CHICAGO - Illinois Office of Tourism is excited to announce 18 businesses to join the Illinois Made program. From award-winning artists to inspiring nonprofits, sustainable craftsmen and even an alpaca ranch, each of these makers are loved by Illinois locals and help make the state an amazing destination for visitors.
“The Illinois Made program drives visitors to all regions of Illinois by promoting authentic, locally-loved experiences throughout the state,” said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “The program aims to increase both visitor spending and tax revenue for communities statewide.”
Launched in 2016, Illinois Made spotlights the people, products and authentic experiences you can have in Illinois and inspires travelers to explore destinations across the state. There are currently 147 makers in the program.
Latest makers to join the list include:
Chicago & Beyond
- Dearborn Denim(Chicago) - Dearborn Denim hand crafts jeans in their Chicago shops, each pair custom hemmed for the best fit possible. Their 100% cotton denim is sourced from the last remaining denim mills in the country.
- Flùr (Riverside) - Flùr offers delicious gluten-free baked goods and pastries of the highest quality. Flùr also takes pride in using no artificial flavoring or preservatives—only the best ingredients and sourcing locally whenever possible.
- Higgins Glass(Riverside) – Higgins Glass is a family owned business that specializes in creating one-of-a-kind glass creations including bowls, plates, mobiles and more. What started as a tiny studio in the Higgins’ Chicago apartment 70 years ago has expanded to a stunning shop and studio that has been featured in Architectural Digest, HGTV and more.
- Lambs Farm (Libertyville) - Lambs Farm is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives. Lambs Farm features a farmyard, a pet center, a thrift shop, a bakery and other shops that serve as vocational sites for men and women with disabilities to hold meaningful jobs, learn valuable work skills and gain experience.
- Rare Bird Preserves(Oak Park) - Using only the highest quality seasonal fruit, Rare Bird Preserves thoughtfully crafts their preserves and curds using a proprietary combination of French and British preserving techniques.
- Scudiero's Italian Bakery & Deli(Melrose Park) - With roots that can be traced to 1930s Italy, this beloved bakery and deli is known for its fresh, made-to-order subs and sandwiches. With famous customers like singer-actress Carol Lawrence and Frank Sinatra, Scudiero’s hearty Italian menu continues to be a favorite for locals and visitors.
- TAKARA (Oak Park) - TAKARA crafts funky, organic and natural fiber clothing using linen, cotton and gauze. What began as a small accessory line 40 years ago has expanded over the years to include an exquisite clothing line, sold in their Oak Park Boutique.
- William Harris Lee & Co.(Chicago) - Founded in 1978, William Harris Lee and Co. has grown to become a respected maker of fine stringed instruments. Guests can take a tour of the workshop to see luthiers craft violins, violas, and cellos of incomparable quality, using tools and techniques that have been passed down for centuries.
- You Are Beautiful by Matthew Hoffman (Chicago) – Named for “You Are Beautiful,” a global project that aims to better the world in little ways, the You Are Beautiful storefront in Chicago is the official headquarters of artist Matthew Hoffman. Working out of the studio attached to the retail store, Hoffman creates public art displays that spread positive messages to public spaces and exhibits around the world. Currently, Hoffman has more than 30 pieces featured in the Chicagoland area including the Illinois Office of Tourism #AmazingForAll art installation in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood.
Land of Lincoln
- Cozy Dog Drive-In (Springfield) – This classic-Americana stop along Route 66 is home to the one and only Cozy Dog. Similar to a corn dog-on-a-stick, the Cozy Dog is made from a signature family recipe.
- Mel-O-Cream Donuts(Springfield) – For nearly 90 years Mel-O-Cream Donuts has been whipping up their signature cream-filled donut. The beloved Springfield bakery now sells its classic donuts in grocery chains, bakeries, convenience stores and restaurants throughout the Midwest.
- Taylor’s Mexican Chili(Carlinville) - Taylor's Mexican Chili takes chili to a whole new level with hand-sorted beans, shredded beef, chili peppers, onions, garlic, oils and sauce. Eat the chili by itself, stuffed inside homemade tamales or topped on hot dogs and nachos.
Trails to Adventure
- Alto Clay Works(Alto Pass) - Alto Clay Works is the studio home of local artist Stephen Grimmer and offers pottery classes, resident artist studios and a gallery for short-term exhibitions.
- Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch(Makanda) – At this mother-daughter owned alpaca ranch, visitors can meet the alpacas, learn about alpaca farming and shop at the farm store. Local, handmade, Alpaca products include yarn, felted goat milk soaps, dryer balls, shawls, socks, toys and more.
Great Rivers Country
- Dittmar Farms and Orchard (Elizabeth) - Operating since 1854, this family owned, and operated farm specializes in apples, sweet corn and pumpkins. Seasonal activities include scenic hayrides, u-pick apples and pumpkins as well as a corn maze.
- River Bend Gallery(Galena) – Owned by professional artist Geoffrey Mikol and his family, River Bend Gallery displays Geoffrey’s stunning photography. Born with Down syndrome, Geoffrey developed a connection with photography at a young age and is known for capturing awe-inspiring moments in nature.
- Warm N Cozy Quilting(Columbia) - A mother and daughter team run this quilting one-stop shop in Columbia. From quilting services and kits to machines and classes, this family-run venture is in the business of quilting coziness.
- Wild Cherry Spoon Co.(Rock Island) - Using ethically harvested urban lumber, chief artisan Tim McGuire hand-chisels each wooden cooking utensil before finishing them with organic olive oil and beeswax. Products include hand crafted wooden spoons, spatulas, pizza cutters and more.
To learn more about Illinois Made visit: EnjoyIllinois.com/IllinoisMade
For images of Illinois Made makers click here.
To nominate a business to be included in Illinois Made click here.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.