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Yoga4Life Studio in Mackinaw
Spotlight

Yoga4Life Studio in Mackinaw

Julie explained to me how Yoga4Life came to be. “I came to yoga late in life” she says, although Julie wasn’t unfamiliar with the practice thanks to her older brother, who started teaching the ancient art when he was in his 20’s. However, Julie wasn’t really interested until some time in her mid-50’s. She sought out a nearby class and found one at Hopedale Fitness Center and started attending evening and Saturday classes. At the time, Julie was teaching full-time at Corpus Christi Catholic School in Bloomington so she was a bit limited with her schedule. Julie became a regular at her new yoga class and, after a few years, a fitness instructor suggested that she become certified to teach yoga herself.  READ MORE...

Finance  |  
Illinois Unemployment Rates Down for the Tenth Consecutive Month, Jobs up in Most Metro Areas

Illinois Unemployment Rates Down for the Tenth Consecutive Month, Jobs up in Most Metro Areas

“Today’s data reflects Illinois’ increasingly strong economy,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar.  “Continued job growth across multiple regions and industries is a sign of more progress. We look forward to sustaining this work in the months ahead, by connecting employers and job seekers with more resources and opportunities.”
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KDJ Sales and Services in Mackinaw

KDJ Sales and Services in Mackinaw

In present day, KDJ Sales and Services has around 35 employees and the company works all around the midwest, even going as far south as Tunica MS; a distance of almost 500 miles from Mackinaw. Dustin tells me that the company “is always looking for hard working people who want to learn”, and surprised me by telling me the company offers an in-house 4 year electrical apprenticeship program, and has 2 co-op students each year. Dustin also noted that many of the company’s employees are graduates of Dee-Mack High School.
Retail  |  
Pritzker’s Gas Tax Relief Plan Faces Opposition

Pritzker’s Gas Tax Relief Plan Faces Opposition

On Thursday, officials from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois said pausing the scheduled increase could have long-term consequences that could endanger funding for future transportation projects.
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In Time for Spring, 3:7 Garden Shed in Hopedale

In Time for Spring, 3:7 Garden Shed in Hopedale

Jeff, Chris, and their family love to garden, aren’t afraid of hard work, and love the people in and around Hopedale, something that made them feel taking over the business was the “perfect fit” for them. Their mission for the shed is “to equip and inspire our community’s gardeners”. The shed provides a variety of garden care products such as annual plants, hanging baskets, vegetable plants, some perennials, a wide variety of seeds including grass seed, houseplants, gardening tools, fertilizers, mulch, potting mix, and other garden care items one might need. 
Finance  |  
U.S. Treasury Sanctions Russian Banks

U.S. Treasury Sanctions Russian Banks

Treasury is taking unprecedented action against Russia’s two largest financial institutions, Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia (Sberbank)and VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company (VTB Bank), drastically altering their fundamental ability to operate. On a daily basis, Russian financial institutions conduct about $46 billion worth of foreign exchange transactions globally, 80 percent of which are in U.S. dollars. The vast majority of those transactions will now be disrupted. By cutting off Russia’s two largest banks — which combined make up more than half of the total banking system in Russia by asset value — from processing payments through the U.S. financial system. The Russian financial institutions subject to today’s action can no longer benefit from the remarkable reach, efficiency, and security of the U.S. financial system.
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F.L. Sons Fire Equipment

F.L. Sons Fire Equipment

In 2017, Fred and Emily found their spot on Townline Road, right outside of Mackinaw. Further expansion would come quickly. In 2021, the couple found their current office at 115 S. Main in downtown Mackinaw. Emily tells me that they have really enjoyed renovating the historic building, on top of doing their daily work. F.L. Sons Fire Equipment Inc specializes in fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, and emergency light maintenance. If you need a fire extinguisher for your kitchen or vehicle, or are a business owner needing to upgrade your fire safety system, you can give the Lawrence family a call at their downtown office at (309) 642-6645.
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Carol Ann’s Worsh House: Not Your Average Laundromat

Carol Ann’s Worsh House: Not Your Average Laundromat

Residents like not having to drive out of town just to do laundry when it is needed. This nice, little business is an asset to the area. Brandy stated, “We love that we are beneficial to the community. We pride ourselves in making sure we keep a clean and efficient place for our customers.”
Finance  |  
How Can I Fund My Music Projects?

