Area Glass in St. John, Indiana: Acquired by Schaaf Windows

Nestled along the Grand Calumet River in Lake County, the charming town of St. John is a city in Indiana. Founded in 1837, St. John has evolved from a small settlement into a bustling community renowned for its tight-knit residents, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Many facets contribute to St. John’s appeal and success, from its unique geography and history to its vibrant culture, strong local businesses, and deep community ties.

Area Glass: St. John’s Crown Jewel Business

One of St. John’s most renowned local businesses is Area Glass, a multi-generational family company providing residential and commercial glass, mirror, and shower door solutions. Founded in 1987, Area Glass has garnered a sterling reputation for expertise, customer service, and product quality, according to dozens of glowing online reviews. Operating out of a full-service design center displaying a wide array of options, Area Glass contractors complete projects promptly and professionally across Chicagoland. Beyond commerce, Area Glass contributes to St. John through charitable giving, sponsoring community events, and cementing their place in the town’s fabric. They exemplify St. John’s values of empowering small, homegrown enterprises.

Expansion and Acquisition: A New Chapter for Area Glass

Area Glass has long-standing roots in the community as one of St. John’s premier locally-owned businesses. However, in February 2018 the company entered an exciting new chapter with its acquisition by Schaaf Window, a leading supplier and installer of windows and doors based in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Schaaf Window: A Legacy of Excellence in Windows & Doors

Schaaf Window is a renowned company specializing in windows, exterior and interior doors, shower doors, and mirrors for remodeling and new construction projects. With a rich history dating back to 1959, Schaaf Window has established itself as a trusted name in the industry, providing high-quality products and exceptional service.

A Family-Owned Legacy

Schaaf Window was founded by George Schaaf and his father, Fred, in June of 1959. Known initially as Schaaf Glass Company, the company started with humble beginnings, operating out of garages behind George’s father’s home. Over the years, the company grew steadily, expanding its services and customer base.

Schaaf’s Product Offerings

Schaaf Window offers a comprehensive range of products to cater to the diverse needs of homeowners and contractors. Their product offerings include:

Windows: Schaaf Window provides a wide selection of windows, including energy-efficient options, vinyl windows, wood windows, and composite windows. These windows are designed to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of any home .

Exterior Doors: The company offers a variety of exterior doors, including entry doors, patio doors, and storm doors. These doors are crafted with durability, security, and style in mind, providing homeowners with energy efficiency, peace of mind, while enhancing the curb appeal of their properties.

Shower Doors: Schaaf Window specializes in the installation of shower doors, offering a range of options such as framed, frameless, and semi-frameless designs. These shower doors are not only visually appealing but also designed to withstand the rigors of daily use .

Interior Doors: Schaaf Window also provides interior doors and trim. With a door line that gives the ability to pre-hang doors in our own shop, Schaaf has a competitive edge in price, lead time, and variety of options that can’t be matched.

Professional Installation

One of the key factors that sets Schaaf Window apart is their commitment to professional installation. Unlike many other companies, Schaaf Window employs their own team of professional installers, ensuring that skilled and experienced individuals carry out the installation process. This attention to detail and quality craftsmanship is a testament to their dedication to customer satisfaction.

Customer Service

Schaaf Window prides itself on its exceptional customer service. With a full-time service department ready to assist customers with inquiries or concerns, they set themselves apart by allowing customers to work directly with them instead of dealing with manufacturers for questions and warranty concerns. Whether helping customers choose the right products or addressing post-installation questions, Schaaf Window is committed to providing its clients with a positive and seamless experience.

The 2018 Area Glass Acquisition by Schaaf Window

The acquisition marked a significant transition for Area Glass, which had proudly served northwest Indiana for over 30 years under family ownership. However, company leadership recognized an opportunity to strengthen operations and better serve customers through a partnership with Schaaf Window, a well-established name in the home improvement industry.

