Fresh, locally sourced and made from scratch – that’s what makes this newcomer in Rochelle an exciting new destination for locals and visitors alike. ...

Check out these unique destinations that reflect the genuine character of our region. ...

Check out these original and inventive shops in our area. ...

For the Love of Art Greg Gerard was looking for a new direction in life when he received the call. On the other end of the phone was his old college friend, Rod Beaudoin, telling him about a film festival he was starting in Beloit, and could he lend a hand? Gerard jumped at the chance. At first, he felt ...

Giving Hope to the Wishless The night before he died of cancer in March 2012, Nik Ritschel told his mother about a wish he had. It started with his friend Nate, whom he’d met while undergoing clinical trials. Nate was diagnosed with cancer a month after his 18th birthday, so he didn’t qualify for things like Make-A-Wish. “He talked to ...

Take Them In Genia Stevens always knew the importance of helping others, but for her it came naturally. One of four siblings, Stevens grew up in rural Waynesboro, Ga., watching her grandmother, Freddie Mae, care for others without hesitation. “She held down the entire family – aunts, uncles, grandkids – everyone,” says Stevens. “We even had a man who wasn’t ...

Motivating Young Minds Kim Radostits never imagined she would be named Illinois’ Teacher of the Year. She was more focused on making a difference in young lives. Indeed, the Spanish teacher at Oregon High School, in Oregon, Ill., is not only shaping future leaders, but she’s helping them to realize their value. “I want to help my students find their ...

Embrace Your Culture Steve Salvato refuses to charge for his services; they’re just too important. It’s a core belief he’s held for the past two decades as he’s helped his fellow Italian-Americans to understand their roots. “Culture is the glue that holds people and families together because they have that common bond,” says Salvato, a Rockford native. “If I can ...

Who says there's nothing fresh this time of year? They've never seen an indoor farmers market like these local gems. No matter the weather, visitors are sure to find produce, preserves, crafts and plenty of surprises. ...

Some will say the key to running a successful business is consistency. Others might suggest financial management. For the team behind Sweetbean Cafe & Bakery, it's a quality product and a smile. ...