KCC_ KC Magazine November 2022

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Things NOVEMBER 2022 ‘AUTHENTIC, CANDID MOMENTS’ A Q&A with April Duda, voted finest photographer PAGE 18 COMMUNITY CENTER Penrose Brewing’s offerings don’t stop at beer PAGE 28 Finest the Honoring 150+ distinguished local businesses in over 50 categories Kane County FinestMagazine’s Readers’ Choice

Ho-Ka Turkeys

grown in DeKalb County. Open, airy sheds prepare the birds for their move to open ranges when they are six weeks old. When the time comes, they are herded to the plant on foot. This eliminates the stress on the birds created when hauled for hours on a large truck. The result is better quality meat.

The birds are grown on a low-energy feed consisting mainly of corn. They are never fed hormones or antibiotics for growth promotion.

The most important factor that insures high quality is the tender loving care these birds get during the time they are on the farm. The same people handle these birds from day one, through all the process to the delivery of the dressed product. This fact encourages us to do the very best every day to produce a bird that we can sell with pride.

Engstrom Plaza • 716 W. State Street • Geneva 630-262-1878 www.josefsmeats.com HO-KA TURKEYS No Chemicals • No Defrosting
Please Order Early • Pick-Up Tuesday or Wednesday Before Thanksgiving 3# Sirloin Steak 3# Round Steak 3# T-Bone Steak 3# Sirloin Roast 3# Pot Roast 3# Pork Chops 5# Ground Sirloin 3# Pork Roast 3# Italian Sausage 1# Bacon 6# Chicken (Cut Up) 3# Beef Stew All for Only $17995 Mention this ad for Family Pack Special Reg. $199.00 FILL YOUR FREEZER FOR WINTER! Expires 12/1/22 Turkey not to your liking? For Thanksgiving we also have: Prime Rib • Beef Tenderloin Honey Baked Ham • Crown Pork Roast Boneless Pork Roast Italian Beef & Gravy Trays Leg of Lamb Try Our Autumn Pasta Specials Butternut Squash Gnocchi Pumpkin Raviolis Try Our Homemade Vodka Sauce Your Local Butcher

Editorʼs NOTE

For the second year, our magazine team is proud to announce the winners of the Kane County’s Finest readers’ choice contest!

Similar to last year, we asked readers to set aside time from their busy schedules to tell us their favorites in over 50 categories. It’s important to us to recognize the local businesses that put their finest foot forward through excellent customer service, dynamic menus, outside-the-box offerings and more.

Each winner is mentioned in these pages. Lemonclean has won finest maid service two years in a row; what makes them so good at what they do? Find out on P. 31. Shoppers who flock to Third Street, downtown St. Charles or downtown Batavia for holiday browsing may want to stop at one of the three coffee shops mentioned on P. 26-27 for a fall-focused treat. (Personally, the Chumpkin at Cafe & Barr is one of my favorites!)

For a visual glimpse into these award-winning businesses, look no further than P. 8-12. Incorporating a wide variety of winners into a comprehensive, curated photo shoot with Ron McKinney Photography was my favorite part

of this issue, just as it was last year.

On another note, I have some personal news to share: This is my last issue as Editor of Kane County Magazine. I’ve accepted another role, but I will always remember my time with this magazine with the fondest of memories. The past two and a half years have been wonderful; I’ve loved getting to know the area and its readership. I will certainly miss collaborating with the niche products team, but I’m confident I’m leaving the magazine in great hands.

Although I’ll no longer be with the magazine, I won’t be a stranger to Kane County — especially as holiday shopping season quickly approaches. Thank you for reading, and an early happy holidays from me to you!


Kane County Chronicle & Northwest Herald Laura Shaw 630-709-4497 lshaw@shawmedia.com


Hannah Hoffmeister 630-427-6263 hhoffmeister@shawmedia.com


Allison LaPorta 630-427-6260 alaporta@shawmedia.com


Kane County Chronicle & Niche Publishing Jaclyn Cornell 630-845-5234 jcornell@shawmedia.com


on the COVER

Mark Myers enjoys a cocktail at Stockholm's, which won finest cocktail in the Kane County's Finest contest. Read more on P. 8.

Next month: Deck the halls! Join us in celebrating the holidays and the joy they bring to Kane County.

