Published Nov. 18, 2010
New stores open in town, more on the
By Pamela Lannom
When it comes to business in
town, the village has much to be thankful for this year.
“It’s much better than it was a year ago,” Tim Scott, the village’s
economic development director, said of the business
climate. “The amount of interest in terms of people who
are calling us is up. When we attended the recent ICSC
(International Council of Shopping Centers) trade show
talking to people there, they were more receptive to the
idea of another location. A year ago you would talk to
someone and they were not only not expanding, they were
Among new businesses that have opened in recent months (see
sidebar) is The Green Goddess. Hinsdale resident Elyce
Rembos has had a great response since she opened Sept.
“It’s been really wonderful,” she said. “I think people have been
very supportive. They’ve been very happy to have a new
store in town.”
Green Goddess carries high fashion products that customers can feel
good about purchasing. Rembos chooses suppliers who are
trying to give back by supporting fair trade or
environmental or charitable organizations. A line of
hat, scarves and mittens in the shop is made from
recycled sweaters. She sells Blue Q soap and gum, which
carry funny sayings and are made by workers with
disabilities. Another line features belt buckles crafted
out of reclaimed metals.
Some people think eco-friendly products can’t qualify as high
“I think they’re pleasantly surprised when they come in,” Rembos
Residents also have been pleased to have a toy store back in town,
according to Laurie Kherani, owner of Learning Express
Toys. The shop officially opened its doors Nov. 11 and
has leased the C. Foster Toys space through Jan. 31.
“Space wise, it’s humongous — it’s too much for us on a permanent
basis,” said Kherani, who also owns a Learning Express
store in Countryside. She’s working with Scott to find a
smaller location in town.
“Those who know don’t want us to go in January,” she said.
“Everybody else is just excited to have a toy store
Learning Express carries “a little bit of everything,” Kherani
said, with an emphasis on toys that spark creative or
imaginative play in children from infancy to age 10 or
Several new stores also should be opening soon.
Kathy and Ray Zuniga have purchased A Taste of Vino and plan to
re-open the wine shop as Village Cellar.
“He’s getting real close to opening his doors,” Scott said. “He’s
just resolving some last minute build-out things.”
A Clarendon Hills business plans to open a party/retail shop in the
old Bugs and Kisses space east of Washington on
First Street. The owners operated a
similar business called Butterfly Garden in Clarendon
Hills for six years.
Air Fitness will open a new location in the old Lori’s Shoes space,
also east of Washington on
First Street. The company carries
fitness equipment and nutritional supplements and offers
The former Lilly Pulitzer space on First Street, which is owned by
Jay Javors, also has generated some interest.
“It’s a big space and it’s a beautiful space but it’s not for
everybody because of its size,” Scott said.
Existing businesses seem to be having a better year as well. This
year’s sales tax receipts have been higher than last
year’s for 11 straight months.
“That’s obviously very encouraging,” Scott said. “We’re not where
we were pre-recession. We’re off 5, 6 percent or so from
our peak, which is still better than we would have
Sales tax receipts for 2010-11 total $1.35 million, which is
$109,190 or about 9 percent above last year’s receipts.
The biggest increase was in May, when receipts were up
more than 17 percent. The village receives tax money
three months after the sale, so those receipts were from
Sales tax receipts were up 3.6 percent last December, and Scott is
hoping for an even bigger increase this year.
“The holiday shopping season is definitely extremely important for
the village and obviously the merchants,” Scott said.
“We’re hoping that some of the general news about the
economy starting to come back will encourage residents
and visitors to shop in town.”
New to town
777 N. York Road
Salon offering manicures, pedicures and waxing
The Face Loft
44 Harrison Place
Features facial treatments that are more clinical than
cosmetic in nature
108 W. Chestnut St.
Converts video, film, slides and photos to DVDs and
sells photo prints and gifts
52 S. Washington St.
Features vintage and new fashion jewelry, accessories,
home goods and more
777 N. York Road
Offers after school math and reading enrichment programs
19 W. First St.
Full-service event planning company
6 W. Hinsdale Ave.
Salon dedicated exclusively to eyelashes and eyebrows
36 E. Hinsdale Ave.
Features educational toys and games that pique a child’s
curiosity, creativity and sense of discovery
18 E. First St.
Contemporary sushi and Japanese restaurant open for
lunch and dinner