Daily Chronicle

Strohacker: DeKalb County makers selected for Illinois Made 2023 Program

We are thrilled to announce that three innovative makers from DeKalb County have been selected to join the esteemed Illinois Made Program for 2023.

Each of these remarkable makers has demonstrated exceptional talent, craftsmanship and originality, contributing to the distinctive identity of DeKalb County makers. Their innovative creations and dedication exemplify the essence of the Illinois program, promoting economic growth and fostering a vibrant community of artisans and entrepreneurs.

The DeKalb County makers selected for Illinois Made 2023 are:

• Sub 70 – Sycamore Sub 70 Golf is a company founded on a genuine love of golf and a wish to share that love with others who feel the same. Located in downtown Sycamore, Sub 70 is owned and operated by local, avid golfers who are dedicated to creating high-quality golf equipment. All of their clubs have been specially designed and thoroughly tested to ensure the best performance possible. Every single club is custom fit and hand built in Sycamore.

• Angie’s Sugar Buzz Bakery – Established in 2014, Angie’s Sugar Buzz Bakery is located in Sandwich. All treats are baked in house, ensuring the freshest of flavors. The bakery serves up everything from doughnuts and cakes to muffins, cookies, specialty coffees and so much more. Its made-from-scratch cakes and cookies can be customized for any celebration.

• Prairie State Winery – Genoa Prairie State Winery was established in 1998 in the heart of downtown Genoa. Its goal has always been to craft the highest-quality wines and to have the friendliest tasting room staff in the industry. Over the years, they have won three best of shows, three Governor’s Cups and numerous Best of Class and Gold Metals. Owners Rick and Maria, former high school teachers, like to promote the philosophy of “think globally” and “drink locally.”

“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,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “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’s economy and Illinois Makers not only provide economic impact but also add to our diverse communities, inspiring travel to all corners of the state,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Kristin Richards said in a statement. “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 Illinois Made Program, an initiative of the Illinois Office of Tourism, showcases the diverse range of products and experiences that define Illinois. It aims to promote and uplift makers who embody the state’s creativity, craftsmanship and entrepreneurial spirit. Through this program, makers gain increased visibility, support and access to opportunities for growth while inspiring others with their unique talents.

Support your local makers from DeKalb County and see what makes our community unique. We congratulate these makers on their well-deserved recognition and look forward to their continued success.

For more information about Illinois Made and the small businesses that make up the program, visit www.enjoyillinois.com/illinois-made.

To find out more about businesses and events in DeKalb County, go to www.dekalbcountycvb.com or call 815-756-1336. We would love to help you experience everything that DeKalb County has to offer.

  • Cortney Strohacker is the executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau.