An "extreme cake artist" plans to bring his talents to Homer.
Ogden native Eric Woller, who has competed in culinary competitions on Food Network and TLC, hopes to open MeMe's Treat Boutique in a storefront on Homer's Main Street.
His wife, Patty — also part of the business — said MeMe's will offer custom-made cakes for all occasions and also make gourmet cupcakes.
The couple operated a similar business under the same name when they lived in Orlando, Fla., a few years ago.
In creating cakes, Woller specializes in structure and special effects. He has used moving parts, lighting, fog and even scent machines in his creations.
He was a three-time champion on TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off" and also appeared on "Food Network Challenge."
Woller was a scenic prop builder for the Wet 'n Wild water park in Orlando. Now he's putting his artistic skills to use as a fabricator for Taylor Studios in Rantoul.
He and Patty are attempting to raise $9,500 for the MeMe's venture at the Kickstarter fundraising website. As of Wednesday night, they had $1,526 pledged, with 23 days to go.
"We hope to be up and running come summer," Patty Woller said, adding the business hopes to serve both the Champaign-Urbana and Danville areas.
MeMe's is named for both Patty's mother and Eric's grandmother, Patty Woller said.
She said the couple hopes to do a live cake-creation demonstration for the Ogden Celebration in June.
One Week Boutique returns
Folks looking for affordable children's clothing, shoes, toys and books have an extra option next weekend.
One Week Boutique returns to Champaign starting Saturday and continues through the following Monday.
The venture by Donna Pepper offers gently used children's items from more than 400 families.
This year, the boutique will be held at 2002 Glenn Park Drive, C, next to the County Market store.
Hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday and noon to 7 p.m. Monday. Most items are 50 percent off the final day.
As an added attraction, Barnyard Discoveries will bring farm animals to the site from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
A $2 admission to the boutique will be charged only on Saturday, with some proceeds benefiting Crisis Nursery and the Center for Women in Transition.
More than 40,000 items will be available, including clothing from newborn size to size 14, maternity clothing, strollers, high chairs, cribs, nursery items, toys and playground equipment.
For more information, visit http://www.oneweekboutique.com . Anyone pregnant with or adopting their first child and anyone with a first child under a year old can register at the website to shop at the First Time Moms pre-sale.
Carol Hays of Dewey has started Encore Craft and Design, a business that sells the works of local artisans and crafters at home and office parties, trunk shows and special events.
The distinction: All the works of art are made from reused and repurposed materials.
So far, Hays has enlisted nine artists and is talking with 10 others about taking part.
The merchandise includes leather work, purses and bags, lunch kits, dish scrubbers, hanging planters, wall decor, decoupage and glassware.
Encore's first event will be open to the public, from 1 to 5 p.m. April 22 — Earth Day — in the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens at Lake of the Woods Park in Mahomet.
Hays said 5 percent of the proceeds of every item sold through Encore will be donated to area groups that promote environmental protection and sustainability.
Artists, crafters and makers interested in consigning items for sale can contact Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org . She can also be reached at 778-2919.
Yoga center to get new owners
Deb Brinegar Lister, director of the Living Yoga Center in Urbana, recently informed clients that Steve and Sharon Willette will become owners and co-directors of the center on June 1.
Brinegar said the last six years, it's been difficult for her to pay as much attention to the center as she would have liked. She went back to school to get a master's degree in occupational therapy and commuted from Chicago every week for three years.
She then began working full time at Carle Foundation Hospital as an occupational therapist.
Brinegar said the center will close for the transition from May 27 to June 3, and reopen June 4.
"There will not be any grand changes, except for cosmetic, and we anticipate it going very smoothly," she stated.
The Living Yoga Center is on the second floor at 115 W. Main St., U. Its phone number is 384-5829.
Happy 100th birthday
Today is the 100th anniversary of C&U Poster Properties, formerly known as C&U Poster Advertising Co.
The company got its start as the A.E. Price Co., which painted signs, made electric signs and provided billboard advertising.
Five years later, F.H. Gillingham, who had worked as a window dresser for the Jos. Kuhn & Co. department store, bought the A.E. Price Co. with a partner.
He owned and operated the company with various partners until 1945 when he purchased the rest of the company. Gillingham served as president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Illinois from 1938 to 1953.
In 1956, he transferred ownership to his daughter, Barbara Gillingham Pope and her husband, Robert P. Pope. They operated the billboard company until 1984, when a company formed by children Kip Pope, Clayton Pope and Whitney Pope Shapland bought the operation.
The billboard business was sold to Adams Outdoor Advertising in 2001.
Today, Barbara Pope continues to own C&U Poster Properties, which still owns some commercial real estate acquired by the company starting in the 1950s.
Are you opening a new business or changing an existing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at email@example.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.