A good year for new business starts

A business revival of sorts began in 2017 in Monticello, with several hanging out their shingle throughout the year. Among those featured in the Journal-Republican were JayDiz Fishing, The Golden Kitchen, Click Studio, Andrea Marcel Photography, Monarch Brewing Co., and The State Bank of Bement (new Monticello branch).

In addition, Steeple Coffee House changed ownership, as did the Monticello Dance Academy.

Bill Abbott, the president of Bill Abbott, Inc., reached his 50-year milestone of operating a car dealership in Monticello, Monticello Curves partied to celebrate 15 years locally, and Pies by Inge expanded its footprint.

2018 should also be brisk for new businesses opening up. Susie Lu’s Cakes and Pastries and Sangamon Meat and Sausage Co. are both scheduled to locate downtown, and three bed and breakfasts are slated to open in Piatt County.

Also opening early in the year will be a medical clinic operated by Decatur Memorial Hospital, and work will continue on converting the former First Mid-Illinois bank building into a multi-use business center.

Here is a review of business action in Piatt County last year.

Jan. 4 – Christie Clinic announced Dr. Mitch Hammel would relocate his practice from Champaign to the downtown Monticello clinic.

Jan. 11 – Topflight Grain Cooperative announced plans to construct an additional, 105-foot wide grain bin at its Bement facility.

Feb. 1 – John Diniz and his business JayDiz fishing were featured.

March 1 – Monticello’s planning and zoning board endorsed a conditional use permit and variance request that would allow Topflight Grain Cooperative to construct an additional grain bin at its Monticello location. The city council then approved the zoning permits.

March 15 – The Golden Kitchen restaurant quickly filled the void left by the closure of the China Star establishment that had closed in the fall of 2016 in Monticello. The owner of the new restaurant is Jing Gao, with his daughter Annie Gao managing the business at 402 W. Center St.

March 29 – Zach Hillard of Monticello was named Chief Investment Officer of Busey Wealth Management.

Farmer City-based Cropsmith is a finalist in the Tulane University Nitrogen Reduction Challenge, which is seeking innovative ideas to battle dead zones such as the one that kills wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

April 12 – What began as a community of photographers helping each other on larger shoots led to Click Studio, a 4,000-square-foot space in Monticello that houses three separate photography companies. The three are Mike Heiniger Photography, Twin Lenses Photography and Seven Nails Photography.

Andrew Dunlap opened up Andrea Marcel Photography in the State Street Business Center in Monticello.

April 19 – Monticello Business Bootcamp winners Jeffrey and Susie Ryan announced they would open Susie Lu’s Cakes & Pastries in Monticello.

April 26 – In an effort to boost attendance, the Monticello Chamber of Commerce Business Expo moved from a Tuesday to a Friday and hosted race packet pickup for the Kirby Derby. At least 500 runners were expected to pick up packets during the expo.

June 7 – Central Illinois Manufacturing Company (Cim-Tek) of Bement purchased the former Mondelez Global facility at 1036 S. Market St. in Monticello. Officials said it would be used for storage initially, but could house some light manufacturing in the future.

Marti Gorner is the new owner of the Steeple Coffee House, purchasing the business from her father-in-law and Steeple Gallery founder Jim Gortner.

Nick Bailey took over operations of the Monticello Gymnastics Academy from the late Vicki Foran, and planned to purchase the business from the Foran family.

June 14 – Monarch Brewing Company is becoming a downtown dining destination since opening in the former Monticello United Methodist Church. Owner Matt Miller said future plans include hosting musicians and an outdoor beer garden with live music on special occasions.

Kirby Medical Center in Monticello was named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals on the iVantage Health Analytics Hospital Strength Index for Best Practice Recipient for Patient Satisfaction.

June 21 – Mattex Service Company announced it had acquired Darsham Plumbing, Heating & AC in Monticello.

June 28 – The News-Gazette, the owner of the Piatt County Journal-Republican, announced the PCJR would now be printed by the Journal Star in Peoria.

Gerald Dugan, owner of the Stop ‘n Go in Bement, told the Bement village board that Marathon had purchased the rights to the gas station, which would be re-branded as a Marathon.

July 12 – A week-long grand opening celebration kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Monticello branch of the State Bank of Bement.

In a throwback move, the Monticello Chamber of Commerce announced a revival of the “Frosty” display that included 34 of the creatures being on display outside of various Monticello businesses during the winters of 1999 and 2000.

Aug. 2 — Bill Abbott, the president of Bill Abbott, Inc. reached his 50-year milestone of operating a car dealership in Monticello.

Aug. 30 — Pies by Inge expanded its footprint at its home at The Brown Bag in Monticello.

Michelle Gross was named community banking president of the State Bank of Bement’s new Monticello branch.

Sept. 27 — The staff at Walgreens in Monticello were winners of fan voting for favorite scarecrow during a recent Scarecrow Walk, which featured about 20 scarecrows. Walgreens’ minion-themed scarecrow netted them a bragging rights trophy.

The Monticello Curves held a party to celebrate it’s 15th birthday, which coincided the 25th anniversary of the founding of Curves nationally.

Monticello physician Dr. James Manint earned a 2017 Rural Physician of Excellence Award from the Illinois Rural Health Association.

Oct. 11 — Heidi and Clayton Ahlden resigned their positions executive director and president of the Bement Area Chamber of Commerce.

Nov. 1 — Kirby Medical Center received awards of excellence from the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network

Nov. 8 — Ground was broken on phase I of a Kirby Medical Center expansion, which will include a 16,500-square-foot addition.

There will be a local contingent among the staff of the Decatur Memorial Center clinic that is set to open in January of 2018. It’s physician, Dr. Zachary Shipp, and nurse practitioner Megan Shelton both live in Monticello. “I’ll enjoy a 30-second commute to work,” said Shipp.

Dec. 13 — Andrew and Rebekah Bradley announced they would open a retail meat shop, Sangamon Meats & Sausage Co. in Monticello in 2018. The couple will get $5,000 in help as the latest Monticello business bootcamp winner.

BeYoutiful Beads and Baubles opened in Cerro Gordo and held an open house.

Dec. 20 — Monticello attorney John Foltz retired after 44 years as an attorney, most of that time in Piatt County.

Dec. 27 – Three bed and breakfasts could open in Piatt County in 2018. One – Moon Grove Farm – located on the Piatt/Champaign County line in rural Mahomet could also feature a u-pick flower farm.


Categories (2):News, Other


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