It's Your Business: C-U to get third Little Caesars

It's Your Business: C-U to get third Little Caesars

Little Caesars Pizza is expanding its local empire by adding an outpost in central Champaign.

Franchisee Kent McKenzie plans to open a store at 703 S. Neil St., C, in the space formerly occupied by Quizno's and Kaleidoscoops.

The store, projected to open in mid-August, would join Little Caesars locations at 1211 S. Mattis Ave., C, and 1901 S. Philo Road, U.

"It makes a triangle for us," McKenzie said, noting that the new spot is a high-traffic location close to campus.

Like the other stores, the new Little Caesars will offer only carryout service. McKenzie said he expects to have 10 to 12 employees there.

In addition to the three Champaign-Urbana stores, McKenzie has two Little Caesars Pizzas in Bloomington.

Gone with the Wind ...

After 10 years in business, Mary Tangora is preparing to close the Wind, Water and Light artisan gallery in Urbana's Lincoln Square.

"We are planning to be completely closed down by the first week of July," said Tangora, who has operated the store with Larry Steinbauer.

When the gallery opened in 2004, it was located on Main Street in Mahomet. A year and a half later, it moved to downtown Champaign, and about four years ago, it shifted to Lincoln Square.

Tangora said she opened the store in the first place because she needed to stay close to her mother, rather than traveling to weekend art shows all over the country.

Her mother died in April, and Tangora said she and Steinbauer now "want to get back to what we used to do" — going to art shows.

The gallery carries Tangora's lines of jewelry made from recycled glass, Steinbauer's T-shirts, tiles and artwork, plus arts and crafts from about 200 artisans.

The merchandise includes paintings, woodwork, pottery, lamps, books, gifts and home decor items.

Tangora said that after the store closes, the business will still have an online presence, appear at farmers' markets and do an occasional pop-up shop.

Wind, Water and Light will be closed a few days this month — namely June 14 and June 20-22 — but otherwise should be open through the end of June, she said.

Tangora said Wind, Water and Light has had trouble with shoplifting at the mall, something she didn't encounter in Mahomet or Champaign.

"A lot of the stuff we have is out. It's nice for people to feel and touch it," she said. But as a result of shoplifting losses, she bought cameras for the store.

"Now I see intelligence in keeping items behind the counter," she said.

As for the Wind, Water and Light name, Tangora said it symbolized the shop's original surroundings.

"When we were out in Mahomet, we wanted something indicative of the prairie. So many people say it's windy on the prairie. You need light for making art, and the Sangamon River ran through Mahomet," she said.

The name led to a little confusion, though, she said.

"A lot of people who are new to town call us up and ask if we're a power company," Tangora said. "I tell them, if you're looking for alternative energy, sorry."

Assisted living at Liberty

Ground has been broken for a new assisted-living and memory-care community in Liberty at the Lake subdivision in south Champaign.

Carriage Crossing Champaign plans to have 60 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites available when it opens in the early summer of 2015, said Carrie Bentley, construction developer with Champaign-based Bentley Builders Construction and Development.

The single-story, 44,500-square-foot facility is being built at 1619 Congressional Way, C, not far from the Carle Clinic at Mattis Avenue and Curtis Road in Champaign.

Carriage Crossing Champaign will have 60 apartments, 18 of which will be dedicated to memory care, Bentley said. It will be similar to Carriage Crossing Arcola, which opened last year.

This will be the third senior living project for Bentley Builders, which also built the Bridle Brook Adult Community in Mahomet in 2009.

Randall Residence, based in Lawton, Mich., an operator of senior-living communities in the Great Lakes region, will be the management partner at Carriage Crossing Champaign and will have a share of ownership there, Bentley said.

That firm, operated by Chuck Randall and his son, Christopher, owns or operates nine independent-living, assisted-living and memory-care communities.

The company oversees 558 units in four states and employs about 475, Bentley said.

Bentley said she expects Carriage Crossing Champaign to have 38 to 45 full-time-equivalent employees.

The community will have a cafe, formal dining room and courtyard for barbecues, plus spaces to host community events. It will also offer cleaning and laundry services and around-the-clock nursing.

Bentley estimated the cost of the Champaign project at between $8.5 million and $9 million.

Pharma City

Pharmacist Donna Mattera of Springfield is preparing to open a pharmacy in Farmer City at the urging of community leaders there.

Mattera, who owns the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in Gibson City and the Uvanta long-term care pharmacy in Chatham, said last week she has agreed to open a pharmacy in the building at 219 S. Main St. in Farmer City. She expects to sign a contract soon.

"We're hoping to be open in the latter part of the fall," she said. "It's going to be an old-fashioned type of pharmacy with a soda fountain."

