Locally-produced treats highlight Illinois businesses

By Alex Davis | adavis@wcia.com

Published 11/30 2013 08:45PM

Updated 11/30 2013 11:02PM

ASHLAND -- If you're looking for novelty treats or delicacies this holiday season, look no further than your own backyard. The state is trying to get the word out about Illinois products.

"There really is a wide variety of items for everyone on your list,” said Jennifer Tirey with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “There's something for everyone that you can't miss."

The state is ripe with products grown, raised, cooked and baked in the prairie state. And some are healthier and heartier than goods people might buy elsewhere.

"Consumers if they know it's Illinois-made, if they know it's local they're going to buy it," Tirey said.

State leaders say buying Illinois products doesn’t just benefit the consumer. About 45 cents of each dollar spent, stays in Illinois.

That's why the Department of Agriculture is promoting its "Buy Illinois Challenge."

They want people to know how buying Illinois products can benefit everyone.

"There is a variety, Tirey said. “There's great chocolate, there's Eli's cheesecake, there's some wonderful barbeque sauces and Rolling Meadows Brewery in Cantrall.”

The state giving away 25 different goods -- starting December 1. That long list includes meats from Jones Boys Market in Ashland.

"This is just another outreach to our already growing number of followers or fans of the business," said Dan Jones, the owner of the market.

Jones Boys has been open since 1932. Which shows buying local can keep business like their’s going strong.

"I can take pride in it that it's a family thing and that I can say I'm fourth generation of a business that is not seen very much anything in modern day society, and that I can hold my head up high," Jones said.

If you’d like to enter to win one of those prizes, click here to go to the Department of Agriculture’s website.

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