Central Illinois Business Magazine
BUSINESS NOW          April 2014

New area businesses

By Don Dodson
The News-Gazette

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

512 E. Green St., Champaign

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches is to open on the first floor of the former Illini Media building at 512 E. Green St., C., this summer.

Franchisee Brij Patel is opening the multiple-choice sandwich shop in July or August. Customers select a sandwich from one of 10 categories and then choose bread, cheese, spreads and toppings. The options include premium ingredients such as candied walnuts, dried cranberries, artichokes and sriracha sauce. About 20 percent of the menu is vegetarian.

Patel, who lives in the northwest Chicago suburb of Lake in the Hills, said he decided to open a store in Champaign after dropping off a relative at the University of Illinois and seeing the array of restaurants on Green Street.

Ironically, Patel said he became acquainted with Which Wich when he went to Houston for the opening of his brother's Jimmy John's shop -- and they ate at Which Wich.

Patel said he was impressed with the variety of the sandwiches, the freshness of the ingredients and the customer service.

For more information about the sandwich chain, check out whichwich.com on the Web.


124 E. Sangamon Ave., Rantoul

Massimo Panseri planned to open Gustoso, an Italian restaurant, in Rantoul in early March. The restaurant, which will serve authentic Italian pizza and pasta, will be at 124 E. Sangamon Ave., the former home of the Tea Cup Cafe.

"I'm Italian, and my wife used to work in a restaurant in Italy as first cook," Panseri said. "Everything will be made from scratch, even the sauces and doughs."

The menu will include lasagna, tiramisu and "some recipes you can't find around here," he said.

The restaurant will have marinara, bolognese and carbonara dishes, as well as spicy dishes for those who like them, he added.

Gustoso will serve lunch and dinner and be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. It will be closed Mondays.

Panseri is from Pordenone, Italy, about 40 minutes from Venice. He met his wife, Laddawan -- where else? -- in an Italian restaurant.

"My wife always had a passion for cooking and wanted to have her own place," he said.

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Editor's Note

Welcome Home

With spring comes the season for homebuying and homebuilding. I’ve noticed homes in my neighborhood have been selling more quickly than in the past few years. And several homebuilders I talked with for this issue’s cover story are optimistic about what this season will bring.

The Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois will have its Showcase of Homes in the Prairie Meadows subdivision in Savoy from June 12 to 22 — the first showcase in five years. I’m looking forward to checking it out and seeing the craftsmanship of area homebuilders.

Also in this issue, we have a profile of architect Andrew Fell, who has designed both single-family homes and numerous apartment buildings in our community.

Two University of Illinois professors are hoping they can influence the paper industry to be more environmentally friendly. They’re experimenting with making paper from native prairie grasses and agricultural waste. Read about them in the Innovation feature.

Enjoy this issue, and the spring season.

Jodi Heckel is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or jheckel@news-gazette.com.