It's Your Business: Capoeira center making the move to Urbana

It's Your Business: Capoeira center making the move to Urbana

URBANA — There's soon going to be more movement in downtown Urbana — quick movement involving plenty of kicks and spins.

The Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre Joao Grande — an academy that teaches the Brazilian martial art of capoeira (pronounced CAP-oo-AIR-uh) — plans to relocate to 122 W. Main St. — a second-floor space above Mirabelle Fine Pastries — in August.

The center, run by Denis and Aisha Chiaramonte, has been operating in Champaign-Urbana for about 12 years.

Aisha Chiaramonte said the center is now at 221 S. Locust St., C, next to Trophy Time. Before that, the center was in the IDEA Store building on East Springfield Avenue in Champaign.

The Chiaramontes live just west of downtown Urbana, only a few blocks from the new space, "so we were really excited that we were able to find that location," she said.

The center will continue to conduct capoeira classes for adults and children, hold conferences there and give samba lessons and kettlebell classes, she added.

Although capoeira is described as a martial art, it incorporates acrobatics and dance and is often accompanied by music.

Denis Chiaramonte, who is also an instructor in the University of Illinois Department of Dance, has more than 20 years of experience in capoeira. Two years ago, he was accepted as a student of Mestre Joao Grande, who teaches in New York.

More about classes and summer camps offered by the academy can be found at its website,

Paws to read this

Loving Paws Pet Clinic in Savoy is getting ready to open.

The clinic, on U.S. 45 in front of the Walmart Supercenter, has set July 13 as its opening date. The clinic's staff is already taking appointments by phone, 318-3030, and by email at

Dr. Ellen Kuchenbrod, a veterinarian for 37 years, will work with a younger associate, Dr. Arrin Colgan. Both women are graduates of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Kuchenbrod said they want to offer exceptional care in an environment calming to animals.

"Our focus is low-stress handling, pheromones to reduce stress and lots of treats," Kuchenbrod said. "Less stress promotes good health."

The clinic also plans to offer care options including supplements, herbs, laser treatments and acupuncture.

Loving Paws will also provide boarding services.

"The cats have the best view in the house through the large picture window in their room that looks out onto bird feeders," Kuchenbrod said.

The dogs will have an outdoor play area, she added.

Kuchenbrod said the clinic will have a free library for clients and will support local charities each month, starting with the Champaign County Humane Society.

Loving Paws is planning a grand opening — including lunch and a tour — from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25. Goodie bags and door prizes will be available.

For more information about the clinic, including its full range of services, visit its website,

Coming to M2 on Neil

The McClure Financial Group, which represents Northwestern Mutual in the Champaign area, is expected to move to downtown Champaign this fall.

Dave Jones, president of One Main Development, said the financial services agency has agreed to lease 11,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the M2 on Neil building at 301 N. Neil St.

The agency will occupy the entire east side of that floor, he said.

Brian McClure, managing partner of the McClure Financial Group, was not immediately available for comment. The agency currently has offices at 1807 S. Neil St., C, in Illini Plaza.

Jones said he expects the move to take place around October.

Also at M2 on Neil, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is slated to begin leasing space this week on the second floor. The institute will occupy about 8,500 square feet, Jones said.

The program offers classes, lectures, study groups and travel opportunities to people 50 and older. Most recently, it's been operating from the Atkins Building in the University of Illinois Research Park.

Meanwhile, M2's Entrepreneurial Hub, or "eHub" — a section of the building reserved for entrepreneurs' offices — has moved from the second to the third floor and is expanding to 13 offices. Jones said it's expected to open Aug. 1.

The eHub offers entrepreneurs month-to-month leases, with individual, private offices starting at $350 a month.

Let the renovations begin

Construction should begin in July on an extensive remodeling of the Stephens Building in downtown Urbana, according to one of the building's co-owners, Norman Baxley.

The building at 218 W. Main St., U, is a project of Baxley and his wife Carolyn, as well as David and Lynn Borchers.

Plans call for four two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments on the second story, and space appropriate for a bar or restaurant on the first floor, Baxley said.

"We've got everything ready to go. We'll be sprinkling the building, completely gutting it and putting in new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, a new roof and new hardwood flooring," he said.

The building has about 4,500 square feet on each floor, he added.

The apartments should be ready for occupancy by the spring of 2016, and the first floor will "really not be occupiable until the second floor is completed," he said.

Baxley said the building was originally built as Boyd Stephens' photography studio, and noted Urbana architect Joseph Royer had his studios upstairs at one time.

According to a pictorial history of Urbana assembled by Ilona Matkovski and Dennis Roberts, the building dates from 1903.

Baxley said two significant additions were later made to the building.

For well-heeled Illini

Champaign-based Cozad Wealth Management and the University of Illinois Alumni Association have announced the establishment of Illini Wealth, an asset management and financial planning service for UI alums and friends.

The alumni association recently chose Cozad Asset Management as its "affinity partner" to offer personalized asset management, investment portfolios, financial planning and other services to members.

Skip Heaver, a 2005 UI grad, has been named executive director of Illini Wealth, which will have an office at the Illini Center in Chicago.

Heaver joins Greg Cozad and UI alums Jim Vermette, Ron Kiddoo, Stu Meacham and Mary McGrath, principals in the new venture, according to a release from Cozad Asset Management.

We know where you are

County Market stores in the Champaign and Decatur areas recently launched a smartphone app that knows where you are in the store and sends coupons to you based on your location.

Using location-based "iBeacon technology," County Market can send you, for example, a coupon for $1 off cookies if you're in the bakery section — or another kind of coupon when you walk in the store or when you approach the checkout.

The coupons are also customized to the person's shopping history.

The myCountyMarket app not only allows shoppers to get in-store, real-time offers, but also allows them to create shopping lists sorted by aisle. Users can also call up weekly fliers and maps of the store to help them find products.

Contact Don Dodson at 217-351-5227; 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.