Wednesday, February 28, 2007
sponsored by Jake's Furnishings & Illini Bank

Illinois Products Expo to feature homemade foods and wine from Illinois companies          Send a link to a friend

[February 28, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- Eighteen new exhibitors will be among the more than 70 Illinois food companies that give away samples of their products during the ninth annual Illinois Products Expo, Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke announced Monday. The Food and Cooking Extravaganza, which also features products from state wineries and agribusinesses, will be held March 3-4 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

"Market development programs like this are important because food processing is one of Illinois' leading manufacturing activities," Hartke said. "By providing Illinois food companies an opportunity to market their products directly to consumers, the Illinois Products Expo helps to create demand for our crops and jobs in our food industry."

Illinois ranks first in the United States in sales of processed food products, and third in food processing jobs. The state's 1,539 food companies employ more than 85,000 workers.

The Expo's food offerings will include fresh meat products, candy, gourmet seasonings and sauces, homemade jams and jellies, specialty dressings, and other items. Beverages also will be available. Expo visitors can quench their thirst with an apple cider slush or sip of Illinois wine from one of 15 vintners. Wine will be sold by the sample, glass and bottle.

Expo hours are: Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $3. Children 10 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

Free recipes and coupons will be available, and drawings will be held for door prizes, including baskets of Illinois food products and a $650 Weber Genesis Silver-C gas grill.

Sponsors include the American Egg Board, Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Finance Authority, Illinois Food Retailers Association, Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and Kehe Foods, as well as the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Marketing and Promotion and other participating food companies and agribusinesses.

A list of the participating food companies, wineries and agriculture associations follows:

  • Ahruns Famous, Inc., Crystal Lake

  • American Egg Board, Springfield

  • Aunt Em's Gourmet Popcorn, Deer Creek

  • Auntie Ruth's Gourmet, Inc., Chicago

  • Avatar Teas, Bloomington

  • Beverly's Dressings, Roanoke

  • Bombardieri's Specialty Items, Staunton

  • Butch's Pizza, Inc., Morton

  • Capital District Dietetic Assn., Springfield

  • Chef Dick's Barbecue Sauce, Girard

  • Country Bob, Inc., Centralia

  • Country Lights Soy Candles, Ltd., Leland

  • Coupla Guys Foods, Chicago

  • Darn Hot Peppers, Cobden

  • Debbie's Naturally Made Lotions, Nilwood

  • Dorothy's Candy, Godfrey

  • E. Formella & Sons, Inc., Woodridge

  • Eagle Bridges Soy Candles, Jacksonville

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  • Future Farmers of America, Springfield

  • Gringo Foods, O'Fallon

  • H & B Ham Company, Brighton

  • Hannah's Granna's, Charleston

  • Homeplace Sodas, Charleston

  • Illinois Beef Association

  • Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Assn.

  • Illinois Pork Producers Association

  • Illinois Specialty Growers Association

  • Illinois State Beekeepers Association

  • Illinois State Turkey Growers Association

  • Interstate Brands Corporation, Litchfield

  • J.D. Mullen Company, Inc., Palestine

  • Kitchen Cooked, Inc., Farmington

  • Little Muddy Longhorns, Scheller

  • Lonzerotti's Italian Products, Jacksonville

  • M & G Foods, Hamilton

  • Mackinaw Valley Apiaries, Inc., Mackinaw

  • McCain's Barbecue Sauce, Mason

  • Oakland Noodle Company, Oakland

  • Onofrio's Classic Sauces, Springfield

  • Pasta Alley, Robinson

  • Pasta By Sue, Belvidere

  • Pease's Candy, Springfield

  • Pick-A-Pepper Candy Co., Springfield

  • Prairie Pure Cheese, Belvidere

  • Purvis Farms Sausage, Sullivan

  • RGW Candy Company, Atlanta

  • Red Cactus-USA, Inc., Quincy

  • Riley's Seasonings, Inc., Pittsfield

  • Rockome Gardens, Arcola

  • Sasse's Apiary, Chestnut

  • Spice of Life, Decatur

  • Steidinger Foods, Forrest

  • Tabgha Company, Harrisburg

  • Toohill Seed & Beef Services, Heyworth

  • Turtle Crossing Food Corporation, Bartlett

  • Turtle Island, Inc., McHenry

  • Voss Pecans, Carlyle

Participating Illinois wine companies:

  • Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass

  • Berryville, Claremont

  • Fox Creek Vineyards, Olney

  • Fox Valley Winery, Oswego

  • Hogg Hollow Winery, Golconda

  • Illinois River Winery, Utica

  • Lasata, Lawrenceville

  • Mary Michelle Winery, Carrollton

  • Massbach Ridge Winery, Elizabeth

  • Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington

  • Ravissant, Belleville

  • Shawnee Winery, Vienna

  • Spirit Knob Vineyard & Winery, Ursa

  • Vahling Vineyards, Stewardson

  • Willett's Winery & Cellar, Manito

To learn more about the products to taste at the Expo, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website at and click on "Illinois Products Expo."

[Text copied from Illinois Department of Agriculture news release received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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