The Local Factor

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CareBuilders at Home Brings First-Hand Personal Touch to Senior Services
An East Coast transplant, Enrique Vasquez knew first-hand the difficulty in finding quality care for the elderly. For 10 years he had a leading role in pulling together the services needed to care for his aging in-laws. That experience, combined with a strong business background and interest in entrepreneurship, led him to establish CareBuilders at Home, located at 840 S. Northwest Hwy., Barrington.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to serve so many families in our community that are dealing with the same challenges we have personally dealt with,” Enrique said. Committed to bringing that personal touch to the families they serve, Enrique believes he established his business in the right place. “We’ve found that not only is there a great and growing need for senior care services in this area, but Barrington residents really want to work with local family-owned providers like us.”

CareBuilders at Home helps seniors maintain independence and dignity by providing non-medical and private-duty home care services in the familiar surroundings of their own homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their assistance enables seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes and provides relief and peace of mind to loved ones.

“As we interact with so many families and business owners on both a personal and business level, we become vested in our collective success. It is this personal sense of commitment and obligation that is so incredibly important. It is what strengthens our community and benefits it in so many ways,” Enrique said.

This interaction is a true example of the power of the Local Factor – strengthening your community by supporting local. “We live, volunteer, socialize, dine, are active and serve local residents with our services here,” Enrique said. “We actively look for opportunities to support others. By collaborating with other local businesses, we help support their growth and ability to make a positive impact on the clients that they serve. All of this contributes to the strong and vibrant community that we live and work in.”

Douglas Automotive Celebrates 25 Years of Barrington Involvement
Doug McAllister remembers being 18 years old and pumping gas at a local Amoco station. After working there for 14 years, he developed strong skills as a mechanic, service advisor and manager. Doug is now the owner of three automotive repair shops: his flagship shop in Barrington, as well as additional shops in Crystal Lake and Fox River Grove. This year, the business will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

“When I got my first car as a senior at Barrington High School, I immediately fell in love with working on it. My desire was to make everything perfect. I wish I still had it,” Doug said. “It was a blue ‘67 Mustang. As soon as I could, I got a job at the Standard station in Barrington and learned that not only did I love working on cars, but I had leadership skills.”

In 1988, his skills and experience brought him to the next step in his career as he managed and maintained vehicles and equipment for Willow Creek Community Church. It was there that he launched the C.A.R.S. (Christian Automotive Repairmen Serving) program.

Doug and his wife, Janet, are well involved in the Barrington community. For 10 years he has hosted the Douglas Automotive Art Contest for children in grades 1-5. Doug sits on the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is Chairman of the Barrington Service Contractors and participates in the Barrington cruise nights and holiday events.

Committed to the power of the Local Factor, Doug shops local as much as possible, and sees the value of networking and recommending local businesses in the area. “I believe the multiplier effect of local business ownership has a lot to do with the success of small businesses and the communities in which they work,” he said. “Each dollar spent at a local business returns three times more money to the local economy than one spent at a chain store. This multiplier effect helps generate a lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents.”

With a strong love for Barrington, there is no place Doug would rather run his business. “It’s a wonderful place to raise a family and grow a business,” he said. “This area has given me the opportunity to work alongside some wonderful people. We’ve made lifelong friendships with people who are smart, committed and hard working.”

Georgio Brothers Thrive on Passion for Pizza and People!
Brothers Michael, James and Brian Coli grew up around one of their favorite foods – pizza. They remember visiting their dad’s pizzeria, Old World Pizza in Elmwood Park, a place where the community gathered.

“We were able to play with pizza dough and make our own pizzas,” James said. “That’s where our passion began.” Brian recalls learning how to make a perfect deep dish pizza at the age of 10 from the legendary Alice Mae Redmond who worked for Pizzeria Uno and Gino’s East. “She showed me how, step by step, explaining with passion why each step was important,” Brian said. Many years later, in 2002, the brothers opened up their own pizzeria, Georgios Pizzeria and Pub, located in Crystal Lake.