Jonathan Bilyk, Kevin Druley, Vicki Martinka Petersen, Melissa Rubalcaba Riske, Diane Krieger Spivak, Louise Treeny, Chris Walker and Kelley White. This magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like each month’s edition mailed to your home, send your request with payment information to Shaw Media, 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 or via email at subscriptions@shawmedia.com.

Published by Shaw Media 7717 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake, IL 60014





Celebrating the best local businesses in more than 50 categories



Find classic wardrobe pieces at House of 423, whose cozy interior enhances the shopping experience


Maria Simeonova challenges herself with abstract pieces


Laughter, good food and impressive comedians are found at The Comedy Vault


A Q&A with April Duda, voted finest photographer, about her passion and tips for creating meaningful photos



GreenFields of Geneva, celebrating 10 years, keeps residents involved in the community


Digestive expert Dr. Tarun Mullick tries the revamped menu at Osteria Bigolaro


If you can’t remember the last time you booked a massage, the time is now



Rookies upgrades with $1 millionplus renovation


3 Kane County coffee shops offer unique fall favorites


Penrose Brewing offerings don’t stop at beer


Vintage 53’s renovated space includes a specialty marketplace and pairing classes



Lemonclean, winner of finest maid service for the second straight year, prioritizes great employees and communication


Wasco Nursery’s 6 favorite grasses to include in next year’s garden


Stay updated on the trends + 15 home & garden award-winning businesses


36 'TIS THE SEASON TO GIVE Tom McCartney on tools for contributing to charitable causes FAMILY IN FOCUS


Grant funds new classroom space at Primrose Farm


Whether taking care of your health, finances or pets, these services come highly recommended


From Election Day to weeknight trivia, here’s what’s happening in Kane County


Geneva History Museum receives national recognition, gears up for 2023 Viking exhibit

What ʼ s

Kane County FinestMagazine’s

Kane County Magazine’s second year of hosting the Kane County’s Finest readers’ choice contest was an enormous success. With votes spanning more than 50 categories, readers picked their favorite local businesses, all mentioned within the pages of this November issue. Thank you to everyone who voted!

Photos of models Katie McCall and Mark Meyer by Ron McKinney Photography

It’s impossible not to smile when you’re shopping on Geneva’s Third Street. The winner of finest downtown shopping district two years in a row, this area is great for holiday shopping or a lunch with friends.

Dark jeans, a turtleneck and this turquoise coat — all from House of 423 — make the perfect outfit for a fall day of shopping. Learn more about the shop on P. 13.

Looking for an anniversary or holiday gift that’s guaranteed to be a success? Head to State Street Jewelers, where you’ll find fine jewelry and even the option to customize your selection.

Any shopping trip to the Tri-Cities calls for time spent in Cocoon, located on Third Street. Two floors of decor span everything from seasonal goods to artwork and more!


FINEST: Third Street Geneva



FINEST: Cocoon

ONE OF THE FINEST: The Pep Line ONE OF THE FINEST: Little Red Barn Door


FINEST: Hearth & Hammer General



FINEST: State Street Jewelers

ONE OF THE FINEST: K. Hollis Jewelers ONE OF THE FINEST: Red Hive Market















The Pep Line’s curated goods for the home include kitchen accessories, candles, furniture, seasonal decor and more. In addition to finest furniture store, The Pep Line also won one of the finest home decor stores!
McCall is wearing a camelcolored cashmere sweater, stretchy black jeans and gold hoop earrings from House of 423, a popular Batavia boutique.
Love Theory Bridal
FINEST: The Crystal Bride
House of 423
Pep Line
Red Hive Market
Rustic Fox Furniture & Decor
House of 423
Liz & Kate Boutique
Jade Clothing & Accessories You can find this stunning wedding dress at Love Theory Bridal! This trendy, boutique-style Geneva shop offers elegant, showstopping dresses and a great environment for trying them on. NOVEMBER 202210 KANE COUNTY’S FINEST



Cheers! Stockholm’s martinis are the best in town.
FINEST: Stockholm’s Restaurant & Brewery ONE OF THE FINEST: The Turf Room ONE OF THE FINEST: 1910 Bar
FINEST: Stitch Switch ONE OF THE FINEST: Motto ONE OF THE FINEST: Jos A. Bank His striped collared shirt and dark brown shoes can be found at Stitch Switch men’s consignment shop, voted readers’ favorite men’s shop. NOVEMBER 2022 11KANE COUNTY’S FINEST


