Candi DeCoite has always dreamed of owning a bookstore; and a coffee shop; and a bakery. She has woven that desire into reality, as she works with a smile to bring healthy food, delicious coffee and enthralling conversations to downtown Evanston.
After growing up on a self-sustaining farm, Candi wanted to do something different. She’d like to incorporate vegetarian options to her popular menu, as well as other organic and locally produced merchandise. Candi quips, “You can get meat anywhere. Fried food is available on nearly every menu in town. I want to do something different.”
Candi bases her success on a number of factors. “Although it sounds cliché, my mother is one of the biggest influences in my life,” she admits. She adds that her mother has always supported her, although there are times when she hasn’t agreed with Candi’s decisions, her mother has always offered her support, “no matter what.” And that for Candi has made all the difference in the world.
Through the myriad of life experiences, Candi has learned inner strength. She discovered through the process of divorce that if you can’t rely on yourself, then you couldn’t rely on anyone. She adds that both marriage and divorce teach strength and resilience. One of her main goals, through it all, is to be a good mom.
“Being a mom has been life changing. My kids mean the world to me, and I want to provide a good, positive role model,” Candi shares. She said a main lesson she tries to teach her own two children is that if you want something, you have to be willing to work to get it. Beyond that, you have to be willing to accept what you want when it finally comes to you. “You have to admit that you are worthy,” she says with a smile.
For Candi, one of the biggest lessons has come through opening her shop, Serendipity Books, Antiques and Coffee Shop. She said she learned through hard work and perseverance that if you want something you must be willing to accept the risks, work hard, and do what it takes to succeed.
For other women working toward their goals, Candi suggests writing down where you’d like to be in five years, then read it out loud, and put it away. By putting your desires in writing, and speaking them into the universe, Candi says you can verbalize what you want to have in your life. And once you’ve vocalized those aspirations, it’s only a matter of time, fate, and serendipity until you realize the manifestation of your dreams.