Plus, the soda fountain is expected to serve up not only milkshakes, but also healthier treats such as smoothies.

Mike Sandsmark, the pharmacist in Gibson City, will be a partner in the Farmer City pharmacy, Mattera said.

"I'm all about the small-town pharmacy. You get to know the customers a lot better and have better personal relationships," she said.

For customers unable to come inside, "just pull up front and honk," Mattera said. "We will bring the order out to you."

Mattera said that at age 15, she began working at a pharmacy with a soda fountain in the southern Illinois city of Cairo. Her boss there encouraged her to attend pharmacy school.

The Farmer City pharmacy staff is expected to include a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician and someone to run the "front end" of the store, including the sale of over-the-counter medicines and the soda fountain, Mattera said.

The building at 219 S. Main St. has been vacant for more than five years, and the city and the DeWitt County Development Council have been seeking tenants for it. The city took ownership of the building in 2012.

Forget Waldo; where's Aldi?

Reader Susan Carrington asks if Aldi is ever coming to Savoy.

Heather Moore, vice president for Aldi's Dwight Division, replies that Aldi has looked at Savoy in the past.

"We've been working with a couple of individuals down there, and right now we're not prepared to talk about it," she said.

"We're in the infancy stages of research right now."

Moore said Aldi opened a new store in Urbana in 2006 and replaced its Champaign store on North Mattis Avenue with a store at North Prospect Avenue and Interstate Drive in 2011.

She said the Champaign-Urbana market has been "good to us. We see new customers every day."

Meanwhile, Aldi is gearing up for the June 30 "grand reopening" of its store at 502 S. Gilbert St. in Danville.

That store has undergone a major remodeling and expansion, growing from 15,150 square feet to 17,536 square feet. The store remained open during remodeling and expansion.

Aldi has been busy in other parts of central Illinois as well. It replaced two stores in Springfield and added a third there last fall, and it plans to replace its Bourbonnais store in early 2015, Moore said.

Yoga moves, Part II

Last week we reported that the Living Yoga Center is moving from downtown Urbana to the Painters and Glaziers union building at 212 S. First St., C.

Now comes word that another yoga spa — Green Yoga Spa, also located at 115 W. Main St., U — is moving to a new location.

Nelson Beck of Green Yoga Spa reports it will relocate to a Victorian house at 302 W. Elm St., U.

"We are very excited to offer all of our services in such a tranquil location," Beck said. "The Green Yoga Spa will move on June 28 and reopen at the new location July 1."

Central Illinois Natural Health Clinic — led by Andrew Peters, who holds doctor of chiropractic and doctor of naturopathic medicine degrees — will join Green Yoga Spa at its new location.

Wanted: Rising young leaders

Nominations are now open for Central Illinois Business magazine's seventh annual Forty Under 40 awards.

If you know an outstanding young professional under age 40 who deserves recognition for great leadership and dedication to community service, nominate them for this recognition.

Winners are chosen based on achievement, experience, innovation, leadership and community involvement. They will be listed in the October/November issue.

Nominations are due June 20 — less than two weeks from now.

The nomination form is available at

Email or call Cassandra Schowengerdt at 351-5642 with questions.

Central Illinois Business is a publication of The News-Gazette Inc.

If you have a possible item for It's Your Business, contact Don Dodson at 351-5227; by email at; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

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DEB wrote on June 08, 2014 at 10:06 am

I used to like Aldi's when they were open in Champaign. Now they are too far to go. I can't walk and the bus is horrendous in both route and timing and convenience for shopping. I hope a Savoy location is more convenient. I miss Aldi's. But, the new Ruler Foods is a great substitute. Sometimes cheaper than the old Aldi's store, and has a much wider selection of foods.

Orbiter wrote on June 08, 2014 at 12:06 pm

"But, the new Ruler Foods... has a much wider selection of foods."

     Yeah, I noticed that Ruler has a greater range of products than Aldi. Except almost everything is the Kroger brand. Other brands are few and far between.  I'm not saying the Kroger brand is bad, just that it's the only option. 

     Still, it's nice to have a grocery store (other than Walgreens) in the Round-Barn/Country Fair area of Champaign.  We sorely miss the old Jerry's IGA.

     Not everyone has an automobile (not everyone is able to drive--think about the elderly, the DUI, the environmentally conscious, some handicaps, and the cash-strapped). Alas, unless you're able to drive, or spend hours on busses, it's difficult to obtain fresh meats, dairy, and produce in many of our neighborhoods.  Having nearby shopping options available is important for good health for many folks, so I'm glad to see Ruler and others making an arrival.

     Too bad County Market wants to leave Kirby St. That Kirby location is right near the park, the University, many apartments, and homes. Some day just watch how many folks actually do WALK to that store--it's quite a few.