It's your business: Apple store up and running in Champaign

A new Apple computer store has opened in the brand-new Illini Media Co. building at 512 E. Green St., C.

But its sales of computers, laptops, iPods and other gadgets will be limited to University of Illinois students, faculty and staff.

The store, called Illini Apple Center, is owned by Illini Media Co., which owns the Daily Illini student newspaper, and was opened under the Apple Campus Reseller program.

All its products are new Apple merchandise, and the store can't offer the general public student discounts, said General Manager Michele Gabris.

Those not affiliated with the university, however, will have a chance to get in on some of the educational activities the student-operated store will be offering, such as the advanced podcasting seminar held this past week in conjunction with the grand opening, Gabris said.

The store is also hoping to open one of Apple's Genius Bars, where people with technical problems can pull up a chair and consult with an expert, she said.

As an authorized campus reseller, the store is authorized by Apple, but the company doesn't control its products and services, Gabris said. The employees are all students, and there is professional management oversight, she added.

For now, store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with plans to add weekend and evening hours later, Gabris said.

Illini Media said it is moving its radio station, WPGU 107.1 FM, into the building soon, and the Daily Illlini will move in sometime in May.

More Slumberland

The Slumberland Furniture store at 615 W. Town Center Blvd. in Champaign has an expansion under way, just a year and a half after it opened.

Owner Paul Hausladen said 6,000 square feet is being added to the back side of the 44,000-square-foot building, and the new space should be ready by August.

The addition was planned from the start, but "we're just doing it a lot sooner than we anticipated," Hausladen said. "We're sort of running out of space."

The plan is to add warehouse space and take some of the current warehouse connecting to the showroom to create an outlet center to sell scratch-and-dent items, closeouts and discontinued pieces, he said.

Right now, that stuff is being sold in the main showroom, but once it's cleared out, the store will have more room to display its furniture groupings, Hausladen said.

Franchise moved to C-U

Desmond Forteau, a military recruiter in Champaign in the 1990s, has relocated his Surface Specialists franchise from Atlanta to Champaign and has renamed it Surface Specialists of Central Illinois.

He is offering refinishing of worn bathtubs, sinks, countertops and appliances. He can also make showers or tubs handicapped-accessible, repair whirlpool jets and add whirlpool jets to existing bathtubs.

Forteau will work across central Illinois. For more information, call 419-4996.

Funeral home sets open house

It's been about a year since the old Joines-Appleby Funeral Home in Newman was destroyed in a fire.

Now, with the funeral home rebuilt on the same spot at 401 W. Gillogly St., Andy and Misty Appleby are inviting the public to celebrate with them at an open house.

People were supportive throughout the rebuilding process, and the Applebys just want to say thanks, Andy Appleby said. The open house is set from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 30.

Appleby said he's been conducting funeral services at his uncle's funeral home in Villa Grove and local churches during the rebuilding.

Quick notes

– Minneci's, an Italian restaurant at 401 S. First St., C, is now a smoke-free restaurant.

– Construction has started on the new Commerce Bank office at the southeast corner of Windsor Road and Galen Drive in Champaign. Work is set to be finished in November.

Commerce Bank is based in Kansas City, and has 13 offices in Illinois in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas.

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 dpressey@news-gazette.com; 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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