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Local Illinois Makers Shine

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Local Illinois Makers Shine

They create, craft and invent. They are the artisans … the makers … the do-ers … the inspiration for all things that are uniquely Illinois.

From farm-to-table restaurants, woodworking artisans, craft brewers and more, these businesses are responsible for a new wave of interest in locally crafted products. 

Grafton Winery and Brewhaus


Two Grafton businesses have joined the coveted ranks of local makers: Grafton Winery and Brewhaus and Buena Vista Art. Both were honored by the Illinois Office of Tourism with the Illinois Maker designation which showcases the depths and diversities of Illinois.


Greg Brummett, Buena Vista Art in Grafton, a new Illinois Maker.

Mississippi Mud Pottery and Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton were members of the inaugural class of Illinois Makers when the program debuted in 2016.

Chad Nelson and Felicia Breen of Mississippi Mud Pottery have created artistic, useable pottery for over 10 years in their shop just blocks from the Mississippi River in downtown Alton.

James Rogalsky and Lauren Pattan of Old Bakery Beer Co. have developed innovative and substantial craft beers in their two-year-old organic brewery and restaurant located in Alton’s historic Colonial Bakery building.

All of the businesses are one-of-a-kind in the region and part of a growing trend of regional craftsmanship  which is taking root throughout Illinois.  And, both businesses have been honored with the  Illinois Made designation.

“We’re really excited about this program, because it not only promotes us, but promotes the region as well,” Breen said. “We work very hard and we enjoy that we get the recognition, and we enjoy that we can bring more interest and spotlight to our area.”

Launched in the summer of 2016, Illinois Made is an ongoing program that highlights the depth and diversity of Illinois’ makers’ communities to encourage people to extend their travel beyond a day trip by exploring local businesses and nearby attractions.

“We want to point out these fantastic makers,” Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism said. “But we want to make sure the visitor can interact with the maker and be able to purchase a product they can take back home and share with their friends and family, and inspire another set of travelers to come to Illinois.”