Our Vendors 

Jeff Berg: saying “hello” to Wicker Park

Thu, Sep 4, 2014

1“When I was a kid, I would go in the basement and fix things,” said Jeff Berg, 52, who was born in Colorado and grew up on a farm in Kansas before living in Texas, New York and Chicago. “I remember my first experience with electricity. You remember the single lightbulb candles for Christmas? I plugged them in and stuck the screwdriver in the screw! Well, I learned that then!”

For 20 years Jeff was a maintenance technician for packaging and manufac¬turing machinery. He worked for Fugi Copian, which produced typewriter and ribbon cassettes at the time. Before that, Jeff ran the maintenance at three apartment complexes.
“It wasn’t something that was really fun because people would call you at all times of the day and night,” Jeff said.

But he’s always enjoyed being a me¬chanic. “I love working on machinery and it really doesn’t matter, a machine’s a machine,” Jeff said. “But my favorite thing is to figure out new solutions to problems. I was the person to put out fires and came up with how to do new products.”

With a high school education, Jeff’s professional skills have been mostly self taught. “I learn by doing and I learn from people in the field,” Jeff said. “I remember my boss one day walking up to me and he said, ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ And I said, ‘No, but did that ever stop you?’ And he said, ‘No.’ And then he just walked away.”

As a vendor Jeff loves his job. “I enjoy selling StreetWise. I enjoy the customers and I really appreciate their support.”

However, he recently changed his lo¬cation “because I lost a lot of support at the location that I was at. People had moved and they didn’t get replaced. So the neighborhood changes and people weren’t interested in buying.

“I wish we could get the word out more about StreetWise and that people understood it, because in my opinion, they don’t. I had a girl yesterday… in CVS, she works there. And she goes, ‘how much are they?’ And I said, ‘$2.’ And she said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ And she bought one.”

For leisure Jeff enjoys going to the zoo, the beach, and loves all kinds of sports. He continues to seek additional employment and, in doing so, would like to learn more about computers and software.

“I just want to thank my customers for their support and I appreciate all they’ve done for me. A lot of people have done a lot of good things for me,” Jeff said.
Jeff sells on the corner of Paulina and Division at Starbucks in Wicker Park and outside the CVS at the Clark & Division Red Line Stop.

By Ethan Ross & Brittany Langmeyer
StreetWise Editorial Intern & Staff
– Written May 2013

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