Georgios has since expanded to the Barrington area, at 100 W. Higgins Rd., in The Arboretum of South Barrington. “Pizza is all about family and community, and we thought the Barrington Area was a great fit,” James said. “We really liked the quality of the Arboretum. We felt there was a high caliber of restaurants here, and that we could offer something that they didn’t already have.” What they offer, is award-winning deep dish and thin crust pizza, pasta dishes and some great appetizers, like their artichoke and spinach dip.

Alongside a passion for pizza, the brothers also have a passion for using their business model to positively impact the Barrington community. “We think supporting local businesses is a great way to support the community,” Brian said. “We offer fundraising events and make donations to local organizations that are in need.” The brothers feel strongly that reciprocal interaction is key. “We stay involved because local businesses wouldn’t exist without the support of their community,” Brian said.

Georgios hosts fundraisers for various schools and community organizations, donates pizzas to local food banks, organizations, and fundraisers, and sponsors youth sports teams. They also enjoy participating in events in the Arboretum, as Georgio’s is a popular spot for Barrington locals. “There are a lot of groups in need,” Brian said. “So every chance we get to give back, we jump on it.”

“We’re passionate about pizza, and we care about people and our community,” Brian said.

Three Generations of Kinnamon Use Old-School Approach to Financial Services
What began as a small-town accounting firm called Kinnamon Accounting Service in the 1940s, has evolved into a third-generation, family-owned business solidly rooted in the Barrington community. Today Kinnamon & Associates, LTD. II is a separate financial planning firm that works alongside Kinnamon Accounting to help clients grow their businesses, manage their taxes, and work towards financial security.

“We are a third-generation family business that has many multi-generational clients,” said President Bret Kinnamon. “Some of our clients are grandparents whose adult children are also our clients, as well as their 30-year-old children who often seek advice from us on investments for their young kids’ college funds.”

Their longevity in the Barrington area began when Kinnamon’s grandfather, Elmer, started the accounting firm in 1946. In the 1970s, Elmer and son Leigh began providing financial planning to better serve their clients. In the 1990s, Kinnamon & Associates, LTD. II was established. They are now located at 217 N. Northwest Hwy. in Barrington.

Kinnamon truly enjoys working with people and helping them get a better handle on their lives through financial planning. He takes great pride in the fact that the way Kinnamon & Associates operates is really ‘‘old school,” meaning they operate as stock pickers instead of stock brokers. “I offer unique ideas and plans that might seem unconventional to my clients at first, but ultimately it ends up saving them a lot of money and helping them reach their investment goals.”

With his family’s long history of commitment here in Barrington, Kinnamon recognizes the importance of being dedicated locally, living and working in and supporting in your own community. For many years, he spent much of his spare time coaching his daughter’s softball team on to winning seasons. He also goes out of his way to patronize local businesses in his professional and personal life.

“I like to get involved and help support community organizations and local businesses whenever possible,” he said. Bret believes that support helps others thrive and succeed, and that commitment matches the mission of his own business focus. Supporting your local community benefits everyone.

Notice the Difference in This Small-Town Shop
Building relationships with customers, listening and responding to their needs is the only way to successfully do business, according to Notice, a unique boutique “Main Street” business in downtown Barrington.

“We place a lot of value on being a ‘small town’ shop,” said Mari Barnes. “Mall developers often try to entice the store to move to their malls, and the answer is always no,” she said. “The store is tailored to the tastes, colors and even sizes of our customers, something you would never find in a mall. At holiday time you can even find ornaments that are purchased for specific customers.”

Mari and her husband Charlie started their business as The Custom Framer in Highland Park in 1986. In 2007, their daughter Becky came to work for them and they transitioned the store from home décor and custom framing to an eclectic gift shop. The following year, their daughter Hannah joined the family business. They opened their first Notice in Evanston then came to Barrington in 2012. Today they would describe their store as “a strong mix of apparel and accessories, and an ever-growing baby section.”

Mari remembers feeling as though Barrington had “the perfect small-town feel with the sophistication of a city.” The town is lively with a great mix of stores and restaurants.  It was a perfect match, she felt. 

As an important member of Downtown Barrington, Notice gives to local charities, puts up signs for community fundraisers and works alongside the village to support local events, as well as adjusts their hours seasonally to meet the needs of their patrons.

