It's your business: Lucky Puppy shop to cater to canine tastes

It's your business: Lucky Puppy shop to cater to canine tastes

It's a problem all right. Here you are, about to walk (well, maybe run) down the aisle as the ring dog in your people's upcoming nuptials, and nobody can find you a four-legged tux to wear.

And the wedding cake: Wouldn't you think somebody would make something in a flavor you like, say, one tier chicken, one tier liver, hold the chocolate please?

Howl no more, disgruntled canines.

Kari Prior of Rantoul has been making a study of all your upscale shopping and dessert needs, and is about to fulfill your wishes at her new doggy boutique and bakery opening June 1 at Market Place Mall in Champaign.

Prior's shop, called Lucky Puppy Boutique & Barkery, is under construction in the old Gloria Jean's coffee space in the Sears wing.

Prior said she will sell homemade dog treats, made by an Arcola baker and featuring all natural ingredients. They will include doggy doughnuts, birthday and other special-occasion cakes, cookies, decorated bones and treats that look like ice cream cones, pizza and cocktails.

The shop area will carry high-end dog merchandise such as designer collars, beds, leashes, backpacks and designer clothing (including tuxedos and other wedding outfits!) from Goochi Poochi, Juicy Couture, Arfmani and Ruff Lauren.

Prior, a former hair stylist who operated Elements Salon & Spa for 16 years before she sold the business recently, said she figured the area could use a place like Lucky Puppy. For the last few years, she's been traveling around the country looking at other dog boutiques and planning a shop of her own.

Prior also loves dogs herself and has seven of her own, she said. She has been forming bonds with breeders over the last few years and also plans to sell puppies in her shop.

She will have about seven or eight in the shop at a time, in unique and popular breeds, and said she and her staff will advise prospective puppy buyers on how much activity those dogs need, how much they will shed and which might be right for families with children and allergies.

Recent opening

The new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel at 1417 S. Neil St., C, opened April 19.

An upscale property next to the new Hilton Garden Inn, the new Homewood Suites has meeting rooms and 98 studio and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and dishes, high-speed Internet access and hot breakfasts included in the rate. Dinner, served Monday through Thursday, is also included in the rate.

The hotel also has a guest laundry, sports court, two gas grills for guest use, indoor pool and whirlpool, exercise facility and convenience shop, according to general manager Donna Wickersham.

Opening soon

An opening date has been set for the new Talbots Woman shop at Old Farm Shops at Kirby and Mattis avenues in Champaign.

The store will open at 10 a.m. May 17, next to the Talbots and Talbots Petites stores, and will cater to women in sizes 12W to 24W and petites in that size range, the company said.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. that day with a drawing for a $200 Talbots gift card prize, and the winner must be present to collect, the company said.

Shoppers can also register to win another gift card from May 17 to 20, and that winner will be notified later.

Are you opening a new business or changing something at your existing business? Debra Pressey can be reached by phone at 351-5229, or 800-252-3346; by e-mail 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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