Say you move into an old house with a dirt-floor basement. What are you going to do with that space?
Why, build a raised vegetable bed and harvest strawberries and tomatoes in the cold-weather months.
That's what James Kincade of Danville did several years ago. One thing led to another, and the former heavy equipment operator has turned his hobby into a business.
"I dove right into it," he said about establishing the business.
Primo Grow at 905 Francis Drive — right across from Good Vibes in Champaign — is a new retail shop that caters to indoor gardeners and hydroponic hobbyists.
The store stocks a variety of grow lights, hydroponic equipment, nutrients and everything else you need for starting plants from seed to full-fledged indoor vegetable growing — except for the plants themselves.
Kincade also sells rock wool, a substrate for growing plants, plus equipment for cloning plants.
— Kinex Fitness Studios, the fitness studio in The Pines shopping center in southeast Urbana, is now open. The business, at 2740 S. Philo Road, Suite F, offers training-session-based programs instead of monthly or annual gym memberships. It can be reached at 344-6600.
— An ice cream and hot dog stand has opened at the former site of Dad's Frozen Custard in Paxton.
Chillz, at 442 S. Market St., will be open year-round, according to new owner Richard Kryzanski of Paxton.
In the morning, you can pull into the drive-thru and buy coffee and doughnuts. During the rest of the day, the menu offers Vienna beef hot dogs, Polish sausage, Italian beef sandwiches, nachos and more.
The soft-serve ice cream comes in chocolate, vanilla and twist flavors, and other frozen treat options include sundaes and "snow drifts," which Kryzanski likens to Blizzards at Dairy Queen.
Sugar-free ice cream is also available.
It's open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the summer months and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the winter.
A new antiques and arts shop in Danville is gearing up for an opening later this month.
Longtime collectors Gary and Gail Miller are aiming for a Thursday opening for Rabbittown Antiques and Artisans, near downtown Danville in the Rabbittown area. It's at 419 E. Main St., next to Sarge's Tap.
The husband and wife have shared a love for visiting antiques stores and flea markets and have been collecting together for several years.
"If we like it, we collect it. We're interested in antique furniture, and my house is full of it. That's primarily what we'll have, but we'll also have accent pieces and china and glassware," Gail Miller said.
"We are offering vendor space for rent and also consignment for people who sell good quality antiques. We're also interested in recruiting artists to sell their work here," she said.
A grand opening celebration is planned for the near future.
The store will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday or by appointment. It can be reached at 597-0556.
— Now that Urbana's Market at the Square has come to a close and the weather has turned cooler, you'll want to head inside Lincoln Square Mall on Saturdays.
This weekend marked the first Urbana Holiday Market of the year, organized by the Urbana Business Association. It will continue through Dec. 17. Various vendors of baked goods, local produce, arts and crafts sell their goods from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More information is available from the business association at 344-3872.
— So not only are you stressed because you have so many toys to buy, but you're also stressed by the steep price tags?
No worries; put on your to-do list a trip to the One Week Boutique Toy Sale.
Donna Pepper, who runs the biannual children's consignment sale One Week Boutique, has once again whipped up a one-day holiday shopping event for parents, grandparents and others who don't want to spend a fortune on children's toys this year.
The toy sale is smaller than One Week Boutique, which includes lightly used children's clothes, furniture and toys. This sale focuses solely on toys, games, books and similar items.
The scoop: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday at the Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church, 1913 S. Mattis Ave., C. Admission is free.
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 email 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 61824-0677.