How Can I Fund My Music Projects?

Secret #1: You need a system that does the heavy lifting for you. Think of the word SYSTEM as an acronym for “Saves You Some Time, Energy, and Money”. That’s because a good system, once setup, will continue to do the work for you while you focus on your music. To succeed in making money online as a musician, you need to make use of a special type of system known as a “funnel”. You may have heard this term before and scratched your head wondering what it is. A funnel is simply a system that collects the contact information (an email and/or phone number) of someone interested in whatever you’re offering and then “funnels” them through a follow-up sequence. Funnels are always used by the top online marketing gurus because they are proven to work.
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Mackinaw Valley Karate and Fitness

Mackinaw Valley Karate and Fitness

Shotokan karate is a martial art that was officially established in 1928 and is a descendant of several martial art disciplines, including Taekwondo. Shotokan is known for its vigorous punching and high kicks. Talking to me about the sport, Keyth noted that professional MMA fighter Lyoto Machida, is also a participant. Machida, a 43 year old Brazilian who fights out of L.A., is considered one of the best karate fighters still active within the MMA world. His fights are worth looking up, if MMA is something you enjoy.
Spotlight  |  
K’s Cafe in Minier: Local, Homemade, and Fresh

K’s Cafe in Minier: Local, Homemade, and Fresh

Owner, Kathleen Cremeens, opened the doors to the public in May 2017. Cremeens grew up in the area and what inspired her to go into the restaurant business was her grandparent’s restaurant, the Crabtree Pool Hall, that existed in Minier in the 1970’s. She has six loyal employees including waitress, Candi Berry, who visited and shared her experiences with us about working there. Berry has been working at K’s Cafe since its opening. She informed us that all of the food is amazing and they have several regular customers. Without hesitation, she said the most popular item ordered was the pork tenderloin. Cremeens spoke to us about the difficult challenges that K’s cafe has had to endure during the COVID pandemic. She says, “It is hard to provide high-quality ingredients and homemade food with rising food costs and shortages, but that is a priority in this restaurant, so we make a way.” 
Best of 2021  |  
The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack’s drive-thru hours are Monday - Friday from 6 AM - 4 PM and the gift shop hours are Monday - Friday from 10 AM - 4 PM. On Saturdays, the drive through will be open from 7 AM - 12 PM and the gift shop will be open from 8 AM - 12 PM. With all the hours that they will be open throughout the week, The Sip Shack will be a very convenient place for anyone to stop and get a refreshment. The Sip Shack is mainly a drive thru coffee hut, but they do have a small gift shop and a counter to order inside. Although there is no indoor seating in The Sip Shack, they do have a couple of outdoor tables and picnic tables if customers would want to sit outside to enjoy their drinks. The Sip Shack also offers a list of pastries from Grove Street Bakery, a local bakery located in Bloomington. Molly and Samantha designed an A La Carte styled menu so customers of The Sip Shack will be able to completely customize “their perfect drink!” This feature adds to the quality and convenience that the business is looking for. Not only do they have a menu for the customers that know exactly what they want, but they have one for the customers who may have no idea what they want, The Barista Specialty Menu. This menu includes pictures that spotlight some of Molly and Samantha’s personal favorite drinks. The Sip Shack will also have weekly specials and introduce new drinks in the future. 
Best of 2021  |  
The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The owner of The Gift Box, Kassi Compton, opened the shop after one day when she was having a craft sale and a lady from Atlanta asked her if she wanted to open a gift shop. Initially, Kassi said no to the idea of opening a gift shop, but after some thought she decided to go for it. Her husband came up with the name and it stuck and now The Gift Box has 21 local vendors that provide locally made unique gifts. In fact, one of Kassi’s favorite things about owning The Gift Box is seeing the new boxes of merchandise that the vendors bring in. She says, “It’s like Christmas. I get to open it, put a tag on it and then display it somewhere in the shop. They are all so talented and I love seeing what they create.” 
Spotlight  |  
The Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home in Atlanta

The Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home in Atlanta

A funeral director helps clients and families work through the legal and emotional processes surrounding a death. They use all the information and ideas to make sure the person receives the type of funeral they wanted for their loved ones to experience. The skills that a funeral director needs to possess include listening, empathy, attention to detail, communication, and leadership qualities. A funeral director is educated by taking courses in the science of embalming, the history of religion and burial customs, psychology, sociology, law, and accounting.
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Funks Grove Country Store: Antiques, Primitives

