ROCHELLE — Mike Jaradat has run smoke shops around the area for almost 15 years.
For his latest business, he decided to bring a location to Rochelle, where he’s lived for 20 years.
“This time, I decided to be local in this town,” Jaradat said. “I saw the customers from this town go to DeKalb or Rockford and spend their money in different towns. Basically, we lose the taxes. I decided I want to be convenient for them so they're not going to another town to look for their products. We keep business local and we benefit from the taxes and hire people here and add more workers. Everyone is going to benefit from that. That's my idea to support the community. And we're doing good so far."
Rocky’s, located at 132 May Mart Dr., is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s in its second month since opening. Its products include tobacco and smoking accessories, CBD, vape, kratom and apparel.
“We have a big selection and variety,” Jaradat said. “We have the disposable vape. We have the glass products and pipes, a lot of people use them since marijuana has been legalized. People don't have to drive too far.”
Jaradat said that business has been going “very well” so far. He’s looking forward to working with the community and supporting small businesses in town.
“We want to invest our money locally,” Jaradat said. “This is going to benefit everyone. If people come to my shop, they probably want to eat next door too. Maybe they get gas here too. We try to bring a lot of customers from out of town to spend money here and we want Rochelle to grow.”