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Papa Del’s honored with Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination award

From the press release (photo from Papa Del's Facebook page):
Papa Del’s Pizza Honored with “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination" Award
Illinois Office of Tourism celebrates restaurants that are authentically Illinois, attracting visitors and locals to state’s diverse communities
Champaign, IL – The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) and Visit Champaign County today announced Papa Del’s Pizza, located in Champaign, is a recipient of an “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award, which honors local food establishments around the state that are beloved destinations for visitors and locals alike. Papa Del’s is among a select group of Illinois establishments to receive the unique designation from the tourism bureau. All award winners will receive a certificate from the state and a window cling to inform diners of the state designation.
“From family-owned restaurants with long and storied histories to the hottest new cuisines in the world, Illinois has emerged as a premier culinary destination for both domestic and international visitors,” said Jen Hoelzle, Illinois State Travel Director. “The ‘Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination’ award honors those restaurants that are authentically Illinois, making a trip to the state unforgettable.” 
An institution in Champaign County for over 40 years, Papa Del's is known for their deep dish pizza, some argue the best south of I-80, many say the best in the state. University of Illinois students and alumni have clamored for Papa Del's since opening their doors in 1970, waiting the 45-minutes it takes for the dough to cook and the mass amounts of cheese to melt. Alumni all over the country have such an insatiable taste for their favorite pizza, that Papa Del's now ships up to 8 pizzas overnight anywhere in the country.
“We can’t think of a more beloved restaurant in Champaign County than Papa Del’s,” explains Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “Papa Del’s is an institution that is revisited over and over by alumni, visitors and residents alike. It was a clear choice for the Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination award.” Many travelers come to Illinois because of the state’s flourishing restaurant scene. According to a 2013 D.K. Shifflet & Associates Study, nearly one third of leisure travelers to Illinois reported participating in a unique “culinary experience” as a key part of their vacation, proving culinary offerings are a key motivator for travel.
To be considered for an award, restaurants must be nominated by a Convention & Visitors Bureau, community member or Enjoy Illinois social media fan. The nominee must be a one-of-a-kind restaurant that is authentic to Illinois and an established part of its community. Only restaurants located in Illinois will be considered for the “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award, which is chosen by IOT.
Visit Champaign County will be presenting Papa Del’s with their official Delicious Destination certificate on Thursday, December 11 at 1:30 p.m. For more information about the state’s culinary offerings and “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” awards, visit EnjoyIllinois.com or Facebook.com/EnjoyIllinois.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.
Visit Champaign County is a private, non-profit organization that promotes Champaign County as a destination to positively impact the local economy and quality of life.

Dear Home and Norden’s Haus + Home pop-up begins December 4th

Per the Facebook event

It's that time of year! Norden and Dear Home are excited to set up shop at Colab, 206 W Main St, in Downtown Urbana—just in time for the holidays! Featuring modern and vintage furnishings, decor, and accessories for the home, stop each week to find the perfect gift for your friends, your family, and yourself. New items added weekly!

Following our Opening Night from 5–8pm on December 4, we'll be open through December 23 on Thursdays & Fridays from 5–8pm and Saturdays & Sundays from 10am–8pm. As an added treat this year, we'll have special hours for last minute shopping on Monday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 23 from from 5–8pm.

For more info, like Haus + Home on Facebook and
visit www.hausandhome.co.

NORDEN is an up-and-coming German design studio that designs and manufactures a line of simple, yet refined products for the home.

Dear Home features unique vintage and handmade goods, curating a collection that brings design-inspired objects from the past into your home.


Business Insider features U of I's tech visionaries

Business Insider published an article yesterday, "This School In Rural Illinois Has Produced Some Of The Most Amazing Visionaries In Tech", which features some incredible University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduates. Marc Andressen (Netscape), Max Levchin (PayPal), Steve Chen and Jawed Karim (YouTube), and plenty of others are mentioned in the list.

Though, Business Insider — "rural" Illinois? Eh, perhaps. "Small college town"? C'mon now.

Check out the article linked above.