FINEST: Water Street Studios ONE OF THE FINEST: Fine Line Creative Arts Center

ONE OF THE FINEST: Trend + Relic ONE OF THE FINEST: Urban Artisan


FINEST: Von Maur ONE OF THE FINEST: Dick Pond Athletics St. Charles ONE OF THE FINEST: The Little Traveler

Mark Meyer poses in front of "(r)evolution i" (left) and "(r)evolution iii" (right) by artist Dave Sobotka. The 13th Anniversary Show, shown here, was on display at Water Street Studios until Oct. 7. Learn more about the studio’s resident artists on P. 14!

In addition to offering the best brands of running shoes, Dick Pond Athletics St. Charles also sells men’s and women’s athleisure clothing, including the navy pullover he's wearing here.



It’d be a bit of an understatement to say it’s been a busy 18 months for Sarah Whitt.

Since opening House of 423 in April 2021, she’s won a prestigious entrepreneurial scholarship, hosted her first fashion show and been named finest women’s boutique in Kane County’s Finest.

“I’m proud of being true to myself and following my dreams,” Whitt says, adding she’s proud of becoming a shop that is trusted in the community.

Located on Wilson Street in downtown Batavia, House of 423 offers a mix of classic wardrobe staples, current trends and accessories. The space itself is relatively small, which Whitt uses to craft the type of experience shoppers have. “What sets us apart is we are so small that we can get to know each customer,” she notes. “It feels like they’re getting their own personal styling session.”

The boutique offers a wide range of jeans — everything from skinny to straight (the most popular) to wide-leg. Almost all have no holes or rips, giving more women the option to wear them to work.

Ahead of buying her store’s offerings, Whitt says she educated herself on women’s bodies to learn what would look flattering and feel comfortable. Wearing clothes that fit right leads to increased confidence, too.

“I have found jean inseams that work for

most women’s bodies,” she says. “Fitting people in jeans is my favorite thing to do.”

In September, Whitt learned House of 423 was a recipient of the Grow Your Business Scholarship, a product of collaboration between the Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center and Batavia Chamber of Commerce. As part of the award, she now works oneon-one with a business consultant, learning how to manage the finances, employees and growth of her booming business.

Then, less than two weeks later, House of 423 and Urban Style Salon collaborated on their first fashion show featuring 20 models, charcuterie, bubbly, florals and more. “I fit everyone in two different outfits,” Whitt remembers. “It came together so well.” She’s hoping to do fashion shows quarterly, with the next one ideally for spring 2023 styles.

Speaking of current trends, Whitt is noticing a resurgence in ’90s looks, specifically when it comes to the wide jeans. Neutrals — brown and camel tones, in particular — are in style, but they also serve as timeless wardrobe pieces.

With her win in Kane County’s Finest, scholarship through the chamber and continued involvement in Batavia MainStreet events, Whitt has not shied away from getting involved in the community. Being surrounded by so many women-owned businesses has helped, too.

“I’ve found my people,” she says.

By Louise Treeny | Photos by Amy Nelson Photography and provided by House of 423
 HOUSE OF 423 10 E. Wilson St., Batavia 630-423-1664 www.houseof423.com NOVEMBER 2022 13ART & FASHION




The Tri-Cities are booming with arts and artists — perhaps nowhere more vibrantly than Batavia’s Water Street Studios, which hosts events, galleries and up to 25 artists in residence. Each month, Kane County Magazine and Water Street Studios are partnering to highlight artists and their work.

Each canvas begins with unplanned, intuitive layers of color, according to Maria Simeonova.

“Through a process of editing color and shape relationships, I bring each painting closer to my personal sensibilities,” she says.

Classically trained in painting and printmaking at The Art Institute of Boston, Simeonova has been living in the Chicago area for five years. The artists in residence program is what drew her to Water Street Studios.

“It felt like a place where you could actually get to know people and feel like a part of a group of like-minded individuals who are all trying to live a creative life,” Simeonova says.

