Tradition of sipping rose petal tea with her grandma sparks business idea

Growing up, Candice Crane and her grandmother often sipped rose petal tea in the afternoon. The tradition eventually drove Crane to launch a business involving the flower.

Crane started Petal, a sparkling beverage that boasts zero calories, zero sugar and no caffeine.

The brand uses botanical essences and extracts in its first trio of organic sparkling blends that include Original Rose, Mint Rose and Lychee Rose varieties. The beverages are sold in all five Sunset Foods locations. Crane is looking to expand into other upscale supermarkets and specialty stores. The beverages are sold individually for $2.29 and 12-packs are also available. "It's pure organic bliss packed with plenty of sparkles and antioxidants," Crane said.

She added that "rose water is trending in the beauty industry," and that her longtime love for the flower prompted her into creating the concept. "It's time to stop and sip the roses," said Crane, who was born in South Africa and then moved to the suburbs when she was a young girl.

Crane grew up in the manufacturing industry as her father owned ARPAC, a business that built end-of-the-line packaging equipment for bottled beverages. She remembers walking through the plant to watch beverages being bundled, shrink wrapped, palletized and shipped out. "Entreprenerialship runs through my blood," she said.

She added that her father sold the business a year ago.

In creating her Highland Park business, Crane worked with Eric Schnell, co-founder of Steaz, a growing brand of organic green tea-based beverages established in 2002.

"I see so much passion from Candice coming through Petal that I know consumers will not only find it delicious, but undeniably contagious," he said.

Crane, 33, is raising two girls, ages 5 and 2, with her husband who works as an attorney.

She said the beverage is produced in the Midwest, north of Milwaukee.

"It's a healthy soda replacement," Crane said of her product that was trademarked just over a year ago.

New hire

Cornerstone National Bank & Trust Company said Larry Gillie has joined the company as vice president-treasury management.

"We are delighted to have Larry join our commercial banking team and the Cornerstone family" said President Jeffrey T. Boundy. "Larry's in-depth experience and expertise in treasury management will support our strategic commitment in providing optimal financial solutions for our business clients."

Gillie has more than 23 years of experience in banking and is a graduate of Indiana University, Kelley School of Business and holds B.A. degrees in Computer Information Systems and Operations Management.

Circle of success

For three decades, the Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce has recognized local businesses, organizations and community leaders for their work ethic, commitment to the community, and involvement.

At the recent annual Circle of Success Recognition Dinner night, chamber officials handed out nine awards.

They included:

• Squire Court Shopping Center owners Jim and Vickie Apostolou received a community enhancement award for beautifying their retail strip at Euclid Avenue and Plum Grove Road.

• Craig Hesch of A.H. Management Group, a corporate dining and vending firm, was named business leader of the year.

• Village Bank & Trust, which opened a branch on Algonquin Road last year, was named business of the year.

• Eileen Hart, principal of Rolling Meadows High School since 2011, was named community leader of the year.

• Anna Geissenberger of Express Employment Professionals, who has helped increase business membership in the chamber, was named chamber volunteer of the year.

• Town Square Publications, part of the Daily Herald Media Group, was recognized with a communications partner award for publishing the chamber's business resource guide, a 36-page glossy directory of companies and information about the city.

• Ed Connelly and his wife, Virginia, received a Community Enhancement award on behalf of the Rotary Club.

• Community outreach awards went to Ben Franklin Bank and J.C. Restoration.

A big thanks

Thank you to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews for offering free burgers earlier this month to teachers and others who work with students.

The free burger deal was for anyone who works for or with a school.

The restaurant chain said the deal included counselors, administrators, bus drivers and other educators employed by any level of school, from nursery school through high school and college.

Retired teachers could get the free burgers as well with an ID.

Diners could choose from one of five Tavern Double burgers and bottomless steak fries.

Burger options include the Cowboy Ranch Tavern Double and the Taco Tavern Double.

The burgers usually go for $6.99.

There are more than 500 Red Robin locations. Locally they are in towns including Algonquin, Bloomingdale, Deer Park, Gurnee, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Oak Brook, Schaumburg and South Elgin.

Candice Crane's new blend uses botanical essences and extracts in its first trio of organic sparkling blends that include Original Rose, Mint Rose and Lychee Rose varieties. Courtesy of Petal
Candice Crane's new blend uses botanical essences and extracts in its first trio of organic sparkling blends that include Original Rose, Mint Rose and Lychee Rose varieties. Courtesy of Petal
Deborah Nelson and Barbara Jakomin accepted the award for Daily Herald's Town Square Publications honored at the Rolling Meadows Circle of Success Recognition Dinner.
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