"On weekends, we make the best barbacoa in the area. We start on Friday and cook the meat for over six hours. We make both a pork and a goat version," says Alex Corado of El Progreso, a family-run Mexican store with locations in Urbana and Champaign.
"I definitely didn’t know what I was getting into, and in some ways, I’m glad I just embraced the moment and chased after what felt right." says Mikyung Eum, the farmer behind the woman-owned market farm in Champaign.
Rithika talked with Ava Gomez, an employee at Cowboy Monkey, to learn about all the delicious menu items.
"This [cannabis] is something that people want, and so it's great that we can provide that in a place that is easy and convenient," says Jonah Rapino of NuEra.
Matt interviews Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud, one of the owners of Suzu's Japanese Bakery, who said, "Opening during the pandemic, although it was a bit crazy, we did find it brought happiness to many people."
Sunnyside's dispensary manager Nikki Haese shares about the Champaign cannabis retail shop and says, "Ask a million questions if you have them. Don't hesitate."
Rithika talked with Anna Park about her experiences making some of the most creative donuts in town at Industrial Donut.
Talking baby goats and cheeses with Leslie Cooperband, co-owner of Prairie Fruits Farms and Creamery
"We have a community that cares about what the farming community provides. It’s a great place to be a farmer and a peacemaker."
Matt talks with Leslie Cooperband of local farm Prairie Fruit Farms and Creamery about their award-winning cheeses, farm life, and baby goats.
"I knew they didn’t need to eat takeout everyday, but they wanted to show us that they support us." San Maru's co-owners share the joys of growing up Korean, the unsavory reaction some had to kimchi, and the struggles of owning a restaurant in a pandemic.
"I hate to say people are eating their emotions, but I think they’re eating and drinking their emotions," said Courtney McKay, co-owner of Art Mart.
"A lively Italian cafe is exactly what we are going for," says Baldarotta's owners Jordan and Paris Baldarotta in this interview about their food philosophies and the new Gelateria.
With a flair for indigenous Midwest flora, Heidi Leuszler said, "Everything we make [at Berries and Flour] contains plants that grew right here in our area."
Looking for a great place to dine? Interested in where to find the best cocktails? Want to know the latest news on restaurant and bar openings? Our Food & Drink Section should always be your first place to look.