CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), elected officials, and industry leaders at Koval Distillery to announce that 48 small businesses or ‘Makers’ have been inducted into the Illinois Made program – the largest class of businesses since the program’s inception in 2016. Each year, the Illinois Office of Tourism selects a group of local businesses that exemplify the authentic experiences and innovative products that make Illinois an incredible destination to explore for residents and visitors alike.
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“The Illinois Made program selects a group of our most exemplary hidden gems and one-of-a-kind small businesses and encourages Illinoisans and visitors alike to discover the experiences they offer,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This year’s class of Illinois Makers is one of our most diverse. In every corner of our state, people from all walks of life are creating delicious food and sharing expert craftmanship. Illinois is sending out the message loud and clear that our state is open for business, and it’s the perfect place for businesses big and small to call home.”
The 2023 Illinois Makers class represents the largest class since the start of the program, bringing the Maker total to 276. This year’s class offers products ranging from locally sourced and fermented kombucha to handmade, custom golf clubs.
“Small businesses are essential to Illinois’ economy and Illinois Makers not only provide economic impact but also add to our diverse communities, inspiring travel to all corners of the state,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “This year, we are proud to welcome the largest class of Illinois Made Makers to date – a testament to the wide-ranging unique experience and quality products that Illinois small businesses offer.”
"The trailblazers at KOVAL -- the first distillery in Chicago since the end of Prohibition -- are stimulating our city's and state's economy everyday with the opportunities that they create and the quality products they serve,” said State Representative Hoan Huynh. “Illinois' innovators will continue to play an important role in our state's economy, and I'm working every day to build the kind of state that gives them the tools they need to be successful."
“Today, we celebrate the creators, makers and artisans powering Illinois’ economy and bringing us our favorite foods, drinks and products,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “Every dollar spent locally on Illinois products helps businesses that are invested in our communities—allowing them to grow, hire more employees, and cultivate a stronger state and local economy.”
“Small businesses and manufacturers are the heart and soul of our communities," said State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago). "I am so proud that the 7th District is home to KOVAL Distillery and countless other small businesses who, day in and day out, work hard to provide a community experience we all enjoy and rely on."
The Illinois Made program encourages residents and visitors to discover the people, products and unparalleled experiences found at small businesses in every region of the state. The newest Illinois Made class reflects a wide range of businesses, from craft breweries and U-pick farms to handmade artisan candles and macarons.
The new Makers include the following businesses by region (asterisks indicate women-owned businesses, LGBTQ-owned businesses and/or businesses owned by people of color):
Chicago & Beyond (Chicago & Surrounding Suburbs)
Sub 70 - Sycamore
Warm Wick - Brookfield*
Scratchboard Kitchen - Arlington Heights*
Casting Whimsy - Woodstock*
Hempstock Pharms - Woodstock*
Illuminate Space - Batavia*
Millstone Bakery - LaSalle*
Cranky Mike’s Popcorn - Momence*
Einnim Candle Bar + Apothecary - Oak Park*
The Irie Cup - Huntley*
Imperial Oak Brewing - Willow Springs, Brookfield
Milk Money Brewing - La Grange
Angie’s Sugar Buzz Bakery - Sandwich*
Ms. Jana’s Candy - Aurora*
The Norwegian - Rockford*
The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor - Forest Park*
Lexington Betty Smokehouse - Chicago*
Fox Valley Winery - Oswego
Crozehead Cooperage - Monee
Dollinger Family Farm - Channahon*
Mion Artisan Soap Co. - St. Charles*
Steep N’ Clay - Elgin*
Prairie State Winery - Genoa*
Great Rivers Country (Northwest & Southwest Illinois)
Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Co. - Galena*
LongStory Coffee Company - Belleville
Four30 Scones - Morton*
Abe’s Gourmet Popcorn Shop - Belleville
Yordy Turkey Farm - Morton*
Bear’s Bites - Peoria*
Voila Macarons - Peoria*
[CxT] Roasting Company - Peoria
Land of Lincoln (Central Illinois)
Janie’s Mill- Ashkum
The Fire Doll Artisan Chandlery - Champaign*
Cloud Mountain Kombucha - Urbana
Kathy’s Kitchen Store - Virginia*
Big Thorn Farm & Brewery - Georgetown*
Farmhouse Signs & Co - Taylorville*
Edge of Normal Workshop LLC - Normal
Del’s Popcorn Shop - Decatur (primary store), Mt. Zion, Springfield*
Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. - Springfield
Wooden it be Lovely - Springfield*
Trails to Adventure (Southern Illinois)
Glaciers End, LLC - Marion
Art Gallery Off the Square - Vienna
Pulliam Creek Farms Candle Company - Harrisburg
Crooked Creek Winery - Centralia
Wayward Wovens - Du Quoin*
For more information about Illinois Made and the small businesses that make up the program, click here.
About the Illinois Office of Tourism
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents. To learn more, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.
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