City Grange holiday pop-up blooms in Beverly just in time for holidays

By Camilla Forte, Photojournalist

Inspired by the historic Grange movement of the 1800s, City Grange aims to empower individuals to take up urban gardening and contribute to the social and economic needs of the community it is a part of.

The Grange movement originated during the American Civil War, when farmers fought against the monopolization of agriculture by encouraging individualism and better farming practices.

In addition to City Grange’s primary location, 5500 N. Western Ave., north of Lincoln Square, its holiday pop-up opened its doors to Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood—at 9911 S. Walden Parkway—Nov. 23, ringing in the season with an assortment of festive greens, decor and locally-made gifts.

A socially-conscious company, the City Grange garden center was the brainchild of president and founder LaManda Joy, who created it as a way to make gardening as accessible as possible in the city.

“There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of garden centers in the suburban areas… but there’s not so much happening for urban dwellers,” Joy said.

Joy said gardening, whether it be for food or flowers, can contribute positively to an individual’s well-being, the local community and even the overall planet.

By providing tools, guidance, community-centered events and classes on the practice of gardening, City Grange aims to facilitate that process by becoming a one-stop-shop for both experienced and aspiring urban gardeners.

Following the success of the business’ first location, which opened in April 2019, Joy is hoping to expand the center’s reach to five more locations across the city by 2025.

While the pop-up will only stick around until Sunday, Dec. 22, City Grange is set to return to Beverly, with plans in place for a second location to open in that neighborhood in spring  2020. For now, the pop-up will feature holiday-geared products such as seasonal decorations, holiday arrangements and nature-inspired stocking stuffers.

“I have seen firsthand how a relationship with plants changes peoples’ lives, enriches their lives, … makes their life more beautiful,” Joy said. “We just want to do that on a bigger scale.”