After using oil paint in school, her circumstances — namely small apartments with poor ventilation — led Simeonova to acrylics, which dry faster and don’t give off fumes. Now that she has a studio space, she’s experimenting again with oil paint and currently working on a 36x48 piece. “This large piece has been challenging me for months now and I can feel that the end is near,” she notes. “It's going to be my most demanding yet satisfying piece to date.”

For Simeonova, understanding and finding a method to her abstract work is a continuous process. “Green Eyes I Last Saw Through Tears” and “Let the Moss Seep into your Bones," shown here, are both good representations of where she is “in my process of understanding abstraction,” she says. She’s working on preplanning color palettes and using photographs for composition inspiration.

Art and creativity, Simeonova says, has “always been an integral part of my life. I’ve been extremely lucky to come from a family where art was considered very important.”


Maria Simeonova joined Water Street Studios as a resident artist in March. Her work in abstraction also includes drawing and line work; learn more at www.mariasimeonova.com.

DETAILS OF MARIA SIMEONOVA’S WORK To purchase or learn more about these creations, visit www.mariasimeonova.com or www.waterstreetstudios.org/shopwaterstreet. For more information on the artist of the month, head to www.waterstreetstudios.org or the organization’s social media pages.  The Mountains Grow Unnoticed: acrylic and graphite on paper, 14x17, $450, displayed outside Studio 10  Green Eyes I Last Saw Through Tears: oil on canvas, 24x30, $2,450  Highlands: monotype with chine collé, 6.5x8.75, $155, displayed outside Studio 10  This Stone Place has Taken me in: acrylic and graphite on paper, 14x17, $450, displayed outside Studio 10 at Water Street Studios  Let the Moss Seep into your Bones: oil on canvas, 24x30, $2,450 2. 3. 4. 5. NOVEMBER 2022 15ART & FASHION

As Mike Knuth sees it, his newest Tri-Cities entertainment venue, The Comedy Vault, is not only filling a void, but meeting obvious public demand. In the most hilarious way possible.

“When we saw the demand for this, how could we not do this?” says Knuth. “It’s a really cool story. It just took a little longer than we thought.”

The story began with the demise of one of the Tri-Cities’ most beloved local landmarks, the former Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. For decades, Pheasant Run had not only welcomed thousands of guests per year — it also entertained them, thanks to an assortment of live musical and theatrical acts, among other attractions.

But since the late 1980s, the resort also served as the home of St. Charles’ Zanies Comedy Club. The venue, now closed, played host to some top quality local and national comedy acts.

Zanies was a regular entertainment destination for Knuth, who has owned and operated the popular EvenFlow bar, restaurant and live music venue in Geneva since 2011.

“We all loved it,” he remembers. “So many great acts came through there; we’d go all the time.”

With no dedicated live comedy venues left in the Tri-Cities, Knuth decided to try something new at EvenFlow and, for the first time, allow stand-up comics to open for headliner musical acts at the downtown Geneva club.

The first night, Knuth says, was a revelation.

“We staffed it for 50 guests,” he says. “We had 325 people show up.”

Recognizing the opportunity, Knuth teamed up with a business partner, Liz Valaitis, and quickly began work on the idea that would become The Comedy Vault.

Valaitis found the location in one of downtown Batavia’s most prominent downtown spots: inside the former Batavia National Bank, at the corner of Wilson Street and Route 25.

Lining up private investors, Knuth says the partners had all things ready to open the club, with a scheduled opening night in March 2020.

When stay-at-home orders continued, Knuth says the partnership opted to use the time to work on the space, gutting and renovating the old bank building. “We named it

The Comedy Vault, specifically because of the old vault, still inside the old bank,” says Knuth.

After the show at EvenFlow, Knuth says it quickly became apparent a comedy venue wouldn’t work well at a traditional nightclub setting, with glasses clinking and drink orders being shouted out at the bar as the comedians tried to present their routines.

At The Comedy Vault, however, the bar is set up inside the old bank vault, creating a muffling barrier between the sections of the club where the bartenders sling drinks and the comics bring laughs.

Finally, in fall 2021, The Comedy Vault welcomed its first acts and guests.

Over the course of the year since, the club’s profile has steadily risen, as more and bigger acts have cracked their jokes from the Batavia stage, drawing increasingly more fans for each show.

