Monday, November 30, 2009

Lockport's Best Kept Secret

"William Alexander is an intimate
Wine and Martini Bar, Wine Tasting Room,
and Home Decor gift store."

William Alexander
900 S. State Street
Lockport, IL 60441
815.834.WINE (9463)

Baby Furniture Shopping. Worse than shopping for a car? Not any more!!!

Submitted by Michelle Matzke
Earlier this year, my husband and I had the tedious task of shopping for baby furniture. Frustrated and on our way home from a day of searching, we happened upon Cribs to College Bedrooms - quite by accident. Lucky for us! They ended up being the largest infant, children, and teen furniture retailer in the area.

We were one of their first customers in their new location. We dealt direct with the one of the owners who provided great customer service, and had extensive knowledge of the product and suppliers. In conversation with him, we learned that like us, they pride themselves on using many independent suppliers - this sealed the deal!

We were quite surprised that our furniture was delivered within 4 weeks (going into this, we were worried about the delivery date, as we had friends who went to a big box store and were given a 20 week window - after their due date). We could not be happier with the service, selection, quality, and price.

In addition to furniture, they also sell bedding, gliders, diaper bags, and have a small sections set aside for specialty items like shoe socks, unique holiday onesies, hats and hair accessories. I've been back to the store to purchase cute specialty items for my daughter and I am still greeted and remembered by the owners. If you are looking for quality furniture, top notch customer servce, all at a great price, you need not look any further.

For more information, click on their website:

Cribs to College Bedrooms: 404 Rt. 59, Suite 108, Naperville, IL 60540, (630) 579-4932

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your money, your stores, your impact

Independent Holidays!

A study in Austin, TX showed that if each household redirected just $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores to locally owned merchants, the local economic impact would reach approximately $10 Million.

-Received in an email from

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heaven= Red Velvet Cake = Deerfields Bakery!

Submitted By Michelle Matzke
Deerfields Bakery: three locations in Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, and Schaumburg. You can call their centralized calling center at 1-847-520-0068

As a huge fan of Red Velvet, I have tried goods from many different bakeries, but I have yet to find another bakery who even comes close to the perfection of Red Velvet cakes and cupcakes of Deerfield Bakery. This is a great all around bakery with all the usual coffee cakes, doughnuts and cakes, but it's the Red Velvet cakes and cupcakes that set this bakery apart from others bakeries.

You can always stop in for Red Velvet regular or jumbo-sized cupcakes or order cakes in all sizes. All their cakes are not only delicious, but beautifully hand-decorated (something of a lost art now-a-days), but you would never guess it with their affordable prices. Dispite the distance to all three locations, this is our bakery of choice for our special occasions. The cake for my baby shower was order from Deerfield Bakery. To my surprise, my Red Velvet sheet cake was decorated to exactly match my invitations. Everyone raved about it - I received inquiries for weeks after my shower from guests asking where the cake was ordered from. If you're into Red Velvet, you should definitely check this place out.

For more information, click on their website:

Specials and Events are also posted on FaceBook

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ultimate reason to shop Independents...

So our picture doesn't end up here: !

Why Buy Local?

Check out for more information

Family Owned

There's something to be said about being "Family Owned".  So much so, it's being said in business ads on the radio! Have you noticed this? If so, for what companies?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who knew something like this was in Morris?

Submitted by Ruth Jones
You know it’s good food when you will go out of your way to get it….and Corleone’s is exactly that restaurant.

Dine in, or take out – the taste is sublime, and the price is unbelievably affordable!
To those not ‘in the know,’ it may appear to be just another Italian restaurant. But don’t be fooled by its low-key exterior and ‘step up to the counter’ ordering style. Once you try Corleone’s – you will become a loyal fan.

Their differentiating factor is the homemade bread, otherwise known as “a loaf.” All sandwiches begin with this treat to the palate, and all entrees come with a sizeable chunk. One of my favorites is entitled cheese please – and it is addicting in its deliciousness. The key is in its simplicity. It consists of a ½ loaf grilled with mozzarella cheese (or American, should you prefer). Sound Plain-Jane to you? Trust me, it isn’t. Your taste buds will think they have gone to heaven.

My brother lives over 100 miles away nowadays, and on those rare occasions when he returns to the area, a trip to Corleone’s is essential. For him it’s the spaghetti. He’s tried other items on the menu, but always comes back to his fave. Do your taste buds a favor, and try Corleone’s for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

Corleone’s 110 Liberty St., Morris, IL 60560 (815) 942-6965

A new Pinnacle in customer service!

Submitted by Michelle Matzke
Who would ever think you would find the three words "affordable," "honest," and "mechanic" in the same sentence? Well, that is exactly what you find when you go to Pinnacle Automotive.

They specialize in Mercedes Benz repair, but service all foreign and domestic vehicles. Their customer service cann't be beat. They are always extremely professional, knowledgable and helpful . They will never do anything that is not required and will always discuss the issues with you before starting any repair. I would (and have) recommend Pinnacle Automotive to everyone in need of car repair and service.

