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Business and Industry

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy of Northern Kane County. The restaurants, retailers and service providers of the area not only pay taxes and provide services to local residents, but they also contribute to the substance of area communities by helping with charitable and service projects that bring a sense of well-being to residents.

Payroll Vault

Blair Motl comes from a family of accountants. In fact, he worked for his father’s accounting firm for seven years before starting out on his own in 2013 with a franchise called Payroll Vault. His office, located in East Dundee, is one of 24 offices nationwide.

Payroll has become more complex for business owners to navigate. Today’s many regulations put the business owner at risk of incurring fines and penalties that far exceed the cost to hire a professional payroll company, according to Motl.

Many business owners find that the time savings alone make hiring a payroll firm worthwhile when they consider compliance tasks including reporting, filing and payment of taxes. Add health care reform regulations, legislation, looming non-compliance issues, fees and fines and it is no wonder that today’s business owners are handing over their payroll to trusted experts.

“As a full-service payroll service, we try to make things as easy as possible for our clients and we also have a long list of vendors for related items and services ranging from time clocks to pay cards to unemployment legal assistance,” he explained.

“When I joined the Northern Kane County Chamber two years ago I was working alone and had zero clients. Today, largely due to referrals and business that has come directly from the Chamber, I have 43 clients and two employees,” Motl said. “I am thrilled with that growth.”

“Now that I am running my own business, I find that I am more of a salesman than an accountant and joining the Business Power Connection networking group at the Chamber has been extremely helpful. It has provided me with a regimented way to meet people, to give and take referrals. It has also taught me how to structure my 60-second elevator pitch and how to speak in front of a group. The Chamber has been a safety zone for me as a new business owner.”

Motl is also actively involved locally as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls’ Club of Dundee Township and he assists with special events planning in East Dundee.

Spa Bleu

Spa Bleu has been an integral part of the West Dundee community since it opened nearly 12 years ago in a 3,800-square-foot historic home at 106 N. Second St. In fact, the full-service day spa has been such a success that Spa Bleu opened a second 2,850-square-foot location at The Arboretum of South Barrington seven years ago and has maintained both locations ever since, employing approximately 70 people. Both are owned by Tammy Coakley who had the West Dundee location totally renovated and updated in 2014.

“We offer services for hair, nails, makeup and skin and also provide massages and body treatments,” explained Heather Hazlett, Director of Operations. “In addition, we are a full Aveda salon and spa. We only use Aveda products and are the only Green Circle-certified salon in the suburbs which means that we recycle 95 percent of our waste – even the hair we cut. It is used to make the booms they use to soak up oil spills in the ocean.”

Spa Bleu and its employees are very active in raising money for charity. They held a “Trashion Show” last fall in which people modeled fashions they had made from recycled items like Grand Victoria Casino playing cards. The event raised money for the children of Nepal who were hard-hit by the recent earthquake.

Locally, their employees adopt needy families each Thanksgiving and Christmas and they encourage their clients to donate food to the FISH food pantry, through the salon’s collection. Employees also spend a day each summer helping Habitat for Humanity in Elgin.

“We touch more than people’s hair and nails by helping out in the community and also deliver extra services to our clients. They get a hand massage with every haircut and a foot soak before every massage and facial,” Hazlett said.

A&T Plumbing and Son

Leth and Nina Pearson opened A&T Plumbing 35 years ago and in the intervening years added their son, Leth, to the firm, so now they are known as A & T Plumbing and Son.

Based in Carpentersville, they handle all types of plumbing work for both residences and commercial establishments throughout the Fox Valley, but they will also travel as far as Waukegan when asked.

“We offer a 24-hour phone line for emergency service, as well as friendly, reliable service and reasonable prices,” explained Nina, corporate secretary.

Services they offer include bathroom remodeling, water heater installation, sewer rodding and replacements, boiler repairs, disposer installation, pipe repairs and anything else involving water running through a pipe, according to Nina.

Nina and her family are active in the Northern Kane community. They are members of the Northern Kane County Chamber and she is the secretary for the Carpentersville Morning Rotary where she is active in their events.

In addition, Nina feels a special affinity for charities that help children since she was the recipient of a liver from a child about five years ago, she said. So she is active with the Boys and Girls Club and annually solicits warm coats for needy children.

“I owe my life to a child, so I want to pay back,” she said.

RDP Builders

Lauren and Rod Perrine started RDP Builders in 2010, in the midst of the housing recession, and, amazingly, they have never experienced a lull in business, according to Lauren. Their business has grown entirely from word-of-mouth “marketing” with one client telling another.

Prior to starting RDP (Remodel Design Perfection), Rod worked for a large new home construction company as a master union carpenter and Lauren worked for Pottery Barn and had a home staging company on the side. She is an interior designer who studied at Harper College.

