About Us

Tom and Sheila Kunkel started the Urban Pioneer Group years ago as a hobby creating spaces and furnishings in their homes from reclaimed wood, making sausage, wine and wanting to create experiences for family and friends.  It has evolved into the start of a great business that will do all those same things for anyone who wants to be involved.  Whether you would like a custom piece of furniture, enjoy learning a trade, or looking to engage in new social experiences, the Urban Pioneer Group is for you!

Tom is passionate about creating, building and bringing people together. He is energetic and inspired to provide an experience for anyone interested. Tom, born and raised in Oak Park, started at a young age working with his father on projects and now as a father of five he is still excited to provide the opportunity to create furnishings and social experiences for the next generation.

Sheila and Tom have worked together for the past 20 years rehabbing their Oak Park homes. And now Urban Pioneer is providing the opportunity for Sheila and Tom to create unique furnishings, as well as provide experiences for others to do the same. Sheila loves creating fun, social environments that bring people together.  She's excited to offer classes and events of all kinds at the UPG studio!

Bio-Phillic Design

The Biophilia hypothesis (also called BET) suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. 


Biophilic design incorporates natural materials, natural light, and vegetation into the modern built environment.

Check out what CBS Chicago had to say about us!

Experience traditions and learn new skills through classes, workshops and clubs

Check out what Forest Park Review had to say about us!

"Urban Pioneer Group helps bring food business dreams to life"

Check out what Wednesday Journal had to say about us!

"Oak Parker Tom Kunkel spreads the gospel of reclamation"

Venue Rental and Events

Our space is a balance of modern beauty and old world sophistication with innovative decor such as lights made out of pieces from a Pipe Organ and Stained Glass.

We can host up to 120 guests in our space!

Society and Provisions

We want to take you back the "good ol' days" and immerse you in the culture of America at it's prime; Filled with Jazz, delicious food and drink, and a rustic atmosphere.

Our pioneer foods are our specialty. Our acclaimed sausage bread is a must-have! 


UPG takes pride in using age-old resources to make strong, inspirational, and respectable products. Built to impress to your specifications.


Our pioneer foods are our specialty. Our acclaimed sausage bread is a must-have! 

 Urban Pioneer Group, Forest Park, IL 

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