Pinnacle Automotive - At Seven Bridges, Inc.: 6809 Hobson Valley Dr., #115, Woodridge, Illinois 60517, 60540, USA, 630-512-0516
For more information, click on their website:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jellies and Jams, just like Gram's!

Submitted By Kimberly Demetrio
Papa Pat's Farmhouse Recipes is owned and operated by Hodan Center, Inc., a community rehabilitation program serving adults with disabilities living in southwest Wisconsin. These are the best jellies, jams, salsas, soups, and seasonings one could ask for! 

Looking for holiday gift options with meaning? Check out this site ( and read about the awesome work of Hodan Center in Mineral Point, WI then head on over to and order yourself some homemade- from- the- heart products!

Tired of your dealership 'deals'?

Submitted by Ruth Jones
What do you do when you need work done on your car?

A few years back when my new car was no longer quite so new, I decided it was time to find a reliable and affordable mechanic that I could trust with my vehicle. During my last warranty check at the dealership, the service manager had come out with a very serious look on his face, and a piece of paper gripped in his hand. It seemed that (according to him and the dealership) there was quite a laundry list of things that I should schedule to have done on my vehicle immediately; in fact, I really should schedule the appointment before I left, he encouraged me.

The estimate was high enough to give me serious pause, and their recommendations seemed outside of the norm. So I left; and I asked a friend who knows cars inside and out. He gave me the best referral, and one I have passed on many times over the years. His endorsement was simple: “I do all my own work on my vehicles, but if there is ever anything I can’t or don’t want to tackle, Wholesale Tire is the only people I would consider calling. Tell them Jim referred you.” I was sold on the spot.

I called them, and guess what? They knew exactly who Jim was, and even stopped to ask me how he was and what he was up to these days. I brought my car in for a “check-up” not telling them about the estimate from the dealership. After a thorough going-over, I was given a recommendation for a $33 part. So I pulled out my estimate from the dealership and showed it to Mike. He simply shook his head and told me that those things were not needed, at least not at this time, and that although he could and would do them for me, if I wanted, (at less than half the price of my estimate) he just could not recommend them to me as necessary and still look himself in the mirror.

Wholesale Tire won my continued business and support that day. Don’t let the name fool you – they offer full automotive service. These days when I call to schedule an appointment and tell them my name, the immediate response is “Pontiac Grand Am, right?” They know the vehicles of their repeat customers, and they service your vehicle with the care they would give to their own.

The next time you need work done on your vehicle; check out Wholesale Tire in Yorkville. You will not be disappointed. They may not have evening hours (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, and Saturdays, 8am-12) but they more than make up in service what they do not offer in evening hours.

Wholesale Tire
1209 N. Bridge St.
Yorkville, IL 60560
(630) 553-5300

Let's talk about The Pink Hippo in the room....

Submitted By Michelle Matzke
As a brand new mom, I have a whole new genre of places to shop for my little girl that I did not know existed 2 months ago. Lately, I have been specifically looking for hair bows. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I knew I wasn’t a fan of the elastic, scrunchy bows; they look like they hurt and are not our style. I tried one on her once - for about 1 minute and she cried until I pulled it off. I knew there had to be a better option out there – I just had to find it. By chance, while talking with another mom she suggested I try The Pink Hippo Hair Bows in the same strip mall as Trader Joe’s in Naperville. The next day, we ventured out to find it.

I saw a sign that said Hair Bows - and thought this must be it. Wow! That's all I can say. The Pink Hippo has exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for -What an adorable store for little girls!

This store has a plethora of bows and hair accessories of all different shapes and sizes for little girls of all ages and hair amounts. Specifically for infants, they sell flat stretchy headbands that can be worn alone or you can add a clip of a bow, flower, or other figure. This patent-pending clip can even be attached directly to infant hair. I tried the headband on my little girl, and she didn’t even realize she was wearing it. Perfect!

In addition to bows, headbands, and barrettes, they also sell other girly things, such as flower hats, leg warmers, bling shirts, tutus, and seasonal outfits, to name a few items. It’s easy to get carried away and to spend more than anticipated, but it is definitely worth a visit for anyone with a little girl.

For more information, click on their website:

The Pink Hippo Hair Bows
8 W. Gartner Road, Suite 148
Naperville , Illinois , USA 60540

What is worthwhile?

Submitted By Michelle Matzke
As frequent travelers, my husband and I always try to go "off the beaten path" and look for local establishments that reflect the culture and excitement of the city we are visiting, making for a more memorable experience.

It saddens me that over the years, more cities and suburbs around the country are looking more alike and more like our hometown. A plethora of chain restaurants and stores in rows of strip malls are changing our landscape so significantly, it almost defeats the point of traveling. It takes more in-depth research or a great concierge to point us to the local “must tries.”

Seeking out local favorites is something I’ve carried into our daily lives. I frequently shop and dine at mostly locally owned, independent businesses, (especially my favorites, to ensure they stay around as long as possible). They not only give a city that certain “small town" feel, they are what make a community unique as they put their own spin on the shopping or visiting experience.