Funks Grove Country Store: Antiques, Primitives

This building has a long history, being built in 1902 and originally owned by Mrs. and Mr. Walker where they ran Walker’s grocery store. They owned the business from 1920 to 1973. In 1973 Rey Jannusch and Rick Jannusch bought the building and opened up an antique store. Later on, as I said earlier in the article, Rey decided to partner up with Judi and run the business together. 
Spotlight  |  
WeCraft Family

WeCraft Family

Amber personally uses sublimation, bleaching, and dying of her products. Sublimation is a special ink dye to the polyester fibers in the material, so it doesn’t apply to feel like vinyl or screen prints. She makes sweatshirts, hoodies, and t-shirts for all ages and sizes. Currently, the designing, printing, and pressing process takes place right inside her house with the dying and bleaching outside. She is working to renovate the garage to expand the business away from inside the family home.
Spotlight  |  
Gordy’s Garage

Gordy’s Garage

Mike has owned the garage for two years after he bought the garage from his nephew. It was originally his brother-in-law’s personal garage, but he deiced to turn it into a repair shop. Mike has been a mechanic since high school and tinkering is something he loves to do, which is partly the reason he decided to start up his own shop. He also was looking for a way to earn some extra money on the side to supplement his retirement. A fun fact about the shop is that it is located on the same property that Mike’s wife and brother-in-law grew up.
Spotlight  |  
Funk's Grove Maple Sirup

Funk's Grove Maple Sirup

So why is sirup spelled within an “i" instead of a "y?" The original spelling is sirup in the Webster’s Dictionary for the product coming after boiling sap. Syrup with a “y” is the end product of adding sugar to fruit juice. Funks Grove makes pure maple sirup, thus spelled with an "i."
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McLean Depot Train Shop

McLean Depot Train Shop

The Depot offers the typical supplies of a depot such as lumber, building supplies, and landscaping materials. Within the Depot there is also the Train Shop inside it. The Train Shop is a full-service model train shop. The shop offers model train supplies, small cars, structures, scenery materials, tracks, and electronics. Tom also does repair work and helps in the installation of the electronics. He considers this part of his services as something that sets him apart from other stores, as it is something many don’t offer.
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TNT Farms Horseback Riding

TNT Farms Horseback Riding

Ever since Taylor has been little she has been riding and then competitively showing horses. Talking to Taylor Harvey, she has said, “My favorite thing I do is I give horseback riding lessons! To anyone and everyone. I have taught anyone from two years old to 55. I love the diversity that it brings to my farm. I even have a show team this year with Stormi Albright and Cameron Hanks. Cameron shows in halter classes, western and ranch classes, English and speed events as well. Stormi has just started with me this year and is showing halter and trail classes. I try to be as active in my community as possible. My students especially enjoy participating in parades. One of the biggest things in my lesson program is I don’t just teach people how to ride a horse, I teach them horsemanship skills. This includes everything from horse anatomy, horse behavior and so much more. My program has expanded over the years, and I am so thankful for every opportunity I have.” TNT Farm’s motto is “Gain confidence, trust, and become motivated on your horse or one of my beginner lesson horses!” I would definitely say that Taylor is very successful with her business based on the several 5-star reviews found on her Facebook page. She has raised competitive racers that have fought to gain first place in many events! TNT Farms keeps growing to appeal to more audiences and showcase all types of skills. Taylor loves everything she does and teaches about all aspects of a horse, not just the horse-riding experience. There are a variety of activities, lessons, and competitions through TNT Farms. 
Spotlight  |  
Pub 52

Pub 52

Eventually, we landed in the seating area of the Pub to talk about the restaurant. While Larry never expressed it, during our conversation I got the sense that a restaurant was just another chapter in the evolution of this business and that it was just a matter of time before everything came to fruition. Speaking to their menu, Larry was quick to point out that Pub 52 doesn’t serve anything frozen. Their pizza is made by hand, along with the toppings cut in-house. To prove his point, Larry escorted me back into the kitchen for a quick look around and, sure enough, 2 employees were cutting fresh veggies for the evening. Larry was also excited to tell me about the Pubs tenderloins. “We’re killing it with these tenderloins, people really seem to enjoy them.” 
Spotlight  |  
Missy’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and More

