Groundhog Days Volunteers Create Real Tradition​

Groundhog Days Volunteers Create Real Tradition​

In the cult classic Harold Ramis film, "Groundhog Day", Bill Murray's character relives the same day over and over and over. Filmed in Woodstock, the 1993 movie--now 25 years old--gave birth to the Woodstock Groundhog Days Festival 23 years ago, an event that will take place again from February 1 to 4 in Woodstock, IL.

For the all-volunteer team that has guided Woodstock's Groundhog Days Festival all these years, does it feel like they are reliving Groundhog Day over and over and over again?

"We have a really great core group that has helped organize the festival for the last 15 years. We have a lot of fun putting the events together every year," says Committee Co-Chairman Craig Krandel...

1st Family Home Healthcare: Providing In-Home Assistance to Woodstock and Beyond

1st Family Home Healthcare: Providing In-Home Assistance to Woodstock and Beyond

When Ivy Sagrado was 14, her family emigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. They settled in McHenry County and, eventually, Woodstock. Ivy's Mom is a nurse, and found work quickly in McHenry County.

Ivy, the oldest of three, followed a different career path--at first. Trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, Ivy worked for Wolfgang Puck in Chicago, Onion Pub and Brewery in Barrington, and Pirro's Restaurante, formerly on the Woodstock Square. 

Eventually, family called, and Ivy joined her mom at 1st Family Home Healthcare in 2009, a start-up that now provides in-home health care services to those who have just been released from the hospital. "1st Family Home Healthcare sees homebound patients," says Sagrado. "For some, it’s very taxing for patients to leave their homes. Some don't have families or guardians that can bring them to the doctor. We service them right at home." ...

D&A Delivers Unique, Unexpected Raw Beauty to the Square

D&A Delivers Unique, Unexpected Raw Beauty to the Square

When Darrin Flynn and Alberto Perez opened the doors of D&A salon | apothecary a year and a half ago, they invested their savings in their space and "flipped the sign on the door to 'open', said a prayer--and it happened. Word spread quickly." says Darrin, about a salon that was a "bit unexpected".

Today, D&A employs three full-time stylists, two part-time make up artists, one part-time esthetician, and soon a nail technician. D&A has expanded from 1,600 square feet to 2,800 square feet within in 18 months of opening. It's a full service hair salon with a retail twist: D&A emphasizes natural products -- and products that are not readily available with a self-imposed 21-mile radius of the Woodstock Square, where the salon is located at 106 N Benton St. ...

The Woodstock Farmer's Market -- Producing Local Flavor For 30 Years

The Woodstock Farmer's Market -- Producing Local Flavor For 30 Years

Keith Johnson isn't much for attention. A key driver of the Woodstock Farmer's Market for the past twenty-plus years, he simply wants to connect local food producers with satisfied customers.

"There is so much satisfaction seeing a good product go out to people who appreciate the product," says the soft-spoken Johnson. A "producer's only market" that is recognized as one of the top farmer's markets in the state--and country--the Woodstock Farmer's Market has been connecting local farmers and makers with fresh, healthy food for 30 years.

Scribner Sculpts Welles, Creative Streak In Woodstock

Scribner Sculpts Welles, Creative Streak In Woodstock

According to Bobby Joe Scribner, his name is "pure Tennessee", yet his spirit is Real Woodstock.

A sculptor and educator who shares a live-work space in downtown Woodstock with his wife Frances, Scribner specializes in sculptures that evoke a sense of wonder, delight and "even whimsy", he says.

Scribner's latest, a three-quarter cast bronze sculpture of Woodstock favorite son Orson Welles, will grace the Woodstock Square in 2018. The sculpture will be placed in the Sculpture Garden located in the pedway just north of the Woodstock Theatre at 209 Main St next to the new "Woodstock on Film and on the Stage" mural. The overall project...

Niko’s Red Mill Thrives on Authenticity, Service

Niko’s Red Mill Thrives on Authenticity, Service

If you pass by Niko's Red Mill Tavern on a weekday afternoon or evening, you may notice that parking spots appear hard to come by.

It's not for lack of parking spots - Niko's has expanded the parking lot three times in six years - it's because Red Mill patrons rarely want to leave.

"Once you're here, you can easily stay until closing time in conversations with friends," says owner Niko Kanakaris. "The atmosphere here is great. We cater everyone from bikers to families to farmers; it's a diverse mix people that all get along."

Creativity Rules, and MATRIX 4 Grows to 50 Employees

Creativity Rules, and MATRIX 4 Grows to 50 Employees

"How do you create an environment where people thrive?" 

Patricia Miller, who took over her grandfather's Woodstock-based plastic injection molding company MATRIX 4 in 2014, puts people before profit. "If you engage your people, create a purpose and a culture then you will get better results," says the CEO of MATRIX 4, a company with Woodstock roots tracing back to 1976.

"Manufacturing is creative," says Patricia Miller, CEO. "Every day, we are making."

Down 2 Earth & Laddybuck Leather Bring Creative Streak to Square

Down 2 Earth & Laddybuck Leather Bring Creative Streak to Square

To Nina Huffman and fiancé Jason Neveu, community starts with a simple smile.

The owners of Down 2 Earth and Laddybuck Leather on the Square are makers, craftsman, artists and purveyors of peace. "We want to change people's days for the better," says Jason. 

Nina, who grew up in Woodstock, and Jason (who is from Wheaton) have fashioned an eclectic boutique that blends Native American jewelry, antiques, minerals and crystals, loose herbs for tea, handmade leather goods and unique gifts.

"We are very passionate about natural and handmade products."