Upcoming performers include Jason Banks, scheduled to take the stage in January 2023. Knuth says the club has “bids in” on “big names” for the future, who Knuth envisions playing a few shows in Batavia as they swing through Chicago.

The venue hosts an open mic night every Wednesday, with slots for up to 25 comedians to try the stage. National acts take the stage every Thursday-Saturday. Always teamed with an opening act and a comic host, the performances offer guests the chance to hear up to three comedians, with tickets starting at $25.

The Comedy Vault also recently launched a Sunday matinee all-ages improv show, presented by The Improv Heist comedy troupe. All guests 12 and younger receive free admission.

“It’s all professional improv performers, kind of like ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’” Knuth says. “You can bet I’ll be bringing my 11-year-old kid all the time.”

The Comedy Vault can seat 175 people per show, and boasts a full food menu and bar.

“We constantly get new guests in, from around here and further away, and we always hear people say, ‘We didn’t know this existed, from the outside it looks just like a bank,’” Knuth says with a laugh. “And we tell them, that’s because that it was.

“But now it’s The Comedy Vault.”



Finest: Arcada Theatre

One of the finest: RiverEdge Park

One of the finest: Paramount Theatre


Finest: Paramount Theatre

One of the finest: Arcada Theatre

One of the finest: Batavia Fine Arts Centre


Finest: Batavia Depot Museum

One of the finest: St. Charles History Museum & The Curious Fox Gift Shop

One of the finest: Geneva History Museum


Finest: Pottawatomie Golf Course

One of the finest: Prairie Landing Golf Club

One of the finest: Hughes Creek Golf Course


Finest: Travel A Latte

One of the finest: Oui Travel

One of the finest: Wilson Travel & Cruise

QA & CAPTURING ‘AUTHENTIC, CANDID MOMENTS’ A Q&A with April Duda, voted finest photographer, about her passion and tips for creating meaningful photos

Rarely are we without a camera in our hands — but that doesn’t mean we know how to capture brilliant photographs like April Duda, who won the finest photographer in the Kane County's Finest contest.

Recently, Kane County Magazine talked with the talented Batavia photographer.

 KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE: What advice do you have for those looking to take their own photos for holiday cards?

APRIL DUDA: If you are looking to DIY them, work within an hour of sunset if possible and check Pinterest for outfit color schemes. Keep it simple!

 KC: What trends do you expect to see this holiday card season and going forward? Sending snail mail or sharing online?

AD: I think the holidays make us extra nostalgic, and there isn't much more nostalgic than getting a card in the mail. That being said, I personally have not sent cards for the past two seasons, although I had the best of intentions to do so. I think a combo of both is great with physical cards to close friends and family (especially those not on social media) and sharing online for everyone else.

 KC: How did you get so good at photography?

AD: Lots and lots of practice, research and mentoring. I have owned some type of camera since I was about 8 years old and actually still have my very first photo album. My mom was very supportive and would develop lots of film for me over the years, and then I decided to major in art with a photography concentration. While there, a professor took me under their wing as a wedding assistant. I'm forever grateful for this opportunity because it allowed me to gain invaluable experience working weddings with less pressure. So, by the time I was ready to go out on my own, I had at least a dozen weddings down and could go with the flow of the day easily, allowing me to focus on the art of photography more than the timeline.

 KC: How do you come up with ideas for photos?

AD: More often than not, I'm documenting a moment or the emotion of that moment, so I don't necessarily come up with specific ideas ahead of time. If I'm walking around town, I notice different angles and pockets that many may walk right past, including myself! After 13 years, I'm still discovering new spots in Batavia. When at a wedding, I'm watching their story unfold and documenting the emotion of the day. With families and newborns, I'm