Missy’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and More

Her store offers a variety of baked goods such as cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Missy’s specialty is baking and decorating cookies. Pricing ranges from $20-$60 depending on the order. Missy does pop up shops, where you can get pre-made baked goods on a first come first serve basis on her Facebook group, or you can message her to get a specialized order.
Spotlight  |  
Mackinaw IGA

Mackinaw IGA

Sitting down to speak with owner Brett Zehr, it became clear to me that there is indeed something special in that store. Many residents may remember September 3, 2008: the day that IGA was lost to a fire. Brett discussed this loss with me in a manner that was surprisingly warm. He pointed out that he had overwhelming community support and that support was the reason he was able to reopen on September 2, 2009 - just one day short of his year goal to reopen. He speaks of a parking lot full of people who came down to show their support. I also got a good laugh at Brett’s insistence to shake hands with everyone who came down that day. 
Spotlight  |  
The Tea Room at the Depot

The Tea Room at the Depot

Beth bought The Depot in early 1998 and faced the daunting task of rebuilding. Taking care of the floors, roof, and everything in between; Beth was open for business by October of 1998. Originally opened as a gift shop that is now known as “The Garden Center”, Beth would go on to add a charming restaurant called “The Tea Room”. Nowadays, The Tea Room is locally known for their seasonal menu that is served in “tiers”: literally tiered serving plates with dessert at the top, entree in the middle, and soup or salad on the bottom. Speaking from experience, no one will judge you should you decide to start with your top tier.
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Noah's Ark Small Animal Hospital

Noah's Ark Small Animal Hospital

Doctor Shawn and Noah’s Ark Small Animal Hospital have been very busy at the office with patients. During the COVID lockdown, the small animal hospital gained a lot of new patients. However, the business has patients that have been going there for care for years because of the quality of a doctor that Dr. Shawn is, so COVID was not the main reason the hospital has been so busy. Within the last few years, there was a year where the hospital was unable to accept any more animals because they were so overwhelmed with how many patients were in their rotation. Noah’s Ark is accepting new patients despite their current heavy workload.
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Hopedale Agri Center

Hopedale Agri Center

On November 11, 2011, John and Robin Nafziger became the owners of The Hopedale Agri Center. Growing up on a family farm in Hopedale, John was a local that knew a lot about agriculture. Robin grew up only a few miles away in Tremont and attended the same church as John. Graduating from Illinois State with a master’s degree in Agri-Business, John uses his education along with his life-long experience to create special feed blends for all types of livestock based on their age and growth needs. The Hopedale Agri Center also offers a liquid feed supplement. John has done many custom feed blends including family pets, horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, and even rats and mice. John and his Hopedale Agri Center staff always focus on serving their customers and surrounding communities with honesty and integrity. 
Spotlight  |  
The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack

The Sip Shack’s drive-thru hours are Monday - Friday from 6 AM - 4 PM and the gift shop hours are Monday - Friday from 10 AM - 4 PM. On Saturdays, the drive through will be open from 7 AM - 12 PM and the gift shop will be open from 8 AM - 12 PM. With all the hours that they will be open throughout the week, The Sip Shack will be a very convenient place for anyone to stop and get a refreshment. The Sip Shack is mainly a drive thru coffee hut, but they do have a small gift shop and a counter to order inside. Although there is no indoor seating in The Sip Shack, they do have a couple of outdoor tables and picnic tables if customers would want to sit outside to enjoy their drinks. The Sip Shack also offers a list of pastries from Grove Street Bakery, a local bakery located in Bloomington. Molly and Samantha designed an A La Carte styled menu so customers of The Sip Shack will be able to completely customize “their perfect drink!” This feature adds to the quality and convenience that the business is looking for. Not only do they have a menu for the customers that know exactly what they want, but they have one for the customers who may have no idea what they want, The Barista Specialty Menu. This menu includes pictures that spotlight some of Molly and Samantha’s personal favorite drinks. The Sip Shack will also have weekly specials and introduce new drinks in the future. 
Spotlight  |  
Earlybird Grain and Fertilizer