The best part of frequenting these locally owned establishments is that you get to meet and to know the owners. The owners have much more at stake in the success or failure of their businesses. They know their clientele, who in turn benefit as they get individual attention, and better, friendlier service. Local owners take pride in your compliments and will hear your complaints and act on them. Local owners sponsor youth sports and activities. I don't mind spending the little extra knowing that they bring jobs, income, and charm to a community. They are what make living in a community and traveling to others, worthwhile.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Will Buy Locally in Will County

What a great site to help find a local business you need in Will County! Check it out.  If you love a place that's not on their site, let us know and we'll put a shout-out for them here!!!

A Dog's Life

Submitted by Gina Raftery
Sit! Boutique and Grooming is one of my and my basset hound Sophie's favorite local businesses. They offer all the supplies Sophie needs, along with a full service groomer.

Sit offers everything you need to care for your pet (food, collars, leashes, treats, bowls, toys, beds, and yes clothes). What makes their line unique compared to other pet stores is they really know the products they sell and only sell products of the highest quality. Their pet food is all-natural, made from human grade ingredients and not loaded with all of the filler ingredients other pet foods have.

Sit’s full service grooming is top notch. They offer everything needed to keep your furry family member at their best. Most places have you drop your pet off in the morning tell you that they will call you sometime during the day to come pick them up. This means your pet will more than likely spend some time sitting in a crate. Sit’s service is unique…they offer true scheduled times just like your stylist offers. NO needless time sitting in a crate! The groomer will also take time to let you know how the appointment went. Pricing is just a little higher than others…but knowing that your pet is receiving top notch care makes it worth it!

Sit offers their customers the opportunities to meet the people who supply their products, from the food suppliers to the clothing designers by hosting Trunk Shows throughout the year. This is a very cool feature because it helps me feel even better about the choices I make.

To add to their pawsomeness, Sit reaches out to their community through pet adoption events and donated supplies collections for the local shelters.

2316 W. Leland Ave . Chicago IL 60625 . At The Western Brown Line EL Stop . 773.989.1202

By George, I've Got It!

Submitted By Kimberly Demetrio
Lately I've heard that Lockport needs more restaurants, that there are "none" here. When I ask what type, instantly a few mainstream corporate bar & grills get name dropped. I then rattle off the list of eateries that yes, you may not find more than one location of, but will enjoy just the same, if not better.

One such place is George's Restaurant. Why do I love George's? It has been around more than 25 years-the original owner was George! Its menu is vast- you can order from around the world-American, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and even some Asian Stir Fry! They serve breakfast all day & night, are open 24 hours, and serve a mean bottomless cup of coffee.

George's has a friendly staff-of mostly locals- and you are always greeted with a Hello and a Smile-from other patrons as well as staff!

When you're in Lockport go on in, they have a table waiting. Try the biscuits and gravy--just like Grandma's. Ahhhh.

George's Restaurant
990 N. State St.
Lockport, IL 60441

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big City Service in a Small Hometown

Submitted By Ruth Jones

For some, choosing a new salon/stylist is a fun adventure, or maybe even something they give little thought to. But for others, this can be a cause for alarm, perhaps even raising long-repressed memories of previous scary stylist experiences…especially if you have hair that has been classified on more than one occasion as “difficult to cut.”

No matter your previous experiences, if you are looking for an overall great experience, Vitality Salon & Spa at 823 E. Church St., Sandwich, IL 60548 (815-786-7707) is more than worth your while to check out. The price is right, the appointment times are flexible according to your schedule, and Nicki (owner) and the other stylists excel at first listening to what YOU the CUSTOMER wants. That’s right - - they actually sit down with you & listen to what your expectations are, and then discuss with you what is realistic for you and your hair. They will make your hair look fantastic, and because of the way they treat each and every customer – you will become a repeat customer.

My own backyard

Submitted By Kimberly Demetrio

In a previous career I travelled the continental United States. When I arrived in a new city I made sure to experience the local fare to give me a feel for the town. Travelling solo can be lonely and finding the Mom & Pop places, talking with the proprietors and customers, gave me a sense of being part of a community, relieving the loneliness and creating a sense of home when far from my own.

On a flight home from San Francisco a pivotal moment occurred. We started our descent into O’Hare with the grid of the Chicago lights welcoming us home. As I was expressing my feelings from seeing this sight with my aisle mate he said it. He said how wonderful it must be to live in an area with so much to experience! The guilt welled up so quickly in me I'm sure it showed on my face immediately. I could tell people where to go for a down home meal in Nashville, the best store for fabric in San Fran's Chinatown, a great locals' sports bar in LA, but I could not tell someone what it was like to be in the observation deck of the Sears Tower or the best sandwich place in Little Italy.

I have taken for granted my own backyard! It was at that moment on that flight I made it my personal mission to experience my home. My quest to "Be Local" is not an agenda driven attempt to become healthy or to save the earth. It’s to support those Mom & Pops that are off the beaten path, that do not answer to shareholders, that survive and thrive on knowing their regulars and making new customers feel like family.