Some families live far from each other. Peter Zollo knew he was lucky to live 10 minutes from his late mother Lois’ care community in Northbrook. When Lois was alive, the Zollos visited daily and made sure she never ran out of toiletries or the Werther’s caramels and crossword puzzles she adored. Then the pandemic hit.
“All of a sudden we turned into a family who was caring for a loved one at a great distance,” says Jimmy Zollo, Peter’s son. That change gave them insight into what people face when caregiving from afar — and how they could make a difference.
Like all entrepreneurs, Peter and Jimmy came up with a solution to the problem: joeandbella.com, an online store with merchandise designed to improve the lives of older adults, including technology for virtual visits, toiletries set up for automatic delivery, adaptable clothing for easy dressing, and customized gift boxes.
The Chicago-based store, which opened in January 2021, is named after Joe and Bella, two residents who helped acclimate the Zollos to care community life. Now the family is meeting others’ needs.