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Couple opens cafe, bookstore in Antioch
By Corrinne Hess | Daily Herald Staff

Cafe Book owner Nicole Hayes makes a mocha at the new bookstore, coffeehouse and cafe on Lake Street in downtown Antioch. This is the third business at Lake Street and Toft Avenue owned by Nicole and her husband, Jim.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Alexandra Roszkowiak, left, and Sarah-Maria Bentley, both of Antioch, enjoy their refreshments, cozy chairs and fireplace Wednesday morning at the new business on Lake Street in downtown Antioch.

 

Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

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Published: 3/5/2008 12:17 AM

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Nicole and Jim Hayes have the market cornered on books, beverages and home decor in Antioch.

Literally.

The couple opened Café Book last week, their third store on the busy downtown corner of Lake Street and Toft Avenue.

"Just like with the other two businesses we saw what Antioch was lacking and decided to do something about it," said Nicole, 29.

What the Hayeses did was open a coffee shop and bookstore with plenty of tables and oversized chairs, perfect for people who want to spend a lazy morning sipping and browsing books.

So far, the public seems responsive.

Cassidy Harrison of Antioch played with her daughter Taylor in the children's section of Café Book last week, thankful she doesn't have to drive to Gurnee anymore for coffee.

Nearby, Sarah-Maria Bentley and Alexandra Roszkowiak, both of Antioch, sat next to a fireplace and chatted over coffee.

"I think with so many new subdivisions and younger people moving into Antioch we needed something like this," Bentley said. "It is a big improvement for Antioch."

Jim Hayes said after investing everything you own in a business, it feels good to see people enjoy the product of your hard work.

"You try to conceptualize what it will be like and then when it is finally finished and you stand back and see 30 people at Café Book the first day it opens, you realize this is exactly what we wanted," he said.

The Hayeses' other two businesses are Rustique, a gift and home decor store that is about to celebrate its second anniversary, and Rugans, an upscale wine and martini bar that opened in May.

With three businesses, the couple work seven days a week. In fact, Nicole has been trying to figure out how she and her husband can take Sundays off but so far hasn't had much luck.

"I think we would get bored if it were any other way," Nicole said. "We don't have any kids so right now, these are our babies."

As far as adding any new businesses to their growing empire, the Hayeses said they plan on enjoying what they have, starting a family and then considering whether open a second Café Book, Rustique or Rugans in another town.

Jim, 31, said while many people in Antioch fear the big-box stores that have started springing up along Route 173, he thinks the public will continue to crave a thriving downtown.

"I think all of our stores bring something unique to Antioch," Jim said. "We are passionate about all of the things we do. Here, it is to make sure we serve the best coffee for the best price. We want it to feel like home."