SHOP • EAT • DRINK • PLAY • FESTOnly in Geneva HO HO HOLIDAYS! Christmas Walk & Holiday House Tour Christmas Walk Dec. 2 Holiday House Tour Dec. 2 & 3 © KAREN MUEHLFELT OF KEEPING MOMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY ‘Tis the season to be jolly… especially in downtown Geneva! Festivities start with Santa’s arrival at our annual Christmas Walk on Dec. 2, and continue with our House Tour Dec. 2 & 3. Visit five spectacular homes all decked out with festive holly and sparkling holiday warmth. Call 630-232-6060 or visit genevachamber.com for House Tour tickets, details and a complete schedule. PL ANS TO MEET YO UR EV ER CH ANGING NEEDS Call 847.640.0402 today! For Home, Auto, Life and Business. Harr y Stout Your Local Agent 11 S 2ND AVE STE 3 ST CHARLES IL 60174 HSTOUT@FARMERSAGENT.COM https://agents.farmers.com/hstout ■ Cove ra ge yo u ca n cus to mi ze to me et yo ur ne ed s ■ Ge t th e mos t va lu e fo r yo ur cove ra ge ■ Co nt ac t me fo r a fr ee cove ra ge re vi ew Restrictions apply. Discounts may vary. Not available in all states. See your agent for details. Insurance is underwritten by Farmers Insurance Exchange and other affiliated insurance companies. Visit farmers.com for a complete listing of companies. Not all insurers are authorized to provide insurance in all states. Coverage is not available in all states.










watching for the authentic, candid moments that show their true personalities. I love the way that photography has taught me to observe the world around me.

 KC: As a mother of three, do you find yourself constantly taking photos as your kids grow and change?

AD: Yes and no. I have so many photos of my oldest son as a baby that I learned that there is such a thing as too many. With

my second, I really tried to focus more on quality over quantity, and with my third I'm trying to do the same, although I'm a little more sentimental knowing he's our last. For some, focusing on taking photos can pull them out of the moment, but for me, it sucks me into it. So, while I don't always have my camera out, I grab it during simple moments like baking together, hiking and for milestones like birthdays and toothless smiles.

 KC: What are some of your all-time favorite photos?

AD: After having the opportunity to document so many wonderful events, people, families and spaces, I have so many favorites because of the story behind them. If I had to pick just a few, I'm sure they'd be ones I've taken of my own kids while on one of our hiking or camping adventures.

Treat yourself before your photo session! Here are our readers’ favorite places to get pampered:  DAY SPA
Sage Healing Collective ONE OF THE FINEST: Simply Crystal Electrolysis Hair and Skin Care
OF THE FINEST: Wax A Peel & More  HAIR SALON FINEST: Ela Wrobel Salon ONE OF THE FINEST: One Salon & Bridal Co.
Sage Healing Collective
OF THE FINEST: Versailles Nail Spa
April Duda Photography
OF THE FINEST: Jennifer Kaye Photography
OF THE FINEST: Kim Ayars Photography NOVEMBER 202220 ART & FASHION


GreenFields of Geneva, celebrating 10 years, keeps residents involved in the community

Time and again, residents choose GreenFields of Geneva to have a home that’s close to the hometown communities they know and love, Mark Zullo says.

“When I meet with our resident committees they tell me, ‘We’re from Geneva and we want to stay in Geneva,’” says Zullo, vice president of sales and marketing for Friendship Senior Options, which includes the Geneva location.

Capturing their love of the community is what prompted Zullo and the executive team at GreenFields to launch a new program this year: Gems of Geneva, which will build partnerships with local businesses. The partnership creates opportunities for the business to host small events and presentations inside of GreenFields as well as opportunities for the residents to enjoy visits to the businesses. Recently Geneva restaurant Del Barrio hosted a margarita tasting event at GreenFields and later invited residents to dine in the restaurant.

“We’re really trying to make us a strong part of Geneva,” Zullo says.

GreenFields also has a strong partnership with Delnor Health & Fitness Center, where residents can attend fitness classes, walk the indoor track and swim laps in the fitness pools.

GreenFields has a residential population of under 150 right now, with capacity for more. Having a smaller population allows for the staff to get to know its residents. From the housekeeping to the dining staff to activities director, they understand each individual’s preferences.

As a not-for-profit, residents and staff are the central focus, Zullo says, adding how the management makes a priority on reinvesting its dollars into the residential community. GreenFields of Geneva is wrapping up celebrations of its 10th anniversary year.

While a newer facility, it is modeled after a sister community, Friendship Village, which opened in 1977 and is the largest Life Plan Community in Illinois.

GreenFields of Geneva offers independent living,

assisted living, memory care and more. One advantage of living there is knowing that if a resident’s health care needs change as they age, the team can accommodate those needs.

Ron and Pat Ekstrom moved to GreenFields in August and say they quickly felt at home and welcomed by the community.

