a single Doctor Who episode (wait- was it a tv show or a movie?) and really had no clue the significance of the Blue Police Box (though maybe that was in an episode of the Big Bang Theory).

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a Doctor Who fan to realize that they make a great sandwich!

My daughter and I split the Elgin Club made with Boar’s Head oven roasted turkey, roast beef and black forrest ham with applewood smoked bacon, Sriracha mayo, & pepper jack cheese served on toasted sourdough. Their sausage and corn chowder was perfect for the chilly weather.

I always love when small businesses support other local shops- Blue Box cafe serves local Two Brothers coffee and an exclusive blend from Metropolis Coffee Company.

blue box cafeWhile you might find “door buster deals” at huge chain stores, you’ll never match the customer service you find at small shops. The Blue Box Cafe employees were even suggesting other shops and towns for us to try before we had to be at the next rink.

It’s easy to get into a familiar rut; you’ll find chain fast food, stores, and restaurants wherever you go. But do yourself- and local businesses owners- a favor and step outside the box to shop small.

Blue Box Cafe
176 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL

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