Art Mart first opened its doors in 1958 on the corner of First and Healey streets in Champaign. The original building is still there 57 years later. Art Mart began as a gallery for faculty artwork from the University of Illinois and sold contemporary dinnerware and gifts. Several years later we moved to our Green Street location, in the heart of campustown near the Coed Theater. In 1978 we moved to Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana. Art Mart Foods opened in 1981 followed by Art Mart Toys in 1995.
Later this year we will be moving to 1705 S. Prospect Avenue in Champaign, the former Carter’s Interiors location. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to realize a long time desire to have our own building where we will be able to develop our family owned business to its full potential. Our new location is centrally located allowing us to serve all of Champaign-Urbana while maintaining our neighborhood feel.
We would especially like to acknowledge our many friends and loyal customers from Urbana, those who work nearby and who have played an enormous role in making Art Mart what it is. Many of our current customers used to come in with their families when they were children. We will miss the energy of Urbana’s Market at the Square and all of the downtown folks who stop by for a coffee and a croissant, to pick up lunch or just chat. However, the new store location is only 10 minutes away and we look forward to seeing all of you there.
We will still have our entire merchandise mix at the new store, and the additional space will allow us to increase our department sizes and services. There will be an even greater selection of international and craft cheeses, charcuterie, deli, comestibles, and chocolates. We will increase our fine wine selection and add a tasting room (yes, Todd Fusco is coming with us). We’ll have an expanded bakery and will add to our wonderful pastries and Art Mart cookies. Additionally, we will have plenty of seating for lunchtime or a casual snack stop. Convenient carry-out selections, sandwiches and salads, and of course, our specially prepared catering trays, will all be available.
China, tabletop, gifts, personal care, toys and Jennifer North clothing will all have their own space. Our gift baskets and registries, corporate gifts and more will all be available through the concierge. Oh, and plenty of parking for everyone!
We’re really excited to be able to create this new Art Mart-a place with all of the old favorites and a place for you to discover new ones!
Linda and Dick Ballard
Courtney and Brian McKay