DQ.jpgHarrison Ford, Robin Williams, Harold Ramis… and soft-serve ice cream?

That’s right—Dairy Queen is an Illinois native, born on North Chicago Street in Joliet. The fast food and ice cream chain turned 80 on Monday.

According to a 1991 article from the Associated Press, founder Sherwood “Sherb” Noble broke into the business after taking a dairy course at Iowa State College and managing an ice cream store in his hometown of Clemons, Iowa.

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MADE IN ILLINOISThis month Made in Illinois has a tasty feature. In honor of National Popcorn Day, we visited Pittman’s Popcorn Shop (1500 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL) and spoke to Michael Pittman, the owner of the independent, family-owned gourmet popcorn store.

First opened in 2016, Pittman’s Popcorn Shop touts more than 500 popcorn flavors with 70 flavors available at any given time. From traditional flavors like caramel and cheddar to their own creations like strawberry cheesecake and peanut butter chocolate, Pittman’s Popcorn Shop has something to offer to everyone.

Read the story below of how Pittman started and has grown his business.

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NASAScott Altman Bronze Bust 081 inducted Pekin native Captain Scott Altman into the U.S. Astronaut’s Hall of Fame on April 21 with a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Altman is one of 98 other American astronauts to receive that honor, including Neil Armstrong, John Young and Gordon Fullerton.

Altman began his journey at Edison Junior High School in Pekin before continuing his education at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. There he studied aeronautical and astronautical engineering before joining the Navy and rising to the rank of captain. He later earned a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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caramel

Did you know that today is National Caramel Day? If you want to celebrate, check out one of these locally owned shops in Illinois.

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen is a classic example of the American Dream. Gus Flesor bought the building and opened his own confectionary in 1901, after emigrating from Greece. Success in the business allowed him to bring two of his brothers to Tuscola. Gus Flesor is known for their delicious caramels that you can buy wrapped or homemade hand-dipped. All their candy is made by hand with no preservatives. 

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SSPeterandPaulaerial CityofNaperville Toggle 1024x683Illinois remains among the best places for businesses looking to relocate, according to Site Selection Magazine.

Named third in the 2017 Governor’s Cup rankings, Illinois ranked behind only Texas and Ohio in new corporate facility projects, according to the magazine.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area remained the top metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, with 402 new and expanded facilities projects, according to the ranking.

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