State tourism bureau highlights Riverside businesses

Opinion: Kosey Corner

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By Joanne Kosey

Columnist

A pair of Riverside businesses got some good news, and some recognition, last month. The Illinois Department of Tourism announced that both Flur and Higgins Glass were joining its Made in Illinois program as businesses that "are loved by Illinois locals and help make the state an amazing destination for visitors," according to a press release.

The businesses will also be recognized by Visit Oak Park, the regional tourism bureau to which Riverside belongs, at a ceremony on June 13 at the Unity Temple in Oak Park. Visit Oak Park will also use the occasion to unveil its new website.

The Made in Illinois program was formed to celebrate makers, creators and artisans within the state as a means of promoting business and tourism. This year 18 members are being added to the list of 147 members. Membership is by nomination and reviewed by the Made in Illinois program. The two Riverside businesses were nominated by Eric Wagner, president and CEO of Visit Oak Park.

Higgins Glass, at 33 E. Quincy St., is a 70-year-old business founded by the late Frances and Michael Higgins and now run by Louise and Jonathan Wimmer. The studio's stunning art glass creations have won international renown. 

The tradition of Higgins art glass has been continued and expanded through Jonathan Wimmer and his mother, Louise. Both were mentored by the founders, Frances and Michael Higgins, who passed the studio on to them. The creativity and beauty of Higgins Glass made it a natural for the Made in Illinois list. 

Flur bakery, in the Arcade Building on the corner of East Quincy Street and Riverside Road, was noted for its gluten-free products and its use of local ingredients whenever possible. 

The little shop caters not only to the locals but visitors seeking high-quality gluten-free baked goods and other products. The delectable sweets make great gifts and look as good as they taste.

Visit Oak Park will celebrate their achievement and unveil the tourism bureau's new website on June 13 the Unity Temple, 875 Lake St. in Oak Park. The presentation and panel discussion will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a reception until 7:30 p.m. For more information or to attend contact Eric Wagner at eric@visitoakpark.com.

For more information on the Made in Illinois program, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.

Both of these businesses make Riverside proud, and both will be welcome additions to the list.

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