The power of the local factor is significant to Notice, particularly as a small town shop. “Shop local actually means keeping tax dollars local, employing local adults, and having businesses a short drive from home,” Mari said. 

Mari and her daughters appreciate their humble beginnings as their family business continues to grow. One of her biggest joys is operating a business with her daughters. “Being able to work with your daughters at a place you love is the biggest reward a mom could ever hope for,” she said. “It’s a close second to being a grandmother!”

Skopek Orthodontics Brings High-Tech Art and Science to Barrington
Local Orthodontist Dr. Robert Skopek and his wife Stephanie were drawn to the Barrington area because they were both raised in small towns. “We wanted the small town atmosphere, values and sense of community, yet easy access to big city amenities. Barrington was the perfect Chicago suburb that embodied all of this,” Skopek said.

What they found when they arrived was a town with a big heart.  “Barrington has been the perfect community to raise our children and build our careers,” said Skopek, of Skopek Orthodontics at 110 S. Wynstone Park Dr. in North Barrington. “The ‘power of the local factor’ here is outstanding,” he added. People here are involved, committed, compassionate and generous.

The Skopek family moved to Barrington in 1996, the same year Dr. Skopek lost his father to cancer. “In 1997 I joined the steering committee for the Barrington Relay for Life and chaired this event in 2000 and 2001,” Skopek said. “This was my first personal experience with Barrington and some of its perennial philanthropic leaders. Experiencing the compassion and generosity of the Barrington community up close was really a life-changing moment for me. I will always be a better person because of the people I have met and continue to work with in Barrington through local community organizations and philanthropic groups.”

Being in a community he values makes it even more satisfying to practice his profession here. “Orthodontics has become one of the most exciting segments of health care due to the exponential advancements in technology.” Skopek said goopy teeth impressions have been replaced with a radiation-free scanner that takes virtual impressions faster and at a higher degree of accuracy. Treatment times have been reduced by an average of 2 percent, reducing treatment fees and enhancing efficiency.

“Orthodontics is the supreme blend of art and science, and when you are passionate about being better tomorrow than yesterday, it is truly fascinating and inspiring,” Skopek said.

While he pursues his craft, he continues to be a strong supporter of many organizations including Barrington Junior Women’s Club, The Jeffrey Pride Foundation, WINGS, Barrington Giving Day and Safety Town. “It is this ‘power of community’ that makes Barrington a great place to live, and a great place to have a business.”

Norton’s Brings Life to Made in the U.S.A. Products
In 2003, Deborah Leydig, owner of Norton’s U.S.A., played the role of Barbara Ehrenreich in the adaptation of her book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Immersing herself in the character, she learned most consumer goods in the U.S. are manufactured in other countries. She found this fact troubling, and decided she would open a store of her own that only sold products made in the United States.

Deborah already loved retailing, and had dreamed of having her own store since she was a child. So she was elated when an opportunity to open her own store came up in Barrington.

“When the red barn on Lageschulte was for sale in 2006, I thought, “I have always loved that building, and with three years of research under my belt, maybe this is the time to open my store,’” she recalled. In 2007, Deborah opened Norton’s U.S.A. at 400 S. Lageschulte St. Her efforts have led to both a successful storefront and online business.

Dedicated to supporting local on a broader sense by selling only American-made products, Deborah realizes the importance of being involved and supportive in your own community.

“A community is made up of all its parts: the people, the businesses, the services, and the not-for-profit organizations. You can’t have one without the other,” Deborah said. “When the stores are vibrant, the town is vibrant. We all have seen the towns where everything is closed, it breaks your heart. Buildings need life inside them to keep them alive. I think of retail as the skeleton of a town. Without it, the town falls down. It is more important than ever to support and spend dollars locally. When the skeleton is strong, the community will grow and flourish.

“Everything I do is focused on keeping my business alive, which in turn helps keep the community alive. You can’t separate the two,” Deborah said. “It takes an incredible amount of energy, stamina, and creativity to keep a retail business alive. That is why it is so important that everyone realizes how crucial it is to support your local stores,” she said. The strength of that commitment between local businesses and the community ultimately affects how that community thrives.