Mary Lou Smith says she hopes many of her coffee customers will be looking for something new to do tomorrow night between 5 and 9 p.m. She will transform the main room of the Central Street Metra station – adjacent to her morning coffee shop, Top of the Tracks – into a mini bazaar for local businesswomen to sell their wares, have fun and do a little shopping.

“One of my nicest customers told me she wanted to start a side business to supplement her income and I thought, ‘I could do something to help her and other women to get their businesses off the ground,’” said Ms. Smith. “I’m hoping to help the EPL Friends, as well; hence the idea of sponsoring another aspect of Central Street’s ‘retail therapy night,’” she added.

“EPL Friends will be selling potted plants, and a number of other businesses will be here. We’re hoping the Central Street shoppers will come out and find some unique spring items to help them get ready for their upcoming holidays,” Ms. Smith said.

Among the businesses featured at the Top of the Tracks market will be “Just One Bite” – a local baker who creates tempting chocolate creations; scrap booking and paper crafting with Defining Moments; high-fashion jewelry with Mary Felish’s Premier Designs Jewelry; Tween/Teen dog-tag jewelry and whimsical infant tee shirts by RORO Designs; Alisa Levine’s polished aluminum dishes and her children’s line; Janet Spiech’s “A Little Book – Easing Meal-Time Madness,” organizers, notepads and aprons for mothers, daughters and dolls; Graceful Living handcrafted boxes and scarves; greeting cards and stationery by Extra Pickles; a line of purses, wallets, computer bags, folders, yoga bags, and shopping bags by Malia Designs; and resume and interview technique information and insights from Jill Tobias of CMC Consultants.

“We’re hoping our Central Street train-stop customers might be in need of a few new items our visiting merchants will be featuring,” said Ms. Smith. “If the EPL Friends sell plenty of potted plants, we will be very pleased,” she added.

Just west of Top of the Tracks, Linz and Vail, 2112 Central St., adds social justice to retail therapy on April 14 by exhibiting a variety of quilts that were handcrafted for survivors of human trafficking.

“Through a local initiative, Pocket Change for Global Change, Inc., Central Street will have an opportunity to learn more about what our community is doing to protect the children of the planet, and show that we care. The quilts will go to Made by Survivors. Sarah Symons, the founder of the organization, will provide young survivors with the blankets and all sponsorship proceeds from the project,” said Susan Dejanovic, owner of Linz and Vail.