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.

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."

Woodstock Harley-Davidson Fosters Independent Culture

Woodstock Harley-Davidson Fosters Independent Culture

Real Woodstock is about embracing your independent streak. Freedom. Passion. Sounds a lot like the Harley-Davidson brand. 

It’s hard to find anyone with more passion for motorcycles than Doug Jackson, co-owner and general manager of Woodstock Harley-Davidson (located at 2235 S. Eastwood Dr. off Route 47).

Along with his partners Arnold Horwich and Tracy Lancaster, Jackson believes the Harley motorcycle and brand create community.

“Most people want to be a part of something cool, raw and authentic,” says Jackson, who has been in the motorcycle industry nearly 40 years. “Harley riders bond over having that independence, that free spirit."

All Seasons Orchard Grows Into Woodstock Fall Favorite

All Seasons Orchard Grows Into Woodstock Fall Favorite

Real Woodstock is about making your dreams become reality. 

More than twenty years ago, James and Sue Hong discovered a 150-acre corn field that was for sale in rural Woodstock, IL. They jumped at the opportunity to farm this land and moved their family from Arlington Heights to Woodstock.

Teaching themselves about farming by trial and error, the Hongs planted evergreen trees, various nursery stock, and 30 acres of apple trees. It took nearly seven years for the Hongs to harvest their first crop of apples. Gradually, the farm evolved into a thriving orchard attracting visitors from all over the Chicagoland area each fall.

Gavers Barndance - A Big Party for a Great Cause

Gavers Barndance - A Big Party for a Great Cause

Steve Gavers loves a good party. So do 2,500 of his closest friends.

On Saturday, July 16, you can be a "friend of Steve" at the 17th Annual Gavers Barndance, held under a massive tent at Woodstock's Emricson Park. 

"We are 'country' in Woodstock. This is how people met and talked in a rural era. This event is a throwback," he says. "We couldn't find a barn big enough to hold everyone, but people seem to have a great time."

Grace Farm Studios Brings Woodstock Back to Nature

Grace Farm Studios Brings Woodstock Back to Nature

One is a surfer, the other an attorney. One is a craftsman, the other an artist.  Both are now farmers.  

It's been about fifteen years since Mike and Ann found their three-acre farm--complete with a circa 1851 farmhouse and barn--and settled into a small town, rural way of life.

Today, "Farmer Mike" and "Farmer Ann," as they're known by their customers, own Grace Farm Studios, an organic u-pick berry farm that encourages visitors to relax and connect with nature.