Earlybird Grain and Fertilizer

Earlybird Grain and Fertilizer of Stanford provides custom applications, seed sales, crop scouting, and other goods. The chemical and fertilizer application is where the business sees the most sales, it is the biggest part of the business. The applications are made custom to each customer and can be chosen from dry and liquid fertilizers, chemicals, insecticides, anhydrous ammonia, and lime. They offer airplane spraying services and Variable Rate Technology. Some of the other goods available at Earlybird are gravel, dirt, softener salt, lawn fertilizer, and more! If you are interested in pricing for any goods available at Earlybird, call (309) 379-3021 for more information.
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Sweeney Repair: Specializing in On-Site Diesel Work

Sweeney Repair: Specializing in On-Site Diesel Work

Repairs done by Sweeney Repair include, but are not limited to ag and conduction equipment, semi-trucks, and medium to heavy duty trucks. They also maintain and complete repairs for several area fire and rescue departments. They have also done towing and automotive repairs in the past but have decided to focus solely on businesses and farms, mainly diesel engine equipment and vehicles. Sweeney Repair has had employees in the past, but they currently do not have any non-family employees. This family-oriented business structure typically works out well when needing to collaborate and solve a problem. Sweeney Repair also brings in sales tax on all the parts that they sell, providing income to the Village of Armington, something rather important in a small town like Armington. One of Sweeney Repair’s most impressive things about their business is that they are on call 24/7, all year long, providing emergency repairs to several fleets as well as individuals. 
Spotlight  |  
Cremeens U-Stor-It

Cremeens U-Stor-It

Cremeens U-Stor-It offers a range of options for storage unit size. The options range from mini-storage units to large units. The options for sizes are 8 by 10 feet, 10 by 12 feet, 10 by 16 feet, 10 by 20 feet, and 10 by 24 feet. You cannot beat the price for these storage units either. The price range is from $40 to $60 dollars. The only downside to these prices is that all of the units are currently full. Myrna stated that there is almost always a waiting list to get into storage space. If you are lucky enough to get a spot in one of Cremeens U-Stor-It buildings, there is a special discount that can be used! The special is that if you pay for 11 months of rent in advance you will get the 12th month free! There is an option to pay your bill online if you prefer paying that way.
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Carz R Us

Carz R Us

This customer first mindset has been the key to success for Carz R Us. Being a small town business, making connections with the small community residents is a very important thing to do for a successful business. Carz R Us, “believe fair prices, superior service, and treating customers right leads to satisfied repeat buyers.” This is absolutely the right mindset to have to be a successful business in a small town area. Great customer service has been very important for Carz R Us, because the word gets around fast, and if one person had a great experience with Carz R Us, then more and more people will check it out. 
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JD's DJ Service:  The Soundtrack for Cruise Nights

JD's DJ Service: The Soundtrack for Cruise Nights

While discussing the services JDs DJ Service provides, owner Jeff McGee stated, “We provide music that can range anywhere from classic rock to country to whatever. Typically, we try to stick mostly to automotive related or classic rock music. We provide music and announcements for other events in the area or at the show. We do an MC type for the announcements.” The DJ service will be attending the Hopedale 4th of July event and Minier Corn Daze. For the Hopedale event, you can find them on the west side of the park at the car show. This is where the tractor pull used to be located. They will also be attending the Nannen memorial 5k Run in Hopedale on July 3rd from 7am to 1 pm. For the Minier Corn Daze, they will be located in front of the church to the west of the elementary school. Cars will be lined up on the road between the church and the school. 
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The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The Gift Box in Atlanta: Locally made unique gifts

The owner of The Gift Box, Kassi Compton, opened the shop after one day when she was having a craft sale and a lady from Atlanta asked her if she wanted to open a gift shop. Initially, Kassi said no to the idea of opening a gift shop, but after some thought she decided to go for it. Her husband came up with the name and it stuck and now The Gift Box has 21 local vendors that provide locally made unique gifts. In fact, one of Kassi’s favorite things about owning The Gift Box is seeing the new boxes of merchandise that the vendors bring in. She says, “It’s like Christmas. I get to open it, put a tag on it and then display it somewhere in the shop. They are all so talented and I love seeing what they create.” 
Spotlight  |  
Simply Sweet Cakes

Simply Sweet Cakes

Simply Sweet Cakes offers a variety of decorating techniques to fit the needs of each customer. They can use fondant to create unique covers for the cake, shapes and designs, or characters and decorations. Based on past experience with Simply Sweet Cakes, their employees are willing to work with each customer to make each order exactly what the customer envisions. Their basic cake prices are split into two categories: sheet cake and round and square cake. For a full sheet cake (which feeds 70-100 people), you will be in the price range of about $75. They offer quarter and half sheet cakes also. For round cakes they offer 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 inch cakes. The 14 inch cake is priced at $50. Square cakes are offered in 6, 8, 10, and 12 inch sizes, and are priced about $5 cheaper than the comparable size round cakes.
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White's Farm Equipment