Strategic Expansion Journey

Schaaf Window saw the acquisition as a strategic move to expand its footprint and capabilities beyond windows and doors and further cement its presence in the Northwest Indiana market. Area Glass’ reputation and expertise in glass mirrors, shower doors, and related areas were highly complementary to Schaaf’s existing portfolio. The acquisition would allow both companies to leverage new skills and resources for improved customer service across a broader product range.

By retaining the Area Glass name and team while incorporating it under the Schaaf Window umbrella, the transition aimed to cause minimal disruption for existing Area Glass clients. Local stakeholders welcomed the move, seeing the potential for increased investment and job creation benefitting the St. John community. Area Glass’ St. John storefront remains the primary design studio and installation hub serving the local market.

Continued Growth

The first year of the partnership exceeded all expectations, with Schaaf Window’s expansive product offering and support added to the many years of experience and unique expertise of Area Glass the path for growth is quite simple. Team members were further empowered through enhanced training, certifications and opportunities to take on leadership roles within the larger company.

Looking ahead, Schaaf Window and Area Glass aim to progressively merge their brand identities while maintaining a local Area Glass presence cherished by the St. John community. With a remodeled showroom and widening array of product offerings and expert knowledge between the two companies, the future is bright in Northwest Indiana. The acquisition has strengthened both companies for ongoing success in building and improving homes throughout the region.

Learn More: St. John’s Natural Landscape and Proximity to Parks

Just 35 miles from downtown Chicago, St. John enjoys an enviable location providing access to big city amenities while retaining a small-town feel. The town boasts a picturesque landscape defined by its waterways and proximity to expansive nature preserves. Chief among these natural areas is the Indiana Dunes National Park, lining Lake Michigan’s southern shore less than 10 miles from St. John. Spanning over 15,000 acres, the dunes offer residents endless opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, swimming, and wildlife viewing. In addition to the national park, St. John is defined by the Grand Calumet River winding through town alongside other significant geographical landmarks. This unique natural environment is a defining feature enhancing residents’ quality of life.

Cultural Heritage and Historical Significance

With a history dating back to the 1830s, St. John proudly honors its German heritage and rich cultural traditions. With numerous properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a stroll through St. John immediately transports visitors back in time. With its charming downtown architecture and quaint shops and eateries, residents and tourists alike flock to the area for events like the annual Oktoberfest celebration and weekly farmers markets throughout the summer. Cultural anchors like the St. John Historical Society Museum play a vital role in educating residents and preserving the town’s legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Community Engagement and Quality of Life

Beyond its scenic beauty and historical roots, St. John truly excels due to its exceptionally tight-knit community. Neighbors readily volunteer their time and skills towards beautification projects, non-profit initiatives, and enhancing recreational amenities. A sense of togetherness pervades daily life, from sports leagues and senior activities organized through the community center to yearly traditions, bringing residents out to mingle. This community fabric attracts new families to call St. John home and keeps long-time residents proudly invested in continually improving their town.

Collaboration With Neighboring Towns

While maintaining a small-town vibe of its own, St. John benefits greatly from close relationships with surrounding municipalities. Neighbors Dyer and Crown Point each offer their own cultural attractions and events that enhance the quality of life across the region. Long stretches of hiking and biking trails connect all three communities, whose leaders convene regularly to support one another through joint programs and economic development strategies. On a broader scale, St. John is active in the flourishing northwest Indiana metro region through initiatives of the Lake County Indiana Economic Development Alliance alongside municipalities like Schererville and Munster.

Economic Landscape and Business Development

Drawing on a skilled local workforce and central location near Chicago, St. John and its neighbors have cultivated a diverse economic environment conducive to entrepreneurship. St. John is home to prominent companies enhancing regional prosperity from healthcare and manufacturing to retail. Recent commercial and mixed-use developments in revived downtown districts signal ongoing renewal while respecting historic character. Proactive economic development agencies work to attract new businesses, providing jobs and amenities as the population rises steadily each year. This approach has kept the area economically competitive amid urban and suburban growth regionwide.