“Rod is the general contractor for RDP and I am the interior designer who works on finishes with the clients and we end up with a very nice product at the end,” she said.

“We do everything from small bathroom remodels to full-scale, new-home construction. In fact, we plan

to start building a new home in early 2016. RDP does lots of additions and high-end basement finishing and work within a one-hour radius of our home in Crystal Lake.

Our work is primarily residential,” Lauren continued.

They have also recently become a dealer for Woodland Cabinetry and plan to open a “by appointment only” showroom in February. They plan to offer cabinetry to other contractors, as well as to their own clients who will receive it at a discount since there is no longer a middle man.

Lauren has been an active member of the Northern Kane Chamber since she had her staging business and has continued in it with RDP. She is an active member of the Business Power Connection networking group.

“We have done lots of work for Chamber members so membership has been great for us,” Lauren said.

RDP donates excess materials to a homeless shelter in Rockford and actively tries to recycle items that they pull out of clients’ homes, if possible. They also participate in the Northern Kane Chamber’s charitable events like the annual “Dollars for Scholars” luncheon.

Spring Hill Mall

Spring Hill Mall is a centerpiece of the Northern Kane region and has been since it was developed in 1980. Over the last 35 years, the mall has undergone several renovations, first in 1992 and again in 2005.

In 2011, then owner General Growth Properties announced it would spin off 30 of its mall properties, which included Spring Hill, into a newly formed company, Rouse Properties. In 2012, Rouse assumed ownership of the 1.2 million square foot, single-level, enclosed mall, and in a little over three years, has transformed the mall’s merchandising mix; enhanced the shopping environment; increased the center’s productivity; and strengthened the mall’s relationship with the villages of West Dundee and Carpentersville.

Rouse has brought several high-profile brands to the center including Cinemark, Panera and Nestlé Toll House Café and this past summer Rouse unveiled a plan to transform Spring Hill Mall into the premier retail, dining and entertainment destination in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs.

The redevelopment will include the creation of a new entertainment and dining pavilion that will combine high-volume restaurants, destination shopping, and a 37,000-square-foot, state-of-the art Cinemark Theatre (which will open in spring, 2017). A new exterior plaza with seating, landscaping, and other amenities is also planned to provide a fresh and sophisticated environment for customers and families.

In addition, approximately 25,000 square feet of enclosed mall space is being reconfigured into outward facing retail to create a highly visible streetscape near the new theater and restaurant pavilion.

Once the redevelopment is complete in late 2016, Spring Hill will serve as a modernized and vibrant gathering place for the villages of West Dundee and Carpentersville and surrounding communities.

“Rouse takes great pride in being actively involved in the communities where its malls reside and is committed to hosting a variety of family-friendly events throughout the year that appeal to all ages. For instance, its hosts an annual Touch-A-Truck and Family Fall Festival events in October and a series of holiday-themed events throughout November and December that the entire family can enjoy,” explained Amy Resch, General Manager. “Rouse believes it is these type of events that create an unparalleled shopping and social experience at its malls and help to bring the community together.”

Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove and Lee

Patricia Tauchert and her law partner Tempia Courts are the face of the law firm of Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove and Lee at the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce.

For 37 years Tauchert has concentrated on business-focused law including purchase and sale of businesses, agreements between business partners, commercial real estate, resolving business disputes, writing up all that small print on business contracts and estate planning. She and her partners, Courts and Jim Pluymert, also work on behalf of local nonprofits.

The nine-attorney firm, which also has an office in Des Plaines, practices primarily in Kane, Cook, Lake and McHenry counties but also handles interstate transactions and legal work for their clients. The firm focuses its practice on business and estate planning issues including litigation of insurance and business matters and mediation.

Members of the firm are all actively involved working on behalf of local charities and organizations in the communities where they live. For instance, Tauchert is a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Elgin; is involved with Business Networking International of the Elgin/Dundee area; is a legal volunteer with Bible-Related Ministries; and is the secretary of the NKCC’s Women in Business group that raises money for scholarships for area high school seniors and continuing college students.

“We are all part of this community and we all feel that we want to make a contribution to the place where we live,” she said.

Bandito Barney’s Beach Club and Bordello

Bandito Barney’s Beach Club and Bordello has been a fixture in East Dundee, located at the corner of North River and Jackson streets, since the early 1980s, according to Lauren Schroeder, bar manager. The busy sports bar, with its mammoth beer garden outside and party room upstairs, is located in a historic Victorian house. It was founded by the McNamee brothers who ran it for years and are now both deceased.

