News - Kane County

Geneva’s Gift Box to mark 75 years in business

Original location on State street features Swedish heritage

Lennart Jonsson who immigrated from Sweden in 1954,  operated and expanded The Gift Box in Geneva for almost 30 years. The business marks its 75th year this year.

GENEVA – The Gift Box, 310 W. State St., Geneva will mark its 75th year in business this year, according to a news release.

In November 1947, Edythe Anderson opened the store and not only fulfilled her dream of owning her own business in the post-war era, she was also shared the love of her Swedish family heritage with the local community and its residents, the release stated.

At that time, the area had been settled by large numbers of Scandinavian immigrants and their families, particularly in Geneva.

The family-owned business will celebrate this milestone under its third generation of owners, Anderson’s godchildren, Hans and Maria Jonsson.

Hans Jonsson, who co-owns The Gift Box in Geneva with   Maria Jonsson, will mark the 75th year of the business this year. The two are the godchildren of the store’s original owner, Edyth Anderson, who opened the business in November 1947.

Prior to their stewardship, their father Lennart Jonsson, who immigrated from Sweden in 1954, worked for Anderson. Upon her retirement, he expanded the business and operated it for almost 30 years.

Hans Jonsson, who co-owns The Gift Box in Geneva with   Maria Jonsson, will mark the 75th year of the business this year. The two are the godchildren of the store’s original owner, Edyth Anderson, who opened the business in November 1947.

The State Street location is the original storefront and for over 40 years, it was also the home of Cole Travel Service, a travel agency operated by Lennart that specialized in travel & tours to Scandinavia.

The owners plan to showcase several artisans in the store on the weekends in November and December as part of marking its 75th year, the release stated.