Many longtime Highland businesses have found new homes in the city’s historic downtown in the last few months.
At least 10 Highland businesses and two charitable organizations have moved locations — several into the same building on the Square.
Travel agency Travel One moved from its former location of 30 years on Plaza Drive into the Hellege building, located on the southeast corner of the Square at 1005 Broadway.
Terry Aebischer, the owner of Travel One, is excited about the new location.
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“Oh, it is wonderful,” Aebischer said. “We have a lot of people stop by who want to see the new place.”
Aebischer said the new open floor plan is triple the amount space, compared to the agency’s previous office. More room means easier consultations — which are always free — between agents and clients who come for help setting up family vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons, group travel, etc.
“We plan trips from Branson (Mo.), to Las Vegas, to the Grand Canyon — air flights, Amtrak. Disney is big for us. Cruising is huge — Alaska cruises, river cruises, the waterways of Europe. We do all of the Caribbean.”
When Aebischer decided to move her business, she brought three other tenants with her to the Hellege building, which was recently purchased and is being renovated by Gayle Frey, owner of Frey Properties in Highland.
“I teamed up with Leaps of Love, Highland Printers and the Lions Club,” Aebischer said.
All three had formerly been located in the Highland Chamber of Commerce building on the north side of the Square at 907 Main St.
The first office you find walking down the hall from Travel One is Highland Printers, a printing company that supplies virtually “anything printable” — on paper or otherwise.
Judy Neier runs the business, which is a division of Breese Journal Publishing.
Neier said the new location provides her with more space and additional storage. Neier is also planning a showroom adjacent to her office where she will display some of the 800,000 different novelty items the company can provide. But that is not what she is most excited about.
“I’m most excited that we have visibility,” Neier said of the location at the corner of Washington Street and Broadway, where she now has a window.
Leaps of Love
Across the way from Neier’s office, you will find Traci Reichmann sitting at a desk in an office filled with frogs.
Riechmann runs Leaps of Love, a non-profit that provides services to families effected by childhood brain tumors and late effects of childhood cancer. The frog is the organization’s mascot and encourages all to “fully rely on God.”
Riechmann said the joy of her new office is “all about the little things.”
“I am excited to be here and share it with everyone,” Reichmann said.
Gene “Red” Redman, a longtime member of the Highland Lions Club, said the organization is mainly using its new place for storage, but it still brings benefits they did not have before.
The club is an international organization that has a main focus of assisting people with vision and hearing impairments. Redman said the Highland chapter contributes to many other charitable endeavors within the community.
Redman said the main way the club raises money is through bratwurst and pork burger sales at special events, and most of those events happen in the Square.
“So we were happy to be able to get a place a few steps from the event locations,” Redman said.
The Chocolate Affair
The new Hellege building neighbors also have the privilege of having an across-the-hall neighbor that provides sweet treats. In June, Jen Libbra, owner of The Chocolate Affair, moved her business into another open space in the building.
Libbra said that the space at at 1011 Broadway let her expand the chocolate side of the business. She also has a larger space for artisan craft vendors. The shop’s location is also a plus, according to Libbra, because it gives her business more foot traffic and better parking.
Rinderer moves law firm
When Highland Printers moved, it freed up space in the chamber building, and attorney Marshall Rinderer moved his practice, Rinderer Law Firm, there from his former location about a block away at 907 Washington St.
Rinderer said he is enjoying being neighbors with the chamber and the Highland Community Foundation.
“The new office space is working out great,” Rinderer said. “The chamber has been very supportive since I hung my shingle last year. When I heard Highland Printers was changing locations, I thought their former office would be perfect for my needs.”
More space available
The Chamber Executive Director Nancie Zobrist said that the recent moves have left some spaces open in the chamber building. She said the spaces are being renovated right now, but they should be available to rent soon.
Zobrist said there are no requirements for the spaces, and they are not looking for a specific kind of business or tenant to move in. Interested parties should call the chamber office at 618-654-3721.
More location shuffling
Coffee shop, pharmacy move out of Schuette’s building
Both Nudge Coffee Roasters and Family Pharmacy needed to move after Schuette’s Market, formerly known as SuperValu, closed down in June.
Nudge officially opened its doors on Aug. 9 at its new location near the Square at 1007 Washington St. The move also inspired the roasters to expand their business to a new location in Breese, which opened a few weeks ago.
Family Care Pharmacy’s move was more recent. The move started on Sept. 16, and the business was open for business the following Monday. The pharmacy is now located at 1106 Broadway and has extended the range of products provided.
No other businesses have moved into the former Schuette’s Market yet. Family Dollar is still operating in its same spot next door.
Wicks Organ factory gets new life
After six years of searching for a buyer, the building Wicks Organ Co. has called home for more than 100 years sold in late summer, and the Highland pipe organ maker moved — but not far. They relocated just across the street at 416 Pine St., the old Relevant Pregnancy Options Center.
Core Elite Tumble and Cheer, gym that plays host to competitive cheerleading squads from across southern Illinois, bought the 80,000-square-foot factory. In addition to accommodating their own business, Core Elite owners Frank and Jennifer Ostrander said they will be leasing space in the Wicks factory to Innovative Movements, a dance studio in Highland, and are planning to turn another part of the factory into a venue for weddings and other events.
As for Relevant, the pro-life ministry will be moving into its own newly built facility located at 2653 Plaza Drive in the near future. A building dedication is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15.
B&B/book store opens
When The Chocolate Affair open in its new location, it left legacy of The Tibbetts House, at 801 Ninth St., to Brett and Mindy Casto. The house, built by Dr. Moses Tibbetts in 1914, has long served as the community’s only bed and breakfast.
When the Castos moved to Highland, they decided keep the bed and breakfast going. However, instead of a candy theme, the three guest rooms take their inspiration from works of classic literature. In addition to the B&B, the Castos also opened a used book store in the location.