A space for community to connect through food.
Anna Davidson remembers when her passion for cooking began. As a child, she spent summers at her grandmother’s home in Arkansas. It was there that she first picked wild blackberries from among the brambles where the tasty fruit hides. But the real magic came when her grandmother showed her how to turn the berries into wonderful-tasting jams and pies, Anna recalls.
Those early summer days helped Anna appreciate how preparing food can anchor a family’s day, as well as build a pathway for generations of families to follow. Great food can even serve as the cornerstone of a community.
Inspired by memories of her visits to Arkansas and cooking with her grandmother, Anna and her husband, Bob, a marketing and branding strategist, often thought about opening a restaurant in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where they live with their three children.
After two decades of working as a professional cook, pastry chef and caterer, Anna convinced Bob that the time was right to open a restaurant in the town they had grown to love since their move in 1997. They even had the perfect branding foundation on which to build the restaurant’s new identity: Blackberry Market.
“We wanted the restaurant to be a community experience,” Anna recalls. “We wanted something casual, approachable and unique to the community.”
One way they carried out that desire was through a crowdfunded Indiegogo campaign. The campaign raised more than $26,000 from community donors who were rewarded with incentives such as Blackberry Market gift cards.
In fact, gift cards were among the first branded items Blackberry Market sold that wasn’t food. “The gift cards continue to be a favorite, especially around any holiday,” Anna says.
The gift cards have also helped build a loyal customer base. Their customers were thrilled when
the Davidsons recently opened a second Blackberry Market location in La Grange, Illinois, in
The Davidsons are committed to giving the Glen Ellyn and La Grange communities something
that’s often lacking in many downtown areas: a non-chain restaurant with ties to the community.
In fact, much of the food served at Blackstone Market is locally sourced. Even the gift cards are
100 percent sourced and manufactured in the U.S.A.
Anna’s grandmother would be proud.