70 Years of Scandinavian Heritage

November 15, 2017

The Gift Box Celebrates an Anniversary–We Celebrate it as Our OMEGA MVP

Gift Box Glögg

Where did I come from? What were my ancestors like? How can I connect with my genealogical roots?

America is a melting pot. In a time where just about everything is produced to the masses, finding unique, authentic items can seem like no easy task. For one shop in Geneva, Illinois, they’ve spent the past 70 years providing a wide range of Scandinavian giftware both locally, and across the States.

The daughter of Swedish immigrants, Edythe Anderson had a dream to open a store that would sell all the Scandinavian items she had loved so much. After years of saving and the end of WWII, Edythe was able to open her store. The Gift Box was established in 1947.

“The Chicagoland area attracted a very large population of Scandinavian immigrants beginning in the 1800’s,” Hans Jönsson, co-owner of The Gift Box said. “A large amount of them settled in the suburbs, particularly in the Fox River Valley.” And that’s just where Gift Box Lennarthis father ended up after emigrating from southern Sweden.

Lennart Jönsson began working at The Gift Box in 1954 and he was immediately an asset. His passion and expertise of Scandinavia and giftware mixed with his ability to connect with anyone he met made Lennart not only beloved, but the obvious choice when it came to time for Edythe to retire. Lennart took control of The Gift Box in 1984 where he continued to help the business grow and thrive.

To the people in Geneva, Lennart was known as the “Swedish Ambassador” of culture and tradition. To his children, Hans and Maria Jönsson, he was simply known as dad. “Dad had so many great stories about his life in Sweden,” Hans said. “We traveled back home dozens of times together, and he has definitely passed his passion on to us.” When Lennart passed away in 2013, Hans and Maria had two options. Hang an ‘out of business’ sign, or keep the legacy alive. Of course the decision was simple.

“When The Gift Box opened in 1947, there were many Swedish owned businesses in Geneva. Ours is the last one that remains.”

Now a ‘jewel’ in Geneva, The Gift Box has become the Fox Valley’s headquarters for authentic Scandinavian gifts and food. They’ve even outlasted dozens of Swedish owned businesses that were once spread throughout Chicago.

It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for because The Gift Box just about has it all. Items are imported from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Swedish Gift Box Me2handcrafts, wood carvings, ornaments, and candleholders are just among the few fan favorites. Hans still spends much of his time traveling in Sweden looking for antiques and new products to bring back, just as he did with his father.

Another customer favorite is the food. “As all of the Swedish Delicatessens in Chicago have now closed, many people know they can get everything they need for their Swedish Smorgasbord at our store,” Hans said. They have everything from Swedish ham, lutefisk, herring, lingonberries and more!

This week, The Gift Box is celebrating 70 years in business with their 70th Anniversary Sale! The celebration sale began  last Saturday, November 11 and runs through Wednesday, November 22. While you cannot buy directly through their website just yet (upcoming plans for 2018!), you can phone in your orders directly for purchase.


The Gift Box is open 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. They are located at 310 West State Street, Geneva, Illinois 60134. Check out some samples of what they sell at their website, keep updated with items and events through their Facebook Page, or stop on by for a total “in store experience” and to get back to your Scandinavian roots!

MVP logo

The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the merchants, vendors and partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. The Gift Box has been an OMEGA merchant since September 2015.

 


The History You Crave. The Convenience You Need.

October 25, 2017

Kirkwood Inn Celebrated as OMEGA MVP

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Nestled between Mason and Lebanon in Southwestern Ohio, you’ll discover the enchanting inn and centuries old colonial home that is Kirkwood Inn. This charming country inn, along with the on-site Kirkwood House offer a historic atmosphere, scenic landscapings and updated personal accommodations as a charming alternative to the everyday hotel chains.

Family owned and operated since 2002, Sandra and David Eves opened Kirkwood Inn after recognizing the home’s historical significance. They transformed the on-site 1970s-style roadside motel into a fully renovated 48-room country inn. Each morning, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast buffet in the Historic Kirkwood House.

kirkwood-inn-mason-ohio-3Built in 1799, Associate Judge Jacob D. Lowe opened his two story, colonial home as a farmhouse inn to accommodate travelers. The inn quickly became a routine stopping point for politicians like Congressman Henry Clay, traveling to and from Washington D.C.  Soon after, Postmaster William Kirkwood opened a post office at the farmhouse, saving locals a half day trip to pick up mail, and sealing the home’s spot in history.

Today, the Eves continue to restore many of the home’s original features, keeping the authenticity alive, yet updating to modern conveniences.

“The Inn is a wonderful family-owned alternative to large hotel chains,” Sandra Eves, owner of Kirkwood Inn said. “Where travelers seeking comfort, value and a historical atmosphere can come and enjoy their stay.”

Step outdoors to find six acres of scenic landscapekirkwood inn new-gazebo-couple where guests can stroll, sit, eat, or just be. Whether at their seasonal pool or brick patio, or at a covered picnic table or white gazebo, Kirkwood Inn’s park-like grounds are filled with places to go. Throughout their gardens and trails, you’ll find a wide variety of flowers and wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for a wedding venue, taking a family trip to Kings Island (just 2 ½ miles away!), or are in need of a couples getaway, Kirkwood Inn is one vacation you’ll never forget.

