Do the continental: Karen Morava, Careful Peach co-owner, brings an easy vibe to her elegant shop which features a European flavor. (Timothy Inklebarger/Staff)

Careful Peach started in a small storefront on Harrison Street, moved to Downtown Oak Park in 2009 and, then, this month, doubled its size when it took over the storefront next door to its North Boulevard location.
The carefully curated shop is modeled after a Parisian department store, said Karen Morava, the co-owner. True to that, the shop’s slogan is “Celebrate the Art of European Living.” And now at 2,000 square feet it is starting to gain the expanse of a larger store. Morava is expanding its offerings of tableware, linens, jewelry and other unique housewares.
“We’re always finding great stuff, and we wanted an opportunity to showcase it in not such a tight space,” she said.
Morava, always approachable and enthusiastic, said that among the categories getting a notable expanded space are the gourmet food products the store offers, including jams, jellies, nuts, toffee and other craft foods.
“We’ve pretty much doubled what we’ve done as far as food goes,” she said. “We really went out of our way to find things that are not shown or sold anywhere.”
The majority of the shop’s sales are tabletop dishes, glassware and linens, she said.
She said the store, located at 1024 North Blvd., has been in business about a decade.
Morava said operating off the main drag of Lake Street or Marion has posed some challenges, noting that customers still come in “on a daily basis saying, ‘How long have you been here?'”
“It was kind of a slow start,” when the shop first opened, she said. “There are a lot of people who don’t turn the corner down Marion Street from Lake Street.”
As for the name, Morava said it’s a combination of her nickname for her husband and co-owner Peter and herself.
“We’ll be married 20 years this October,” she said.

Art dans la Rue festival comes to Oak Park

    A little bit of France will come to downtown Oak Park next week when the sidewalks along Marion Street between Lake and North boulevards are transformed into a European-style street festival.
    The festival will feature exhibits by local artists, French musical acts and France-inspired food and activities. Kids can get in on the fun with artistic face painting, a wandering mime and animal ambassador Mindy the Monkey. A sidewalk art contest will give residents a chance to win $100. The event runs from 12-9 p.m.
    For more information: www.downtownoakpark.net/special_pages/adlr.html.

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