White's Farm Equipment

Based on reviews that have been left on their Facebook page, White’s Farm Equipment is a very popular and customer friendly place to go for any farm equipment needs. Not a single review was left with a rating less than five stars. A few of these ratings left some comments, and all of those comments were very positive towards the business. “Service can’t be beaten anywhere around!” “Top notch people, nice little hometown dealership! If you can’t find it anywhere else, they have it!” “Great people to work with. I will definitely buy from them again.” It is very present that the Waynesville community is extremely supportive of White’s Farm Equipment. 
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Paws Awhile Dog Grooming

Paws Awhile Dog Grooming

The mission of Paws Awhile is to keep a stress-free environment for the dogs that come in to be groomed. Owner Stephanie Smith stated that her business is pretty small. She is the only groomer at the shop, which keeps the quality of grooming consistent and the environment less stressful for the dogs. “I try to keep it as stress free for the dogs as possible by having minimal cage time and individual appointments throughout the day,” said Smith. With a mission and standard that Smith holds for her business, what’s not to love about the local dog grooming shop? Smith discussed that her favorite part of her job is getting to snuggle all of the puppies that come in. Her four-legged customers are many different types of breeds and sizes. The prices for the services offered at Paws Awhile are low, with the intention of allowing customers to come back on a regular basis.
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Hopedale Garden Shop: A Staple for Gardeners

Hopedale Garden Shop: A Staple for Gardeners

The Hopedale Garden Shop’s owner, Caitlin Burke, has recently taken over the business with her father. Caitlin has continued the reputation of the shop in her time as the owner, continuing to sell beautiful flowers and quality gardening and lawn care products. This summer though, the goal is to expand and make a bigger greenhouse. There has been talks of possibly tearing down the old greenhouse and building a new one, which would allow for the business to grow even more flowers and plants for their customers. 
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Grayco Heating and Cooling: Quality and Service

Grayco Heating and Cooling: Quality and Service

I had the opportunity to discuss the family business with Julie Gray, and was able to learn a lot of great information about the business. Julie discussed her favorite memory, stating “My favorite memory cannot be singled out; we here at Grayco are proud to be able to help other families in Danvers and the surrounding communities.” Grayco’s services are well received by the community, with nothing but excellent reviews that can be found on the company’s Facebook page. The reviews state that Grayco’s employees have great customer service and are very knowledgeable. All employees at Grayco are factory trained. 
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Village Flowers & Gifts

Village Flowers & Gifts

Village Flowers & Gifts is known by their customers for having fresh and vibrant flowers that make great gifts for any occasion. They have been able to consistently provide great flowers for customers throughout Minier’s community and other small-town communities around the area. Not only does Village Flowers & Gifts provide great looking flowers, but they also sell different items that correlate with the time of the year. For example, they sell very popular winter decor around Christmas time, they also sell boxes of chocolate and teddy bears around Valentine’s Day, and they even do bouquets for weddings. 
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Leann's Something For You

Leann's Something For You

The items that Boyd finds are a wide variety that could include vintage, unique, new, or lightly used items. You can be sure you will find something new and special when you look at her shop. The price range for the items is more pricey, but the quality is worth the cost. If you are interested in buying an item from the shop Boyd does live auctions, upload auctions, and sellings through her eBay store. New items are added weekly. To receive any items you have purchased, Boyd will try to combine shipping prices with a multi-item order. She is also willing to ship worldwide, as long as the customer covers the cost of shipping.
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The Hardesty Company

The Hardesty Company

The owner of The Hardesty Company, Chris Hardesty, had been in the new car dealership business for thirty years. After his time in the new car dealership, Chris found an opportunity to start doing appraisals when one of his close friends closed his shop. This is when his business really started to blossom. As Chris was doing appraisals, he was also buying old motorcycles and repairing them as a “side gig”, but that “grew faster than the appraisal side of the business,” Chris told me. Chris also told me he has been a “car and motorcycle fanatic since I was a kid.” He has also owned “well over 100” classic cars and motorcycles over the last forty or more years. There is no doubt that Chris knows his stuff when it comes to these classic and vintage vehicles. 
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Breezy Bluff Riding Academy

