Today's Special: Biggby Coffee plans spring start for third local shop

CHAMPAIGN — Biggby Coffee will be opening its third shop in Champaign this spring.

Owner Jim Goetz has signed a lease for a new store at 902 Meijer Drive, as part of the Taco John's strip mall.

Biggby Coffee is a regional coffee house that serves specialty drinks, smoothies, baked goods and other products.

Goetz hopes to open in April.

Wired In: Ran Chao

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet RAN CHAO, CEO and co-founder of LifeFoundry Inc., which uses synthetic biology and robotics to do research and development for biotech companies. Chao, 29, is a University of Illinois doctoral candidate defending his thesis.

Tom's #Mailbag, Jan. 13, 2017

Questions for Tom? CLICK HERE

The mailbag was so stuffed this week (14 items) that we have to hold over some questions and answers to next week. But keep them coming.

UI trustees to review plan to boost diversity in business dealings

CHICAGO — The University of Illinois would boost its goals for doing business with companies owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities under a proposal trustees are set to review next week.

It also would set a goal of awarding 3 percent of state contracts to small businesses owned by military veterans and disabled veterans.

Local startup impresses tech publication at CES

LAS VEGAS — A Champaign start-up has made heads turn at the Consumer Electronics Show, making it onto Engadget's "Best of CES 2017" awards.

Amber Agriculture had already won the 2016 Cozad New Venture Challenge.

Business listings, Jan. 8, 2017

These applications for assumed business names were filed with the Champaign County clerk's office:

Affordable Cleaning, 2301 County Road 2600 E, Ogden, Nichole Hallowell, 2311 County Road 2600 E, Ogden.

Clancy's Irish Bakery, 1729 Valley Road, Apt. B, C, Aine McVey and James Webb, same address.

Wired In: Mahshid Farzinfar

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference-maker. Meet MAHSHID FARZINFAR, 32, co-founder of Shivid, an interactive app platform for children to learn on digital devices. Right now, there's a lot on the app about the planet's early years, dinosaurs and early plant life.

Building permits, Jan. 8, 2017

Listed are permits for all commercial and industrial work, all new single-family and multifamily residences and all residential remodeling costing more than $25,000. Permits are listed by applicant, description, site and cost.


Farnsworth Group, alteration of Aldi store at 801 W. Interstate Drive, $689,733.

When one door closes, another opens

CHAMPAIGN — Farewell to Eddie Bauer, The Limited and Track 'N Trail stores.

Today's Special: Cracked food truck opening restaurant in Campustown

CHAMPAIGN — The owner of the Cracked food trucks plans to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the heart of Campustown.

Daniel Krause of Champaign and business partner William Mackenzie of Champaign said they have acquired the former Antonio's pizza place at 619 E. Green St. and are converting it into a Cracked restaurant.