Guide to Washington
- Page 4
Lori’s offers more than kitchenware in the Square
By Montana Samuels
Pekin Daily Times

Washington Square is built around a round-about with a fountain that cascades water in the center. If you squint hard enough, you can imagine that you’re in a quaint, big city neighborhood.

Instead, you’re in the confines of a quaint group of shops that serve as perhaps the epicenter of activity in Washington.

Lori Peifer, owner of Lori’s Kitchen Store, 110 N. Main St., is likely the Square’s biggest champion.

In addition to owning a store in the Square, Peifer creates a monthly newsletter to keep people up to date on events going on there, and also maintains a website that serves as a resource for people hoping to explore its businesses.

Peifer wasn’t always a Washingtonian, she moved here 15 years ago, around the same time she began offering cooking and baking classes out of her home.

Even though she was working out of her own home, Peifer didn’t own the business, thus was limited in the teachings and products she could offer.

“I really wanted to do more than just make a quick little this or that, I wanted to teach these things and I wanted to stand behind every product that I sold,” she said. “You can’t do that when you work for someone else.”

The combination of a want for independence and class sizes growing to the capacity that there were simply too many non-family members in her own home drove her to create her own space.

Now in its 11th year of operation, Lori’s Kitchen Store is a staple in the Washington Square community. And make no mistake, as much as she means to the square, the square means as much to her.

“I know the names of the business owners, I see them with their kids. It matters to me that these businesses stay open, it’s the community I raised my kids in.”

A way for her to repay the community is to continue offering her cooking classes. They offer Peifer a chance to empower, she said, a chance to offer someone a new skill.

The class that started it all, a basics in pie baking class, is still offered twice a year. Not only is it one of the most popular, but personally, it is one of the most influential.

“When I taught my aunt how to make pies from scratch, just to see her light up — I was bit by the teaching bug,” said Peifer.

See LORI'S, 5