Breezy Bluff Riding Academy

The rates for lessons, riding, birthday parties, or scout outings are available on the business’ Facebook page “Breezy Bluff Riding Academy'' or on their website breezybluffridingacademy.com. Betty stated that the packages of 10 are the most popular because it is the cheapest option. She continued saying, “You can’t really say you have learned anything with only 3-4 lessons.” For the first 10 lessons riders get to use a helmet provided for free. The academy also holds day camps. All instructors are over the age of 18. Most riders go to Breezy Bluff for recreation or exercise purposes, but some of the current customers show horses. 
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Minier Lanes Bowling Alley

Minier Lanes Bowling Alley

Trevor is a Minier native himself, and has a very strong relationship with the Minier Lanes Bowling Alley. He has witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication that has made Minier Lanes a successful small town bowling alley. Trevor has enjoyed the events hosted at Minier Lanes throughout his childhood, growing up in the town. Trevor is a senior at Olympia High School this year, and received a scholarship to Missouri Valley College to compete for their bowling team throughout college.  “Having a supportive group at the Minier Lanes Bowling Alley has honestly helped lead me to success in my bowling career. I think that growing up in a town with a great bowling alley kind of kick started my passion for bowling. If I was not able to bowl as often as a kid, who knows if I ever would have really gotten into the sport.” 
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Arcadia Arcade Museum

Arcadia Arcade Museum

Since his high school days, Yates' collection of arcade games has grown to about 1,500 games. He originally opened the arcade with games that were his favorites, but then transitioned to what is more popular. When asked about what the popular games are, he stated, “The favorite games are different for different people. Kids seem to like driving, racing, or target shooting games, while adults like to play the old school, classic games. There is also another group of people that only come to play pinball.” A few of the many games at Arcadia are Space Invaders, Major Havoc, and JOUST pinball. About half of the visitors of the playable arcade museum come from places outside of the Bloomington-Normal area, including neighboring states. 
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Central Illinois Limo Service

Central Illinois Limo Service

The father son duo saw the Central Illinois Limo Service LLC for sale in Fairbury and knew that they had to buy. With Bill’s experience and Ryan’s business minded attitude they knew that they could be successful. Then right as they were getting rolling, COVID hit in the U.S. and put several bumps in the road. The lockdown last spring caused people to simply just not go out for a very long time. Restrictions on restaurants, entertainment, and other activities really set back Bill and Ryan’s success. At times, they would have “no bookings for several weeks at a time.” They decided to not give up and they are starting to see it pay off, with small towns being a big part in that success. 
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The Farm Sitter

The Farm Sitter

The Farm Sitter offers three branches of services covering dogs, cats, and domestic animals; horses and hobby farms; and emergency care and visits. Services are offered to residents in the Mackinaw Valley and Central, IL area. The prices range from $15-$100 depending on the service needed. Based on the reviews of The Farm Sitter, Chris and his business are rated very highly by previous customers and say that Chris is dependable, polite, and professional. 
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Retrospect Salon & Boutique

Retrospect Salon & Boutique

I had an opportunity to ask owner Ashley Hathaway a few questions about her new exciting business.   What inspired you to start your own business?
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Cooking with Carol

Cooking with Carol

While facing tough times as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns, Carol took her life-long passion for cooking and entertaining and created Cooking with Carol. She offered complete meal kits which could be picked up at their restaurant and other area locations to accompany her online instructions. Cooking with Carol became more than just another cooking tutorial, it became a virtual meet up in a friends kitchen.
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Chubby's Bar and Grill

Chubby's Bar and Grill

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 9am to 12am; Fri & Sat: 9am to 1am; Sun: 11am to 9pm
Agriculture  |  
Need for Farm Aid Depends on Trade

Need for Farm Aid Depends on Trade

“Because we definitely see from the Phase One China agreement and all the purchases that China has made what a positive influence it’s had on commodity prices for the last couple of months.” Duvall tells Brownfield Ag News farmers would always rather have trade instead of aid. But, he says, trade negotiations take a long time to develop. “We do think in the near future, in this next year, that there will be a need for some, some payments to help farmers get through this next season unless we have some really good wins in the trade area.”
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