Most diverse class of Illinois Makers to date recognizes small businesses with the goal of encouraging residents and visitors to travel throughout Illinois
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced that 30 small businesses or ‘Makers’ have been recognized as part of the Illinois Made program.
Each year, the Illinois Office of Tourism selects a group of small businesses that exemplify the hidden gems, experiences and one-of-a-kind products that make Illinois a great place to explore for residents and visitors alike.
“I couldn’t be prouder to announce the 2022 Illinois Makers class—the most representative of our diverse state since the inception of the Illinois Made program,” said Governor JB Pritzker.“Here in Illinois, we have it all: stunning wood carvings, mouthwatering pastries, and the most delicious barbeque in the nation—all thanks to our small businesses. With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, I encourage all residents and visitors to check out the 30 latest Makers that make Illinois, Illinois. Congratulations, Illinois Makers Class of 2022!”
The 2022 Illinois Makers class represents the most diverse since the program’s inception, with more than 60 percent of businesses owned by women or people of color. From French pastries to elegant, handcrafted Chinaware – each of the Illinois Makers featured help inspire travel throughout the state.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our Illinois economy, and their distinctive products and experiences help make communities unique and provide locals and visitors alike with many reasons to explore our great state. We’re excited to announce the new class of Illinois Makers just in time for Small Business Saturday on November 26,” said Sylvia I. Garcia, director of DCEO, which includes the Illinois Office of Tourism. “We are thrilled to have the most diverse group of new Illinois Makers this year, who offer products made in Illinois and that highlight their craft, history and unique experiences.”
The Illinois Made program encourages residents and visitors to discover the people, products and authentic experiences created by small businesses throughout the state. The program, which features 236 makers, continues to drive tourism to every region of the state.
The newest Illinois Makers reflects a wide range of businesses, from bakeries, breweries, and distilleries, to restaurants, retail shops and farms.
This year, 19 of the businesses represented are owned by women and/or people of color, more than any Illinois Made class to date.
The new Makers include the following businesses by region (asterisks indicate women-owned businesses and/or businesses owned by people of color):
Great Rivers Country (Northwest & Southwest Illinois)
Ardor Breads and Provisions – Peoria
Aria’s Cookies & Confections LLC – East Alton*
Black Band – Peoria
Boetje’s Mustard – Rock Island
Forgottonia Brewing – Macomb
Galena Bakehouse – Galena
Galena Spoon Company – Galena*
JK Williams – Peoria
Marie’s Wood Carvings – Stockton*
Old Herald Brewery and Distillery – Collinsville
Three Rivers Community Farm – Elsah*
Yeni’s Palarte Mexican Ice Cream – Peoria Heights*
Trails to Adventure (Southern Illinois)
Big Muddy Peddler – De Soto*
Bryn’s Cookie Bin – Mt. Vernon*
Davis Pastry – Anna
StarView Vineyards – Cobden*
Land of Lincoln (Central Illinois)
Ace Sign Company and Sign Museum – Springfield
Joe Sippers Cafe – Effingham*
Chicago & Beyond (Chicago & surrounding suburbs)
Arcely’s Bakery – Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Villa Park, and Cicero*
Atrevete Confections – Montgomery*
Chocolate Inspirations – Roselle*
Dairyhäus – Rockton
Dangela’s Dumplings – Libertyville*
Gindo’s Spice of Life – St. Charles*
Happy Apple Pie – Oak Park*
Life on Mars Goods – Chicago*
Soul and Smoke – Evanston*
South Side Blooms – Chicago
Morkes Chocolates – Palatine*
Pickard China – Antioch
Soul and Smoke – Evanston
South Side Blooms – Chicago*
The Illinois Office of Tourism promotes Illinois Makers through inclusion in road trip itineraries, the biannual Enjoy Illinois travel magazine, events, seasonal campaigns, and the annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide. The 2022 Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide, which encourages consumers to support small businesses throughout the holiday shopping season, is available online. The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) encourages residents to nominate businesses for the Illinois Made program; Nominate a local business using this form.