Champaign Urbana Theatre Company seeking web designer

Per CUDO job board:

The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company is looking to hire a website designer to create a simple but accessible website to support the company’s year round activities and interests. We are also considering a rebranding of our logo at the same time. As a nonprofit theatre company we are accepting quotes for the work on a contractual basis that may or may not include monthly payments after initial design and set up for upgrades and maintenance. Our timeline is to have the new site up and running no later than end of December. Our current website is: www.cutc.org

If you have a passion for great design and support the arts in your local community, we would be interested to hear from you.


  • Web site design and implementation
  • Coordination with our mobile giving provider and ticketing software system
  • Possible Logo development & branding
  • Either a commitment to perform scheduled updates to the site or minor training of our marketing staff to be able to handle all updates in the future.

Please submit a resume/portfolio with at least:

1. Two sample websites and contact information of those clients.
2. Any relevant graphic design portfolio in regards to logo development.

to Ella van Wyk at manager@cutc.org.


Champaign County EDC hosting holiday blood drive December 9th

Per their Facebook event, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation will be partnering with Community Blood Services of Illinois for a holiday blood drive on December 9th. Check out the details from the event below:

We're excited to partner with Community Blood Services of Illinois to host a Holiday Blood Drive on Tuesday, December 9th from 2 to 5 pm on the Blood Donor Bus in our parking lot.

Location: 1817 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820 (Illini Plaza Parking Lot)

Make an online appointment here.

All presenting donors will be automatically entered in a drawing for:

  • $100 gift card for a family move experience (choice of theater or video store near you)
  • $250 Target shopping spree
  • iPad or Best Buy gift card ($500 value)
  • $500 Amazon.com online shopping spree
  • $1,000 gift card towards a one-year supply of gas

You must be 17 years old to donate or 16 years old with a parental consent form (download here). An identification card or Donor ID is required to donate.

Please eat before donating, drink extra water, and bring an ID with you. You are eligible to donate if last you donated on or before 10/2/2014.

The Blood Drive is open to the public.

Questions? Contact Carly McCrory at 217-359-6261 or carly@champaigncountyedc.org.


Strawberry Fields closing December 14th

Per a report in the News-Gazette, it appears that Strawberry Fields Natural Food Store in Urbana will be closing its doors on December 14th.

URBANA — Strawberry Fields will close its store at the end of business Dec. 14, with the possibility of another store opening in that space in 2015, General Manager Jack Wallace said.

A liquidation sale at the natural foods store and cafe will begin Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 14, with discounts starting at 30 percent off.

"A purchase of the business is under way, with the hope that it will reopen under new ownership sometime in 2015," Wallace said.

But he said he didn't know whether the new owners will use the Strawberry Fields name.

So, the store could reopen under different ownership, or be turned into something new. We'll just have to wait and see. 

Check out a couple of recent articles Jess put together about Strawberry Fields here and here.


Win a pair of tickets to SP + buzz Presents: Heirship Records Showcase

As you may or may not know, we've teamed up with buzz Magazine to present this Friday's Heirship Records showcase at Cowboy Monkey. Three awesome local bands: Motes, Terminus Victor, and The Chemicals. As a part of that, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show, and as you can see per this tweet — all you have to do is retweet for a chance to win the pair.


Triptych Brewing launches Frequent Filler’s Club

Here's an opportunity that fans of Triptych Brewing in Savoy might be very interested in hearing more about. As of today, the brewery has launched a Freqent Filler's Club — which gets you some good perks if you're, well, a frequent filler.

Check out the information below, posted on their website. Check out Jess's recent feature on Triptych.

The Frequent Filler's Club is our way of recognizing and rewarding our customers who make having fresh Triptych beer a priority. Upon joining the club, all members receive their very own 32oz stainless steel growler. Membership costs $45 for the first year, with annual renewal costing $25 each subsequent year.

Membership benefits

  • 15% off every growler fill of your 32oz Frequent Filler Club growler
  • 20% off all Triptych merchandise (excluding glass growlers)
  • You're the first to receive invitations to all special ticketed Triptych events including: beer release parties, beer dinners, and holiday gatherings
  • Exclusive access to other limited edition merchandise (coming soon!)