Huge Grand Opening Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Above, some of the healthy pet treats, baked by Sweaters N Sweets and sold at Pawberry Lane Café in Lake Villa. – Pawberry Lane photos
by Tina Johansson
When Colleen Berg was growing up in Lake Forest, there wasn’t a day that went by without an animal or two, or three in the house.
She and her brother enjoyed the pet pug dogs and ferrets that they had, she said.
“My father was an animal lover too. When a mother raccoon was killed by a car, he brought home the babies. I remember bottle feeding them,” said Berg, who had been an animal rescuer for 15 years.
She bought the business at the corner of Grand Avenue and Route 45, last November. The former pet store, located inside of an old farmhouse which she leases, was rigorously cleaned, painted, and set up with her own displays to hold the large selection of products including human-grade pet treats. The place is designed as an old-fashioned country candy shop, to the delight of her customers.
“They are really loving it here,” said Berg. And while she kept part of the name of the former business, nothing much else resembles it. A new logo and sign are just part of the changes. “The customers tell me they love the variety and the products.”
Among the items for dogs, cats and horses are supplements, nutritious raw food, vet-approved snacks and treats, and food for pets who have allergies and sensitivities. Berg makes specialty treats in her commercial kitchen based out of her Wauconda home, including those free of meats, grains, additives and preservatives. Some are low in calories.
Her store even offers treats designed for cats that suffer from cancer, which include special digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory components. And if a product is not in stock, in most cases Berg can order it for you.
Pawberry Lane has a large selection of grooming products and toys for dogs, cats and horses.
Berg began baking and selling pet treats in 2010, and soon brought her mother Lyn Hallsberg of Lake Forest on board. Hallsberg, a recently retired neo-natal nurse who worked for Lake Forest and Evanston hospitals (now Northwestern Medicine and NorthShore University Health System, respectively), knits sweaters and cowls for dogs from Chihuahuas to Great Danes. Between the two, Sweaters N Sweets was born.
Hallberg’s hand-made items come in a wide variety of colors. Some are reflective, some have bows, and some have bling.
A favorite snack at Pawberry Lane is Berg’s own dog-friendly ice cream. And while pets enjoy that, their human companions can enjoy their own ice cream, as well as soda, coffee and apple cider. There is an indoor and outdoor sitting area where owners can use tie outs for their dogs.
To introduce her new business, Berg will have an official grand opening on Saturday, April 22 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. A ribbon cutting will take place with the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce at noon.
She plans to have the pet café ready and well-stocked with ice cream. “Not only will we have dog ice cream, we will have dog drinks,” said Berg. She explained the drinks are made with a base of raw goat’s milk, and can include fresh pumpkins, peanut butter, blueberries, banana and more. “We do offer a few choices,” she said.
“We will have a lot going on at the grand opening,” said Berg. There will be pony rides and a petting zoo, and Becky Monroe, author of “Bark Until Heard” will be selling and signing her book. K9s for Veterans, the Chicago not-for-profit that trains and donates dogs to help veterans dealing with PTSD will be on hand.
Several area restaurants will sell food including Fog Cutters and Rosati’s Pizza.
Pet rescue groups including A and S Pit Bull Rescue, Black Dog All Breed Rescue, and Placing Paws Rescue have been invited to attend the event. Live Like Roo, an organization that supports families whose dogs are being treated for cancer are to be there.
Dog trainer Carla Moser of Doggieology 101 will be at the event, as well as Shag Bark Pet Retreat & Spa, and Dog walker/sitter Cara Morici of Go Out & Play.
New auto dealership Zeigler Nissan of Gurnee will be at the event with some of their new vehicles, and the Lake Villa Animal Hospital will have face painting for the kids.
Lost Dogs of Illinois will educate visitors on the importance of micro chipping pets. Orders for pet portraits will be taken from artist Alisa Steady.
The business is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Berg is planning a fundraiser in June for the North Chicago Animal Control.