It's Your Business: Food truck to help Cracked duo break into breakfast

Jeremy Mandell and Daniel Krause aren't crazy; they're Cracked.


The two University of Illinois seniors plan to start operating a food truck on the University of Illinois campus in August.


They'll serve breakfast sandwiches to students from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, likely parking their truck on Mathews Avenue near University High School and the Siebel Center for Computer Science.


A few eggs may need to be broken to make those sandwiches — thus the name of the business: Cracked.


Also on the menu: beignets, tater tots, homemade pastries, fresh fruit and fresh-brewed coffee.


Mandell said he and his business partner also hope to serve late-night crowds along Green Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.


On Saturday mornings, the plan is to sell their breakfast fare at the farmers' market at Urbana's Lincoln Square Village. They'd also like to do catering for parties and companies.


Mandell and Krause went to the same high school in Winnetka, and both wound up in the UI's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.


Mandell said he initially wanted to operate the food truck business in Chicago, but that city doesn't allow cooking on trucks. Food trucks there are essentially "giant, movable food warmers," he said.


Breakfast sandwiches, he said, are meant to be eaten fresh.


This won't be Mandell's first brush with business. He had his own racquet restringing business and operated a College Works Painting branch in Winnetka. Krause, meanwhile, has worked in the restaurant and food service business more than seven years.


"I always knew I didn't want to work for anyone," Mandell said. "Now I'll be working for everyone."


The company's website is http://www.crackedtruck.com, and its email address is crackedtruck@gmail.com. The phone number is 567-303-EGGS (3447).


The report from Rabbittown


Things are hopping at Rabbittown Antiques and Artisans in Danville.


The antiques mall at 419 E. Main St. has rented all its vendor space, said Gail Miller, who co-owns the enterprise with her husband, Gary.


The mall opened last November in the front part of the Athens Building. In February, it opened another 900 square feet to vendors.


"We thought that would be enough and we'd get to rest for a while. But demand was so high for vendor space that we kept going," said Gail Miller, a Fisher native.


This month, they opened another 900 square feet of retail space and have five new vendors there, she said.


Plus, "we have another first-floor retail space that will be open June 1, as well as an apartment upstairs that will be converted into retail space. That will also be open June 1," Miller said.


Those spaces are already spoken for, she said. The mall now has 30 vendors.


It's open seven days a week: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.


Miller said the time was right for opening the business.


"I think for a number of years, the antiques market in Danville had been declining. There was a hole in the market, and we filled it," she said.


The north end of the Rabbittown building was built in 1903, probably for Eastside Bakery, Miller said. The south end was built in 1932 for the Athens Food Market.


Among the vendors: Nanette Koerner, who is back in business in Danville, with a retail booth she operates with Cynthia Bookwalter.


Koerner was active in business and historic-renovation circles in Danville before moving to Rantoul several years ago.


Among her previous businesses: Koerner's Other Shoppe, an antiques and gifts store; The Gathering, where she leased retail space for antique dealers; and the Bookwalter House Bed & Breakfast, which operated from 1993 to 2000.


Craft nights in Tuscola


One of Tuscola's newest businesses, Vintage Karma, will host craft nights on Wednesdays, starting this week.


Laura Davis, co-owner of the business, said people can bring their craft projects to the store at 110 W. Sale St. and spend a couple hours working on them. The informal function begins at 5 p.m., with snacks provided.


Vintage Karma, which opened April 10, is an arts store operated by Davis and a tattoo business operated by Ainslie Heilich.


"Tattoos and local arts and crafts — we see it going hand-in-hand, even though a lot of folks are at first a little confused," Davis said.


The store features the work of local artists, she said. The merchandise includes jewelry, paintings, pottery, pillows, stained-glass work, hand-sewn baby items and hand-knit shawls.


Davis said Heilich had a tattoo business in Stroudsburg, Pa., and when the two moved to the Tuscola area to be near Heilich's family, they decided to go into business here.


"It's something we had wanted to do back east, but we ended up doing it here because it was a lot more affordable and there were empty buildings available," said Davis, a former copy editor for The Record in Bergen, N.J.


The arts store is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and the tattoo business is open by appointment.


Vintage Karma's phone number is 253-2553. The art store's website is shopvintagekarma.com, and the tattoo business website is artofvintagekarma.wordpress.com.


Walk all over you ...


Three therapists at Urbana's Green Yoga Spa are offering a new massage service called Ashiatsu.


According to licensed massage therapist Cheryl Louviere, it's a therapeutic massage consisting of deep, broad compressive strokes delivered by the feet.


"It can be extremely beneficial for clients suffering from back pain, neck and shoulder stiffness, as well as general stress and tension," she said.


Ashiatsu originated in Colorado about 20 years ago, she said, and is being adopted by health centers across the U.S.


At Green Yoga Spa — located on the second floor of 115 W. Main St., U — Ashiatsu is offered by Louviere, Mary Wolters and Jen Weber.


Photo firm changes location


Lou Taylor Photography Portrait CD Studio has moved to a location inside the County Market at 1914 Glenn Park Drive, C. The business was formerly at 720 S. Neil St., C.


Are you opening a business or changing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at dodson@news-gazette.com; or by mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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urbananative wrote on May 07, 2012 at 12:05 am

Hmmm... does Derald's no longer park in that area? They were there 20 years ago and they were last there just a few years ago, too.