Business Success Stories


Chestnut Court Books before it was renamed the Book Stall, c. 1960s

The Book Stall

Chestnut Court Books first opened in 1940. In 1981, Roberta Rubin, an unwavering book lover and savvy entrepreneur, purchased the shop and, a few years later, renamed it “The Book Stall.” Watch this video to learn more about the history of the Book Stall HERE, and read this Chicago Tribune Q&A with Roberta to find out how she set her book business up for long-term success. Read HERE!

Charles Variety

Charles Variety was open on Elm Street in Winnetka for an impressive 36 years. To learn more about the history of this beloved shop, watch this short video hosted by Winnetkan Mike Leonard that aired on NBC News the year that Charles Variety closed. Watch HERE!

Charles Variety shop, c. 1975

Indian Trail Restaurant

Owners of the Indian Trail Restaurant, 1988

For many Winnetkans, mention of the Indian Trail Restaurant brings back fond memories of delicious meals with good friends. On the national stage, however, the restaurant briefly gained notoriety as the temporary workplace of James Earl Ray, the man who killed Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. Learn how Ray lied his way into the restaurant’s employ and more about the Indian Trail Restaurant’s long legacy in Winnetka. Click HERE!

Vose Bootery

Vose Bootery, 2020

Vose Bootery first opened its doors in Evanston in 1922. After decades of success, the family-run retailer opened a second location in Winnetka in the 1940s. While the shop sadly closed in 2015, many Winnetkans have fond memories of this longstanding business. Watch this video by Mike Leonard of his granddaughter getting her first pair of shoes at Vose Bootery. Watch HERE!


Conney’s Pharmacy

Conney’s Pharmacy, c. 1939

Conney’s Pharmacy first opened in 1937 and is currently one of Winnetka’s oldest businesses. For Conney’s, the secret to success has been a strong commitment to serving the Winnetka community. Three years after opening, a fire destroyed their building. Leo and Celia Conney were so committed to serving the community that they found a way to reopen within 10 days.

Learn more about this business’s long history of commitment to its customers. Read HERE!

Eckart Hardware, c. 1920

Eckart Hardware

Julius Frederick Eckart moved to Winnetka in 1910 and quickly recognized the need for a hardware supplier in the Village. After launching a successful painting business, he opened the first Eckart Hardware store in 1915 on Elm Street. The store went on to become Winnetka’s longest-running family business. Learn more about the 3 generations of Eckarts that ran this successful store. Learn more HERE!

L&A Stationers

L&A Stationers was started in 1937 by two ambitious Winnetka women – Dot Landry (L) and Ruth Anselm (A). After working at the shop in high school, Winnetka Geoff Fox bought into the business and worked there for many years. Read more about Geoff’s recollections of this historic business. Read HERE!

Interior of L&A Stationers, c. 1960s