Educational Excellence and Recreational Opportunities

Educational institutions are a cornerstone of any vibrant community, and St. John fulfills this mandate exceedingly well through its highly-rated public schools. Supplementing classroom learning, outdoor recreation is accessible to residents of all ages through town parks and nature preserves. The sports complexes and family aquatic centers of the Chesterton and Valparaiso school districts lie just minutes away. Indiana University Northwest and Purdue University Northwest are within easy commuting distance for citizens seeking higher education. These educational assets attract young families to the area hoping to raise children amid such opportunity and natural splendor.

Beyond St. John: Indiana Dunes

Beyond St. John’s borders, the landscape becomes ever more dramatic. Just three miles north lies the Indiana Dunes, a scenic haven of sandy bluffs, wooded dales and alvar prairies. With their rolling topography and native flora and fauna, the dunes offer a glimpse of raw natural splendor amid the urban sprawl of nearby Chicago. Hikers and nature lovers flock here year-round to the National Lakeshore area and neighboring Cowles Bog, one of the few remaining kettle bogs in Indiana, home to rare orchids and carnivorous plants. The biological diversity within this highly valued conservation landscape adds immeasurably to residents’ quality of life.

Within a 30-mile radius, further natural areas present endless exploration opportunities. To the west lies the Indiana Dunes State Park, preserving another stretch of shoreline dunes. Just south spreads the Little Calumet River system, weaving through farmland before emptying into Lake Michigan. Meanwhile Griffith, Indiana is home to Volpenhein Lake, providing swimming, kayaking and fishing. Further still lies the incorporated “community in the prairie”, Winfield, Indiana, with its Forest Preserve District featuring woodland trails and education centers. This concentration of natural treasures in close proximity sets St. John and surrounding communities apart from other Chicagoland suburbs.

Neighboring Towns

St. John’s western neighbor, Dyer, shares in the region’s agricultural heritage as well as commitment to quality of life through its parks and small-town atmosphere. The two municipalities have joined forces for numerous community initiatives including farmer’s markets, trail development and emergency response coordination. Moving north, Schererville balances new industry and housing developments with historic preservation along its bucolic Main Street corridor. Like St. John, Schererville’s strong local leadership and investment in education have powered steady growth.

St. John, Indiana: A Thriving Community With Deep Roots and Local Businesses

While maintaining a small-town vibe of its own, St. John benefits greatly from close relationships with surrounding municipalities. Neighbors Dyer and Crown Point each offer their own cultural attractions and events that enhance quality of life across the region. Long stretches of hiking and biking trails connect all three communities, whose leaders regularly convene to support one another through joint programs and economic development strategies. On a wider scale, St. John is active in the flourishing northwest Indiana metro region through initiatives of the Lake County Indiana Economic Development Alliance alongside municipalities like Schererville and Munster.

From its earliest days as a German settlement along the Grand Calumet, St. John, Indiana has evolved remarkably, retaining its small-knit character despite rapid regional growth. St. John succeeds through balance – respecting history while encouraging controlled progress. Stewarding abundant natural treasures and cultural traditions, supporting robust local enterprises, and prioritizing education all empower St. John to flourish sustainably for generations to come.

Schaaf Window & Area Glass as Local Partners

One example of a local business that embodies this spirit is Area Glass. Area Glass began as a small glass shop in St. John, providing quality glass products and services to the community. Over the years, the company grew and expanded its offerings, becoming a trusted name in the region.

Another business that shares this commitment to quality and community is Schaaf Window, which was founded in 1959. After decades, Schaaf Window has become a leading provider of windows, doors, and shower doors in Illinois. In 2018, Schaaf Windows acquired Area Glass, bringing together two respected local businesses with a shared vision of providing exceptional products and services to the community.

An Acquisition for Combined Expertise

The 2018 acquisition of Area Glass by Schaaf Window is a testament to the power of local businesses working together to achieve success. The combined expertise and resources of these two companies have created a formidable force in the region’s home improvement market.

St. John‘s harmonious spirit exemplifies the resilient and community-focused virtues that will sustain its prominence amid Indiana’s dynamic Northwest region for years to come.