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Welcome to Bloomington-Normal!

Bloomington-Normal, Illinois


Every crafted item carries a little bit of the place and people that make it.

Every crafted item carries a little bit of the place and people that make it. The Illinois Makers program celebrates the small businesses whose uniquely Illinoisan style and creativity set our locally made goods apart.


View the Illinois Made Guide

Interested in becoming (or nominating) an Illinois Maker? Read through the criteria and submit a form here.


Deep in the heart of the state’s prairies, local makers are pouring their passion into artful desserts, small-batch spirits, and classic furniture that are honestly amazing.

  • Funks Grove Maple Sirup

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    Savor the sweet goodness of nature’s bounty, served up through a multigenerational, time-honored process that has created a family dynasty.


    Turns out you can get more than your kicks on Route 66.

    If you’re lucky, you might score a bottle of Funks’ legendary maple sirup. The Funk family has been tapping maple trees and making sirup since 1824, back when patriarch Isaac Funk was swapping stories and splitting flapjacks with his good friend Abraham Lincoln.

    You’d be hard-pressed to tap a family tradition that runs any deeper, and you can taste this heritage in an end-product based on their tree-friendly approach to a time-honored process. It takes 35–50 gallons of pure sap to create a gallon of maple sirup, and in every pour, you can savor every moment it took to harvest each sweet, sticky drop.

    This historic grove of maples was originally tapped by Native Americans for their sugary magic long before there was a Funk family to call this region home. Not only did Native Americans use sirup to season corn and vegetables, but they also added it to their fish and meat.

    When the Funks settled the area in the early 19th Century, they couldn’t have envisioned their business idea blossoming into a 7th-generation entity now using some 6,400 taps from 3,000 trees to harvest more than 2,000 gallons of sirup each year. What started almost 200 years ago is now a glorious tradition for lovers of the Groves’ maple-rich bounty.

    Visit the Funks family store in the town of Shirley, where you’ll discover a variety of take-home sirups, sweet candies, gift boxes and more. And you’ll also come to the realization that sometimes the old ways of doing things are still the most delicious. If you’re wondering why the Funks spell it “sirup” instead of “syrup”, you’ll need to stop by and talk to Debby, Mike or Sean. They won’t give away the family secret recipe, but they will share the tale of why the name Sirup stuck here in Funks Grove.

    Discover more Illinois makers and artisans at Illinois Made.

  • Rader Family Farms

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    Lynn Rader and his six younger siblings were raised on this Guernsey dairy farm by their parents, Glenn and Margaret Rader. Glenn and Margaret moved onto this farm when they were married in 1945. The family grew up milking cows and showing them in 4-H.

    Glenn died in 1971 and the cows were sold. From then until the present time, Lynn and Linda have been primarily grain farmers.

    For the past many years they have also grown and sold sweet corn in the summer and pumpkins and other produce in the fall. The pumpkin business began rather innocently when Lynn had a bumper crop of pumpkins in his garden and decided to put a hayrack in his front yard with the extras on it to sell. That was some 20 years ago, and every year since, Lynn has planted more and more varieties and has expanded his crop to 30-plus acres.

    The Raders have three married children and eight grandchildren who all live in the community. The grandchildren love visiting the farm and are beginning to assist with many tasks. Poppy Lynn enjoys teaching his grandchildren, the fifth generation of Raders on the farm, about the angertainment business.

    As farmers, Lynn and Linda realize how much people love and appreciate an opportunity to experience “a little bit of the country life.” We see that each new generation has less and less understanding of the rural life. We feel our farm allows guests a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from rural America while having a great time in the country. This agritourism site presents many opportunities to learn from hands-on experiences about agriculture in central Illinois, helping bridge the gap between city and country life.

  • Edge of Normal Workshop

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    As a family owned and operated shop, we are constantly learning and expanding our skills. Our goal is to provide the highest quality work in everything we do.

    Full time bladesmith, and shop manager, Taylor Mathews, brings half a decade of running a kitchen to daily operations. Professionally trained as a chef, he specializes in knives, both crafting original blades and sharpening customers knives. The guy that started it all. With 30+ years of picking up new skills, Bill Mathews, was the one that started the sharpening business. He crafts many of the wood products we offer, runs our laser, and is extremely well versed in Hair Shear and Clipper Blade sharpening.

  • Epiphany Farms

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    The Epiphany Farms concept is the brainchild of celebrated chef Ken Myszka who was inspired to create a better total food system.

    One that would give him more responsibility for the ingredients and culinary techniques he used as a chef, and ultimately create a wholly sustainable restaurant experience for his patrons.

    Epiphany takes “Think Global, Eat Local” to a fresh, new level. Every item on the menu is naturally raised from Ken’s 20-acre working farm or sourced from local farming artisans and served in two signature restaurants on the property. This innovative new way of creating a true farm-to-table experience, with vegetables grown within walking distance of where they are served, is an inspiration to other pioneer restauranteurs looking to create a more self-reliant food cycle. In a world seeking sustainable food options that are as delicious as they are fresh, Ken’s vision connects more closely to the well-being of the people he serves.

    On this culinary journey — from root to plate — Ken invites you to tour his farm, and see exactly where your next meal is grown. Be sure to put Epiphany’s Annual Harvest Feast on your dining calendar, a remarkable food event, and highlight of fall season in the city of Bloomington, that’s not to be missed.

    Thanks to the pioneering food-inspired entrepreneurs of Epiphany Farms, the table is set for today’s environmentally conscious dinner guest.

    Meet more Illinois makers at Illinois Made.

  • DESTIHL Brewery

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    Destihl Brewery combines centuries-old global brewing traditions and new American craft brewing techniques to produce a wide array of beers for every palate.

    There are two options for brewery tours: a guided tour with beer tastings, or a comprehensive tour of brewery operations that is followed by a sampling of beers and culinary creations.

  • Ropp Jersey Cheese Farm

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    The Ropp Jersey Cheese processing facility in north Normal is owned and operated by a family of 6th generation McLean County dairy farmers.

    The facility produces cheese curds as well as artisan cheddars, colbys and other cheeses. The Ropp family opened this facility to help promote agriculture as a vital industry to American life. For tour information, please call or visit the website.