Local news, "Family Feud" … or Looby interviewing Looby? Lake Forest residents looking for an interesting TV show should tune to Channel 17 tonight at 6:17 p.m. That's when the City of Lake Forest begins airing a series of short profiles that highlight local businesses. The first episode stars Eileen Looby interviewing her father, John Looby, about a retailer that's been in the city since 1917: Lake Forest Flowers. (That's Eileen in the photo.)
"It was very fun to interview my father," said Ms. Looby, host of the "Inside Lake Forest" TV show as well as the second generation to work at Lake Forest Flowers. The city is sponsoring the program,
which runs nightly at 6:17 p.m. and introduces a different business every week. Each show is less than 15 minutes. "We're starting it tonight because it's right before the City Council meeting," she said. The airing of that meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on the same channel.
The idea for the program evolved from a survey conducted by the city's Office of Economic Development last year. "Susan Kelsey worked with residents to find out what they are looking for in our downtown businesses," Ms. Looby said of the retail survey. "People said they were looking for things that many Lake Forest businesses already offer, such as a bike shop, office supplies, clothing and floral delivery—just all sorts of things we already have in town. The show is an opportunity to get inside each local business and show residents what they have to offer."
Future shows will feature Helander's, South Gate Cafe and Bistro, Lovell's of Lake Forest and many other local hot spots. Some are three generations old, some are new to the area and most are owned by local residents.
While her background is in horticulture rather than pop-culture, Ms. Looby jumped at the chance to host "Inside Lake Forest" when the city approached her with the idea. She grew up in Lake Forest, works at her family's shop, is on the board of the LF/LB Chamber of Commerce and is getting an MBA in international business from the Lake Forest School Of Management. So when Ms. Looby says she supports the local scene, she really means it.
And after she graduates next June, she plans on staying around. "I would love to expand the niches of our business, such as event planning and house decorating," she said. "Working with our customers–that's what I really love."