July 30, 2008

Shop Satisfies Snackers

By Kim Mikus

It's tough to go into Nuts 2 You in Buffalo Grove and only buy one item.

"Some people say the store is dangerous," jokes manager Valentina Maksimenko, who runs the day-to-day operations at the shop, 771 S. Buffalo Grove Road at Dundee Road.

The Buffalo Grove shop is filled with all types of nuts and dried fruits sold in bulk. All the nuts are domestic, coming from Texas, Arizona and California. Another area of the store is devoted to Russian chocolate and other sweets. The store serves as an outlet for Regal Health Food in Chicago.

Gregory Petegorsky owns Regal Health Food on Grand Avenue at Division Street in Chicago. Since 1973 he has operated as a distributor of nuts and dried fruits, mainly selling to the major grocery store chains.

Petegorsky, 60, originally from Russia, said he launched the outlet based on the large Russian population in the Buffalo Grove area.

"We have the freshest product and the cheapest prices," Petegorsky said. He added that deliveries are made every Monday.

Shoppers can find just about any type of nut at the 2-year-old shop.

About 10 kinds of peanuts start at $1.19 a pound. Walnuts, Brazilian nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia and pine nuts, and up to eight types of almonds are just part of the selection. Pecans, which sell for about $6 a pound, are also popular because they are often used for baking.

Cashews will run shoppers about $3.89 a pound. Then there's the honey roasted cashews or the cashews dipped in chocolate.

There's more. Yogurt clusters or dark clusters are delivered to the store and made fresh weekly.

People have learned of the shop through word of mouth, Maksimenko explained.

"Everyone can find what they need. It's great for gifts or for cooking or just enjoying," said Maksimenko, a resident of Glenview who emigrated from the Ukraine about 20 years ago.

The business is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, call (847) 465-9886.

Healthier cookies: In operating a small business, a Bolingbrook mom is attempting to provide a delicious product while raising a family. Linda Hardin, a gourmet cook, has created a line of cookies that she says are healthier and taste better than others on the market.

"Our recipes are unique in that they use whole grain, organic oat flour, organic sweetener and they taste absolutely fantastic," Hardin said. She sells pre-shaped frozen cookie dough.

Hardin, who operates The Dough Girl's Kitchen, has been negotiating with food service companies and school districts. As she continues this lengthy process, she started selling the dough online at www.chrysaliscookies.com.

She's now marketing the Chrysalis Cookies on the convenience factor. When shoppers order them online, they're delivered on dry ice and ready to bake. Vanilla, chocolate crinkles and molasses spice cookies are other options. They sell for about $26 for three dozen.

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