Kirkwood Inn has been the recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award since 2013. For more information on events, reservations or local attractions, visit www.kirkwoodinn.com or connect on Facebook for photos and updates. Kirkwood Inn is located at 4027 U.S. 42, Mason , Ohio 45040.

MVP LOGO

The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. Kirkwood Inn has been an OMEGA merchant since March 2005.


Covington Partners: Mentoring ONE Student, Changing TWO Lives

August 23, 2017

OMEGA MVP Making a Difference for Years to Come

Covington Partners Summer Program 2

“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” – Lady Bird Johnson

We’ve heard it said time after time–children are the future. But have you stopped to wonder just what we are doing to ensure that their (and our) future is bright? For one Covington, Kentucky organization, they’ve made the success of the local children and teens a priority from day one.

In 1999, the Covington community recognized that youth substance abuse and violence were becoming a problem that the schools could not address alone. At that time, Dr. Janice Wilkerson formed a cross-sector coalition to address these topics and Covington Partners in Prevention opened its’ doors.

Their Vision: Covington Partners envisions a future in which all Covington children realize the promise of their full potential.

It didn’t take long for the community to see the benefit of this work, lending more and more support from not just Covington, but the whole Northern Kentucky area. From businesses to schools, law enforcement entities and healthcare professionals, it was clear the success of the youth plays a direct role in the success of the region.

By 2001, Covington Partners in Prevention began a variety of mentoring programs, promoting mental and physical health, family strengthening, and staff training and support. In 2004, the organization became a registered 501 (c) 3 organization and by 2008, their name was officially changed to simply and inclusively, Covington Partners.

“While many youth serving organizations specialize in one activity or program areal, Covington Partners supports the whole child,” said Tom Haggard, Resource Development Coordinator at Covington Partners. “We know our students can achieve anything but they sometimes have barriers standing in their way. Our job is to help remove those barriers through programs designed to support academic achievement, youth development and family and community engagement.”

Covington Partners

Covington Partners programs includes before school, after school and summer learning out-of-school time programs, their one-on-one mentoring programs, a number of wellness initiatives and family engagement activities, and the Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP).

Mentoring

If you think Covington Partners will simply change the lives of the children, think again. In fact, the tagline of their mentoring program is ‘mentor ONE student, change TWO lives’. Whether it’s playing a game, filling out college applications, lending some advice or simply sharing a laugh, it’s easy to see the positive impact each mentor has with their student—but that impact goes both ways. “Any adult who has been through our mentoring program will tell you that they learn just as much, if not more than the student,” Tom said. “Lasting relationships are built, each unique and special in its own way.”

These relationships are highly impactful on students’ school attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.

Prevention

Another incredibly successful program Covington Partners offers is their Leadership and Resilience Program (LRP). LRP is an intensive substance abuse prevention program designed for ‘at risk’ adolescents and teens. The program consists of resiliency groups, community volunteer experiences, and adventure learning and focuses on three main areas: goal setting, positive coping skills, and healthy relationships. LRP works with short term goals, such as reduced school behavioral incidents, as well as long term goals like reduced substance usage and high school graduation/college enrollment or employment.

The success is all in the numbers. With a 95.6% retention rate, 100% of LRP participants have graduated or are on track to graduate high school. Even more, 99.2% of LRP Seniors have enrolled in a post-secondary institution or the military.

For Tom Haggard, there’s one moment each year he holds especially close—Graduation Day. “You watch student after student walk across that stage to get their diploma and know that the work we do each day has touched their life. The work that we do matters.”

Covington Partners Mission: Covington Partners works every day to keep our community moving forward by eliminating boundaries to learning and success. Through innovation and collaboration, we create safe and engaging environments for our students and families to learn and grow.

Covington Partners Values: We believe our students have the potential for greatness. We create safe and engaging learning environments. We believe that learning has no boundaries. We believe with the unwavering support of schools, families and the community, our students will succeed.

Get involved! To find out how you can join, mentor, or donate, go to their ‘Get Involved’ information section. Learn more about Covington Partners by visiting their website and liking them on Facebook. Covington Partners is located at 257 Pike Street, Covington, KY 41011.

MVP LOGO

The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. Covington Partners has been an OMEGA merchant since 2013.


So Much More Than a Music Store

May 17, 2017

Third Rock Music Center Rocks as our Latest OMEGA MVP

For some, the loss of a job can bring an uncertainty of what comes next, but for Gregg Gammon and Tony Colwell, that question never even crossed their mind.

TRMC Acoustic Aquarium

When a change in business strategies eliminated Gregg and Tony’s positions at their previous employers back in June of 2015, the two men, along with Gregg’s wife, Angela, decided it was time to take a leap of faith. They knew they wanted to continue servicing the local musical needs in Cincinnati, Ohio and just one month later, Third Rock Music Center opened its doors.

