70 Years of Scandinavian Heritage

November 15, 2017

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

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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.


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.

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.

gift card pile



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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