New local magazine Our Evanston focuses on community and small businesses


Our Evanston features business owners on the front page of their magazine. The publication hopes to promote small Evanston businesses.

Our Evanston features business owners on the front page of their magazine. The publication hopes to promote small Evanston businesses.

Ellie Skelly, Reporter

Gina Jacobson is a writer for Our Evanston, a new magazine that focuses on local businesses and experiences. Her column features recipes she’s perfected in her home kitchen and includes ingredients sourced from different Evanston retailers.

After receiving a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis over three years ago, Jacobson sought to give back to her community by contributing to Our Evanston.

“I felt like I was answering the community’s call,” said Jacobson. “I don’t think I realized until I was in the midst of doing it that it was something I needed for myself.”

Her experience amplifies the goal of Our Evanston: to provide community support. 

Founder Ande Breunig said she envisioned the magazine as a source of community connection by featuring sustainable, local shopping.

“(Our Evanston) has the ability to start conversations and get people thinking a little bit more deeply about why they shop the way they shop,” Bruenig said.

The idea for the publication first came from Bruenig’s Facebook group Support Evanston Shops, Salons and Studios, Bruenig said. As the group grew, Bruenig wanted to make helping her community a full-time job.

She launched Our Evanston in September 2021. Since then, the magazine has published two issues with the themes of connection and care. 

“Magazines have the ability to bring people together in a social sense,” Breunig said. “They have more longevity.”

As Our Evanston entered the world of publications, Breunig discovered local journalism has a knack for inspiring the community around it. 

Bruenig said she hopes undergraduate students are able to explore and learn from the community they call home for four years.  

“I would hope that Our Evanston may cue (students) into the different neighborhoods that exist,” Bruenig said. 

Our Evanston has currently partnered with Form & Function, a Northwestern marketing agency, to spread the word about their publication. 

Medill sophomore Didi Jin is the vice president of new business at Form & Function and is working closely with Our Evanston in order to increase distribution and readership.  Jin hopes students are able to immerse into Evanston through the magazine.  

“Northwestern students can benefit a lot from learning more about the community that they live in for four years,” Jin said. 

ForJacobson, college is all about exploring identity. She believes college years should be focused on exposure to new people and ideas. 

She hopes Our Evanston can act as a guide to locating different experiences.

“You should be trying to expose yourself to as much as possible and get a sense of what is important to you and what you want to make sure is a part of your life,” Jacobson said. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ellie_skelly

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