In 1930, Dr. Joseph Rosin and his brother, Maurice, opened a small shop on Cermak Road in Cicero. In 80 years, the shop has grown from a small family-run optometrist's office to a regionally renowned business that has sharpened the eyesight of celebrities such as Joe DiMaggio and Plácido Domingo and left its mark on the Chicago area by designing famous symbols such as Harry Caray's trademark glasses and the novelty shades that adorn the John Hancock Center. Today, Rosin Eyecare rests in the hands of the third generation of Rosins, ably helmed by brothers James and Jonathan, who continue a proud tradition of warm, personal service as they improve eyesight with high-tech LASIK and PRK treatments as well as stylish eyeglasses with scratch-resistant lenses. At 16 locations, including the newest office Long Grove, a staff of optometrists keeps optical orbs in high function with comprehensive exams, treating each patient's individual needs with products such as a contact-lens implant or a prescription safety eyewear.
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for?fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Caf?, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Gary Poppins's popcorn proprietor draws upon the tongue-pleasing know-how he garnered at the Culinary Institute of America to outfit freshly burst kernels in classic coatings and creative flavors, dreaming up creations that have been praised by New York's Daily News and snatched from the shelves of specialty stores. The shop mixes up 24 different flavors, from traditional Chicago-style favorites such as cheddar to honey-mustard popcorn that combines stone-ground mustard and the tears of a dramatic queen bee. The shop also purveys roasted nuts, available plain or frosted with a blend of cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla that spreads its heavenly scent without the bitter taste of a pine-tree car air freshener.
…V Boutique festoons fashionable women with trendy, brand-name apparel and handcrafted jewelry. The boutique's fashionistas pepper their racks with classic and contemporary pieces that run the gamut from casual attire for running everyday errands to dress-casual wardrobes ideal for walking conceited poodles through the park. Dresses ($55–$85) colorfully drape bodies like robes fashioned from Lucky Charms, and jeans from Tru Luxe ($80–$100) comfortably cover leg parts. Karen Kane blouses ($20–$60) and pants ($50–$80) give clothes hangers access to the most exclusive closet nightclubs, and handmade jewelry and other assorted adornments ($20–$40) chicly accessorize any simple outfit or complicated mathematical theorem.
For more than 30 years, Crain's Chicago Business has been covering the ins and outs of the business world?first in a weekly business newspaper and now on an award-winning website, too. Though the publication breaks new stories constantly, it's best known for its iconic annual issues. The 40 Under 40 issue, for example, highlights young business innovators, and the Best Places to Work issue focuses on businesses well-loved by their employees, such as Santa's workshop.