Check out these original and inventive shops in our area.
7125 Harrison Ave., Rockford, (815) 332-7125, kegelmotorcycles.com
What’s considered the world’s oldest Harley-Davidson dealership traces its relationship with the famed motorcycle maker back to 1909. Mark Kegel’s grandfather, Joe, was approached by Harley-Davidson and asked to sell motorcycles out of his bicycle dealership. The Kegel family’s passion for motorcycles lives on. In 1998, the dealership beat out nearly 11,000 other companies to win the Dealernews Top 100 contest for America’s best power sports dealership.
Mark Kegel and his daughter, Katrina Kegel-Mather, represent the third and fourth generations of leadership at this family business. The store’s showroom is stocked with the latest models, including sports, cruisers, touring cycles, trikes and limited-edition models. Service techs are on hand to help with any mechanical needs.
Kegel is also one of the original retailers of the “Harley-Davidson lifestyle,” offering accessories, parts and clothing that carry the legendary motorcycle company’s name. This includes the Harley-Davidson FXRG Collection, a layering system of under and outer layer designed to protect riders from the elements. Hungry customers and bikers also appreciate the Johnny Pamcakes restaurant that’s located inside the store.
This dealership, with its extended team of salespeople, service techs and finance experts, is a far cry from the where it began 110 years ago.
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. to 4 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Barb City Bagels
118 E. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, Ill., (815) 754-5211, barbcitybagels.com
DeKalb’s downtown has so much to offer that day trippers can really work up an appetite. Luckily, Barb City Bagels is there to provide some fuel.
Owners Tim and Bobbi Hays embarked on their bagel adventure in 2014 after serving as missionaries, then educators. Their longtime dream of owning a business came true when they bought the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, eventually relocating the business and changing the name to Barb City Bagels, a nod to DeKalb’s connection with the inventors of barbed wire. The Hayses also maintain a kiosk in the law building at Northern Illinois University (NIU), which reopens to the public this fall.
“We bring in our gluten-free bagels for the safety of our gluten-free customers,” says Bobbi Hays. “Every other bagel we have is made by us, from scratch, using fresh ingredients.”
There are 17 bagel flavors to choose from, including asiago, jalapeño cheddar and sourdough. Plus, the menu includes more than a dozen hand-blended cream cheese flavors and Chicago-based Intelligentsia coffee. With soups, salads and sandwiches rounding out the menu, many people grab lunch on the go, pick up curbside, or sit in and nosh in a relaxing atmosphere. The Hayses boil and bake their bagels, making them in the classic New York style.
“Some of the highest compliments we received are from NIU students from New York,” says Bobbi. “They try our bagels and say, ‘This tastes like a bagel from home.”
Hours: Daily 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
39 S. Main St., Janesville, (608) 563-0913, adornjanesville.com
After living and traveling around the country and the world, Margie Siggelkow wasn’t sure what to expect when she returned to her hometown of Janesville. All that changed when she made a trip downtown.
“I started talking to business owners and saw how excited everyone was and how much they loved it here,” she says. “There are a lot of groups in Janesville that are doing so much to bring people downtown.”
It wasn’t long before Siggelkow decided to open a shop of her own. Now in its third year, Adorn features a wide variety of clothing, jewelry, art, books and decor, all with a focus on fair trade, eco-friendliness and ethically sourced materials. The store also places an emphasis on promoting women entrepreneurs, with close to 90% of all merchandise hailing from women-owned businesses.
“It’s important to me that the things I sell reflect my values,” says Siggelkow. “I care about social justice, and I care about women’s rights. I want to feel good about everything that I sell.”
As Adorn’s customer base continues to grow, Siggelkow is finding that many of her customers share a common ground with her values and those of her suppliers.
“We’re growing every year,” she says. “As consumers, we can make a big impact by how we spend our money. Hopefully, when someone learns more about fair trade, they’ll spread the message to their friends and families.”
Hours: Tue., Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed.-Thu. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. noon-4 p.m.