Now on its second owner, Roger Shelton, Bandito Barney’s is still going strong. Last year the famous beer garden with its deck, gazebo, stage and sand, was renovated and a brick wall built to enclose it.

“A larger bar was also constructed and it is now enclosed by a glass wall which comes down in the summer,” Schroeder explained. “It is only enclosed from mid-October through March.”

Bandito Barney’s appeals to a wide clientele. In the winter, it is primarily a sports bar and is actually an “official” Blackhawks bar. People also flock there to watch other Chicago and college teams play throughout the year. During the weekday lunch hour, it appeals to retired people and local businesspeople. And in the summer, the live music Wednesday through Sunday on their outdoor stage draws scores of music lovers, Schroeder said.

Bandito Barney’s is well-known for its charitable efforts within the community. They often hold fundraisers for causes ranging from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to other causes, based on what patrons and others in the community consider important.

“We step in wherever we see a need, raising funds for a former Elgin fireman one time and funds for a local little girl last spring,” Schroeder explained.

Randall Oaks Dental

After several years of working as an associate in other dental practices, Dr. Dan Adamo started Randall Oaks Dental at 2261 Randall Rd., Carpentersville, in late 2014.

“I decided to start my own practice because I wanted to do things differently,” Dr. Adamo said. “First of all, this is a people practice. We love people so we have a very open line of communication between doctor and patient. My treatment approach is simple: listen to my patients and work with them to reach a healthy goal. I help patients evaluate their options and find a solution that works both dentally and financially.”

The team at Randall Oaks Dental accommodates patients’ schedules by opening as early as 7 a.m. and staying open as late as 8 p.m. They also offer Saturday hours. In addition, Randall Oaks Dental offers financing options.

“Second, I wanted to only use premier materials for my patients. Only high-end composites and dental labs are used. 3M makes my filling material and my dental labs use all U.S. materials. I don’t send my work to China. I know the owners of my lab – which is located in Arlington Heights – and many of their technicians, too. There is both an art and a science to dentistry and the materials a dentist uses is part of the science component.”

Randall Oaks Dental handles dental procedures ranging from tooth implants, to cleanings, filling, root canals, dentures and Invisalign. From routine cleanings and fillings to implants and sleep apnea, Dr. Adamo and his staff are equipped to handle all your dental needs “and if something is beyond my comfort level, I have local trusted specialists to whom I can refer patients,” he said.

A native of the Northwest suburbs, the graduate of the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine said that he is very excited to come home and serve his community.

Dr. Adamo has already become actively involved in the community. He is a local oral health leader who participates in parades and festivals; gives presentations to Scout troops; and hosts community events such as blood drives. He also holds a candy buy-back program after Halloween each year, paying children $1 per pound for their trick-or-treat goodies and then donating them to troops worldwide through “Operation Gratitude.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit

Four Legs Pets

Four Legs Pets of Algonquin and Gilberts began as an in-home pet sitting service in 2004, but it has grown by leaps and bounds, imitating the creatures for which its cares, 24/7.

The Algonquin Four Legs Pets store opened in 2006, followed by the Gilberts store, grooming salon and lodging/training facility in 2010, according to Stacy Pyrek, owner.

Both stores offer natural pet foods and supplies but all of the services like doggy day care, lodging, grooming, hydro therapy for weight loss, exercise and pain alleviation and training are located at the Gilberts facility.

Four Legs Pets also provides daily dog walking services and in-home dog and cat sitting for vacationers by one of their five trained pet sitters. The sitters generally stop by clients’ houses three times a day to feed, play with and let out their animals. They will also pick up mail and newspapers.

As a business owner, Pyrek is active in the Northern Kane County Chamber, participating in expos and attending numerous Chamber events.

An outgrowth of the Four Legs Pets is the Hoof Woof and Meow Animal Rescue (HWMAR), based next door to the Gilberts store at 129 E. Higgins. The pets are cared for in foster homes around the area, however. HWMAR was founded in 2012 to help rescue homeless dogs, cats and horses and to educate the community at-large on the importance of spay/neuter programs and the evils of puppy mills. Pyrek is one of the founding members and serves on the organization’s board of directors.

Her membership in the Northern Kane County Chamber has even opened doors for HWMAR as fellow members, including Piemonte Chevrolet, have graciously allowed Pyrek to hold pet adoption events at their places of business. Diamond Jim’s Bar and Grill in East Dundee even allowed them to hold “Woofstock 2013,” an all-ages music festival fund-raiser, at their facility, donating a portion of food and drink sales to the rescue.

The two stores are located at 1217 W. Algonquin Rd., Algonquin and 133 E. Higgins Rd., Gilberts. For

more information, visit or call

(847) 658-7738 (Algonquin) or (847) 836-7738 (Gilberts).

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