It's Your Business: Gourmet coffee truck debuts
The beans are lightly roasted, chocolate syrups single-sourced, sweets locally made and the truck's equipment powered by solar panels.
And the coffee's hot.
Late last week the gourmet coffee truck Candide Roasteries debuted in Champaign-Urbana.
Owned and operated by recent University of Illinois graduate Seth Kelter, Candide (named after Voltaire's book) has staked out a spot on Mathews Street by the University of Illinois Quad, near the Foreign Languages Building.
An English major who had friends studying computer science, Kelter said, "the joke was since I was a liberal arts major I'd end up working in a coffee shop after I graduated (in fall 2010)."
He loved coffee, roasted his own (in his Urbana garage), so, why not?
He shopped around a 40-page business plan and eventually received a Small Business Administration loan through Busey Bank.
Kelter serves up coffee and espresso drinks, smoothies, pastries and baked goods from Sweet Indulgence Bakery and Great Harvest Bread Co.
Until he can buy his own commercial roaster, Kelter said he is buying beans from Hubbard & Cravens in Indianapolis.
"Their roasting style fits mine. It's significantly lighter. ... Many people are familiar with the classic Seattle-type roast, which is dark. But this is light-roasted, and that's what I'm big into," he said.
The chocolate syrups that will flavor some drinks are from Holy Kakow chocolatiers in Portland, Ore.
They're single-sourced, meaning rather than combining beans from several different places, they're from either Ghana or Ethiopia, Kelter said. They're also vegan.
"We're trying to be earthy-friendly and as low-impact as we can be," he said.
The food truck's solar panels hook into a 3,000-watt battery that powers the many appliances in the truck.
You can find Candide on Mathews from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and catering special events on other days. Kelter will be tweeting locations on Twitter, and you can follow him at @CandideCoffee. More information also is available at http://www.candidecoffee.com.
Lumber Liquidators plans to open its Champaign store on Monday.
The store, which sells hardwood, engineered wood, bamboo and cork flooring and other flooring, is in the former Altman's Billiards & Barstools building, 301 W. Marketview Drive, C.
The store will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It can be reached at 903-5632.
The Viriginia-based company has 248 locations around the U.S. Ten of those, including the Champaign store, are in Illinois.
Down the road
Sometime after the first of the year, Champaign will see a new pizza chain open a location here.
Wiese Enterprises recently signed a lease for space in the former Hollywood Video store at 512 S. Neil St.
The restaurant's name is Jet's Pizza, and the company is based in Michigan.
The Pampered Pet has moved from 603 E. University Ave., C, to north Champaign following its purchase of Tangled Knot Grooming.
The business is now located at 2 Henson Place, just south of Kenyon Road, where Tangled Knot previously was housed.
"Their facility had better parking, and since we combined the businesses, we decided to move over there," said Nada Cagle, one of the owners.
Pampered Knot now offers expanded boarding and doggie daycare, she said.
The phone number is the same at 352-0595.
Update on Woodie's
Woodie Alan's furniture store owner Alan Anfinson said he plans to close his furniture manufacturing facility in Charleston, but will likely keep the Champaign store open — for a while at least.
"I enjoy the furniture business. I haven't enjoyed the recession," he said.
Furniture sales have declined since the recession and not recovered, he said. Higher lumber prices have not helped, he added.
Anfinson's Charleston facility produced wood bed frames, book cases, coffee tables and other wooden furniture. He'll be selling the equipment in the building.
In addition to selling his Illinois-made hardwood furniture at the store, 717 S. Neil St., Anfinson also has sold sofas, chairs and other pieces of furniture from brands such as Calligaris.
The business dates back to 1978. He said he did not know whether he would keep the store open or not.
"I'm aging. I could have been retired three years ago," he said.
The store previously was located in downtown Champaign as well as in Urbana.
Are you opening a new business or changing an existing business? Christine des Garennes can be reached by phone at 351-5388 or 800-252-3346; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-067