November 14, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: MADELINE CARLSON
Chicago – The Illinois Office of Tourism is excited to announce five new local businesses to join the Illinois Made program. This new class of makers includes local farms offering farm-to-table dinners, a coffee roastery focused on giving back, and the first craft brewery to win the Illinois Sustainability Award. Each of these makers provide visitors and locals with authentic Illinois experiences and contribute to making the state an incredible destination.
“We know visitors continue to seek out unique off-the-beaten-path experiences when they travel to Illinois,” said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “By highlighting the experiences and products at these local businesses, we increase state pride as well as visitor spending and tax revenue in these communities while driving visitors deeper into the state.”
Latest makers to join the class include:
Endiro Coffee in Aurora
Endiro Coffee is a complete tree-to-cup operation beginning with coffee grown by women-led cooperatives in Uganda. The coffee is exported and then brought to Illinois where Endiro then roasts and brews it in their downtown Aurora coffee shop. Their profits are dedicated to partnerships with local charities focused on ending child vulnerability in the communities of Uganda.
Great American Popcorn Co. in Galena
Located along Historic Main Street in Galena, The Great American Popcorn Company is a family-owned business since 1994 specializing in fresh gourmet popcorn and handcrafted confections. The shop offers an average of 50 different flavors of popcorn on a daily basis including Butter Rum, Birthday Cake, Buffalo Ranch, Cheezy Garlic Bread, and Dark Chocolate. The company takes pride in the quality of their popcorn and makes only small batches of a single flavor at a time. Great American Popcorn Co. also offers homemade fudge, candy and chocolate.
Locavore Farm in Grant Park (Kankakee County)
Locavore Farm is a small, family-run farm located in Grant Park, owned and operated by Chris and Rachel Jones. It serves the local community with a wide variety of organically grown vegetables and pasture-raised pigs, chickens, goats and sheep. Each summer, Locavore Farm collaborates with chefs and other family farms within a 25-mile radius for their Dine on Land events where visitors purchase a share of the harvest and experience it through a multi-course feast served at a 100-foot farm table. Each event offers signature wines, cocktails and craft beers, live music, a farm tour, bonfires for roasting marshmallows, and more.
Riggs Beer Company in Urbana
Riggs Beer, owned by veteran brothers Matt and Darin Riggs, offers a variety of American and German-style beers with corn, wheat and barley grown on their family farm in Sidney, Illinois. Riggs Beer is dedicated to using sustainable methods when brewing through using approximately 1,500 pounds of their own grain each month and being 90 to 100 percent solar powered. In 2018, Riggs Beer became the first brewery to be awarded the Illinois Sustainability Award.
Swoon Living in Chicago
Swoon Living is a Chicago-based company founded in 2012 by Patrick Fitzpatrick, a designer and prototype engineer. Swoon Living designs and produces hand-blown glassware and wood products and offers classes to teach people how to make their own products. Swoon Living’s wood pieces are created from locally sourced reclaimed barn wood found in Illinois along with local maple and walnut timber.
Launched in 2016, the Illinois Made program spotlights the people, products and experiences unique to Illinois, inspiring travelers to explore off the beaten path destinations around the state. There are currently more than 150 makers in the program.
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.