It's Your Business: Food store opens next week near Menards

It's Your Business: Food store opens next week near Menards

GFS Marketplace, a food store at 502 W. Town Center Blvd., will open next week in Champaign.

The store, located near Menards, plans to open June 28. GFS stores are owned and operated by Gordon Food Service. They cater to customers of the food service as well as members of the public.

The stores are stocked with frozen foods, produce, dairy, janitorial items and baked goods. They sell Gordon brand items as well as name-brand food products such as those from Kellogg's, Tyson and Pillsbury. Items come in bulk and regular-sized packaging.

The store also features a menu planner for organizers planning parties. It calculates per-person cost as well as total menu costs.

The company serves restaurants, caterers, churches and day care providers as well as families. There is no membership fee to shop in the store.

The store can be reached at 356-3056, and it's open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Gordon Food Service is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and there are 135 GFS Marketplace stores in the U.S.

Update on Merry-Ann's

Merry-Ann's Diner owner Tony Pomonis said his restaurant's third location is expected to open in four to five weeks.

The Campustown Merry-Ann's is planned to go into the Gregory Place building at 1103 W. Oregon St., U, previously home to Blues restaurant.

The 24-hour, 2,400-square-foot restaurant will be decorated in 1950s-diner style, and it will offer some quick-bite options for breakfast that patrons can buy on their way to class or elsewhere, Pomonis said. There will be some cold items for pickup such as yogurt parfaits and some hot items such as a breakfast club and a mini-burrito, he said.

Diner employees have been practicing whipping up the hot sandwiches. The aim is to have them ready to serve to customers within three to four minutes of ordering.

Pomonis said hiring for the new restaurant will begin seven to 10 days before the restaurant opens.

A mid-July opening is possible, he said.

Pomonis said he does not have any plans to close the other two Merry-Ann's. The original Merry-Ann's Diner, 1510 S. Neil St., C, opened in 1983, and the second location in One Main Plaza in downtown Champaign opened in 2004.

Repair shop relocation

L & S Clock Repair is relocating. The shop, which opened about 40 years ago in a space on South Poplar Street in Urbana, will be in Liberty Plaza, 1403 E. Washington St., U.

Owner Stephanie Frankhauser joined L & S founder Lee Wilson several years ago and was his apprentice before he retired, and she purchased the business.

"I repair most types of clocks and some watches and other types of repairs for things people don't know where to take to get fixed," such as brass candlesticks and electric razors, she said.

The shop is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Tuesdays and Saturdays by appointment. It can be reached at 367-8242.

New salon

A new salon has opened in Champaign.

J. Alex Salon, 405 Devonshire Drive, offers hair styling and cutting, some facial waxing, manicures and pedicures, said Alex Bui. She and partner Jandee Taylor opened the business, located between Neil Street and Fox Drive.

Bui most recently worked at Kane & Co. in Champaign, and Taylor has worked at Merle Norman as well as Kane & Co.

Bui described the business as a family salon and said it caters to women, men and children.

"We really want to create a comfortable atmosphere that's warm and friendly. We want to make everybody feel at home," she said.

The salon is open Tuesday through Saturday by appointment. It can be reached at 355-0868 or

Jewelry store closing

Miagallo, the jewelry store in One Main Plaza in downtown Champaign, is closing this week. Owner Mark Peckham said he decided to close the store to spend more time with his family. He opened the store there over the winter. The space was previously home to T. Kelly Jewelers, which closed last summer.

"The reality is, I didn't have the time to put into it to make a go of it," Peckham said.

Peckham, who lives in Urbana, said at some point in the future he may reopen a jewelry store closer to his home.

A sale was held there this weekend, and fixtures will be available for sale this week. A firm closing date has not been set. The store is open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached at 344-5000.

To your door

Delivery 4U, the local restaurant delivery business that started earlier this year, has lowered its delivery charge and is now offering delivery from several more restaurants, including Cold Stone Creamery.

That's right. If it's just too hot to leave your air-conditioned home or office, they'll deliver ice cream cupcakes, ice cream cookies and other cool treats to you, according to Terra Diskin, chief executive officer of the firm.

The delivery charge is now $3.99, down from $6.99. The restaurants it offers delivery for include Mirsung, El Toro, Minneci's and Za's. Delivery is available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. More information is available at or 367-5000.

Christine des Garennes can be reached at 351-5388 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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