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Visions of Vacancy: Enjoi Bakeshop, Cafe and Catering

With the departure of Enjoi, Channahon and Minooka no longer have a coffeeshop.

In 2007, opened its doors to the Channahon community. By 2010, the bakery was gone - from Channahon, but not for good.

Enjoi opened a second location in 2010 in Morris and that location is still going strong.

"It's downtown, you've got constant traffic," Kellen Walker, co-owner said.

Walker owns the bakery, cafe and catering business with his mom, Joi Walker, wife Michelle and father James.

Enjoi's location in was along Route 6, in the plaza neighboring . Traffic in that location had to be headed to a store in the area or to Enjoi to stop there. And, the store opened at 6 a.m. to serve customers who were headed out of town for work.

Channahon Village Manager Mike McMahon said the area is zoned C3 and he sees certain things fitting in the space nicely.

"I think another bakery or coffee house or sandwich shop, a full-service restaurant may not work there," he said.

He added that Channahon does not have a traditional downtown and that while the planned town center was supposed to fill that void, the economy has put that project at a standstill.

In the meantime, though, the village has formed an , which is seperate from the village. It was formed with business owners and community members to brainstorm ways to attract businesses to the village.

Kellen Walker March 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
As easy as it is to always blame the economy, our village just doesnt get it. The town center could be started tomorrow and it would not cost the village anything. You just need to get a nice town square of green grass with a band shell, some benches, some trees, and a sidewalk surrounding the square so people can walk and push their stroller and just enjoy the town square. You can go out and get local businesses to donate the money needed to do this, have our wonderful churches and other groups help plant flower beds and trees, even try to get the park district to put a playground in. One church already has a garden there that grows food for the food pantry That's how you start a town square. You don't start it by building 3 big mansions. Once it is done, you start having events like a farmers market, local bands, Easter egg hunts, community picnics, etc. You can't build a town center or attract anyone here with a big pile of dirt sitting there. The challenge for our village should be to get out there, get creative, and get to work. We do not want to here excuses because nothing is impossible. Nothing!
Kellen Walker March 17, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I do agree with Mike about the space though. I don't know what could really do great there, but I do know it wasn't the business or lack of local shoppers. We have thanked our many customers and are glad we see you all the time at our Morris store. It just did not fit well in that space and it fits awesome in a downtown setting. If we ever get this town square put together, you can bet I will be the first one to look at bringing the bakery back and helping that square succeed.
Jeanne Millsap March 18, 2012 at 04:12 AM
So now consider bringing in your nice furniture and decor from the Channahon store to the Morris one. As it is, it's not a very inviting place, especially when Morris already has several coffee shops that have a prettier, more relaxing atmosphere.
Vanessa Holloway March 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Kellan- I just want to clarify that your business left town because it wasn't in a town center? Sounds like business was good. And you had a nice set-up. So why jeapordize it? I agree with Jeanne . Your window display is lacking. Just piling up goods in the window made me walk right past your store. Add some decoration in the windows, big cakes, etc. The few times I was in the Channahon store for purchases, it was not a real pleasant experience. It was like I was bother for actually coming in and giving you business. I did like your paczkis and sugar cookies, but the cream pies were gritty. The banquet area was nice. Was there for a couple functions.
Kellen Walker March 20, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Thanks both of you for your constructive criticism. Others had mentioned the same things and I listened. just needed to wait for the budget to allow it. If you come now, the inside has been remodeled and decorated, the outside got a face lift, and our sign has been put up. Window art is being designed. If you read what i wrote, I did not say once that we left because it wasn't in a town center. I agreed with mike that that location just doesn't work for our type of business. I didnt know until it was in a downtown setting that it fit well there. I simply said that our village can only blame the economy for so long and we could jump start that town square with some simple steps and that when it gets going, I am more than happy to look at the opportunity of bringing a small bakery to the square. I made some suggestions that other towns have done and that was all. Thank you both for your business and suggestions. Hope to see you both soon.

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