Third Rock Music Center offers the highest quality instruments and sound systems the industry offers, as well as, one on one lessons with the best teachers in Cincinnati. And while the quality of services they provide is always top of the line, what really sets TRMC apart is the vibe—the feeling you get when you walk through the door. “Did you ever see the show ‘Friends’?” Angela asked, “Many customers come in and sit around the counter just hanging out. Sometimes an impromptu jam session breaks out. It’s upbeat and energetic. Constant smiling and laughing—it’s absolutely beautiful!”

As for the aesthetic, almost all of the materials have been repurposed, making your creative energy pour out. Old doors became counters. A racquetball court is now a glass wall. And the drumstick holder? That use to be a mail sorter from an insane asylum!TRMC FoundingFathers

It doesn’t take long to see the obvious passion the owners have to providing expert support to the local music community. With over 60+ years in this industry, Gregg and Tony really do love sharing their knowledge and expertise with their customers.

“We want to be small and local so that we can respond quickly with expert advice to support YOUR musical interest and needs.”

Hosting two-four music events monthly, from benefit concerts to educational product days, TRMC goes above and beyond in providing Cincinnati musicians with the tools to express and further their artistic passions. “We are so much more than a music store,” Angela said. “From the first day we opened, we pledged that our store, and especially the stage, would be used as a platform for promoting local talent and events.”

Along with hosting events, Third Rock Music also offers customizable Audio Visual installations for churches, schools, and commercial buildings, allowing the local students and community members to have the proper resources they need in taking part in the creative arts world.

Whether your child is starting their first music lesson, you’re ready to try a new instrument, or you just need tuning up your guitar, Third Rock Music Center has everything to suite your musical needs. Visit their website, check out their Facebook, or stop on in to see all TRMC has to offer. They are located at 1232 8 Mile Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45255.

MVP LOGO

The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. Third Rock Music Center has been an OMEGA merchant since 2015.


It’s Never Too Early…..

August 23, 2016

2015 marked the ninth straight year that gift cards were the most requested holiday gift item. Are you missing out on those sales opportunities by not having an established gift card and customer loyalty program? With UNDER 100 days until Black Friday, NOW Is the time to start preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Consider just a few stats:

  • Over $100 billion (with a B) is spent annually on gift cards
  • 65% of gift card recipients spend an average of 38% MORE than the face value of the card
  • Retailers who switch from paper certificates to a custom gift card program typically see a 50-100% increase in sales of prepaid items.

Here are a few targeted tips to help maximize your gift card sales this year:

  • Pair your display with creative wrapping, such as a holiday-themed box or envelope
  • Add an incentive to increase initial gift card purchase amounts — buy a $50 card and get an extra $10
  • Distribute or donate cards throughout the community with small amounts loaded on to them — sprinkle them like fairy dust!
  • Partner with a local corporation to offer gift cards as an employee incentive
  • Support a local charity with a percentage of gift card sales this season.

Plus, with OMEGA Processing’s gift and loyalty program, you can order professionally designed custom cards and accessories, such as envelopes, display stands, card holders and window clings. And, OMEGA’s gift cards double as customer rewards cards. Register customers into your loyalty program when they redeem the gift card, and keep them coming back to your business.

OMEGA Processing’s easy-to-use gift card and rewards program can help make your holiday selling season brighter. Contact our Customer Service team at 866.888.9724 Ext. 7 for more information on getting your program up and rolling BEFORE the holiday crunch begins.

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Increase Sales and Revenue with a Gift Card and Customer Loyalty Program from OMEGA Processing Solutions

March 22, 2016

When it comes to adding a gift card and loyalty program for your business, there’s no time better than the present. With the warmer weather and upcoming “Moms, Dads and Grads” days, a gift card and rewards program can maximize the full benefits of your increased customer traffic.

When compared to paper certificates, gift cards are more secure and convenient, and they reinforce your business’s brand identity. In fact, retailers who switch from paper certificates to a custom gift card program typically see a 50-100% increase in sales of prepaid items.

Still not convinced? Here are some more compelling reasons to put a customized OMEGA Processing Solutions gift card program in place for your business:

  • Add new — and loyal — customers
  • Extra spend — the average customer spends MORE than the value of the gift card
  • Higher margins — consumers are more likely to pay for price when using a gift card
  • Decreased returns — gift card recipients buy what they want, meaning less returned merchandise for you
  • Improved cash flowgift card pile

Interested? Get more information on our gift card programs at website or call 866.888.9724 Ext. 7 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

 


Building Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age

June 2, 2015

US companies annually spend $2 billion (yes with a “B”) on customer loyalty programs. Does this translate, however, into customer engagement?

A recent study by Capgemini Consulting reports that retailers have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to engaging today’s digital age- consumers. For instance — 76% of retailers fail to allow mobile redemption for loyalty programs.

According to Capgemini’s Mark Taylor, “The mobile device should be at the HUB of a customer’s relationship with a retailer.

Read the entire report — “Fixing the Cracks: Reinventing Loyalty Programs for the Digital Age — HERE.

View the Infographic — HERE

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