“Everyone’s very friendly and accommodating, the residents and the staff. Everyone’s basically like family,” Ron says.

The Ekstroms are from Frankfort but chose GreenFields to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren, who live in Geneva. Now they can enjoy opportunities like attending grandparents’ day at school as well as attending extracurricular events with the grandchildren.

Pat says her daughter has remarked how her parents are busier than she is these days, with all the activities and events offered at GreenFields. Pat joined the book club and a group that makes fresh floral arrangements. She and Ron have both explored the exercise program, a discussion group on current events and resident committees.

“There’s a very good variety of things to do and select from,” Ron notes. “Everybody has said we’ve made the right decision.”

55+ COMMUNITY FINEST: GreenFields of Geneva ONE OF THE FINEST: Covenant Living at the Holmstad ONE OF THE FINEST: Silver Glen Senior Living SENIOR CARE FINEST: Covenant Living at the Holmstad ONE OF THE FINEST: Arden Courts of Geneva ONE OF THE FINEST: Silver Glen Senior Living Home THAT’S
Check out the Kane County’s Finest winners in these two categories! NOVEMBER 2022 21HEALTH & WELLNESS


on a wonderful fall day to take a ride down to Geneva to Osteria Bigolaro, an elegant Italian restaurant with a beautiful ambiance. In September, the restaurant announced a concept makeover — now the menu focuses on small plates. Delicious!

I started with the house-made burrata. It doesn’t get any better than that. The creamy mozzarella cheese with the cream within sets this burrata out of this world. Adorned with butternut squash puree, a slaw and toasted pumpkin seeds, this is very healthy and continues a favorable carb balance (that is, if you hold the bread).

Next my fellow diner and I tried the root vegetables dish. A mixture of carrots, parsnips and squash, you get the feeling you just had a five-star meal. This is served over pine nut yogurt and topped festively with fresh herbs and spiced pine nuts. What flavor.

You really feel special here. Check this wonderful restaurant out, and you will just say bon appétit!

 Dr. Tarun Mullick is a specialisttrainedatJohns HopkinsandClevelandClinicin GastroenterologyandEndoscopy based in Geneva. Connect with him at www.mullickmd.comorbyphoneat630-232-2025.

the doctor

It is my honor and privilege to serve the community and readership of this publication. Our practice’s focus is to care for patients, to help them and tailor their care individually with current therapies.

Q: There are so many acid-reducing medications available over the counter. Are they all OK?

A: The OTC choices available are all OK to take, but for short term without a doctor’s approval. Proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and Lansoprazole are OK to take. However, the package insert is for short-term use. If you have taken more than 10-14 days, then please see a gastroenterologist. You should get a workup with a GI doctor to rule out Barrett’s, which is a precancerous change, and check for reasons for reflux.

Q: My gynecologist is all I see. I only need Pap smears, right?

A: As well, you should get a mammogram and a colonoscopy for breast and colon cancer screening.

Q: Isn’t Cologuard enough?

A: Cologuard is for late-stage growths. Colon cancer prevention is best done prior to late stage. That is why the guidelines is still for colonoscopies to start at 45 years old.

Q: Do you offer telehealth? Many practices don’t? What do you think about that?

A: Yes, we offer telehealth. This means you can get treatment without leaving your home.

will only bring you in for necessary tests, and you can choose locations away from hospitals. It’s safer to go to

and centers away like ours. In general, it appears

is here to stay for years to come. It presents an alternative. And, for those, who don’t like waits — we call you. Thus, you can continue to do whatever you need to in the meanwhile.




*Some restrictions may apply. Available while supply lasts.

Dear Dr. Mullick, My family never had polyps or cancer. Do I really need a colonoscopy? Jane

Dear Jane: Great question. Colon cancer can affect anyone, regardless of family history. Everyone over age 45 should get a colonoscopy. If you have family history you should start at age 40 or 10 to 15 years before the youngest relative with a problem. Screening helps reduce risk.

Dr. Mullick, I’ve got bloating and gas. Sometimes I have diarrhea or nausea after I eat. Could I have food allergies? My doctor said it’s IBS (irritable bowel). Kristen

Dear Kristen: Yes, food intolerances to lactose, sucrose and fructose are common, so you may need to avoid those. We have tests in the office for that. The symptoms of IBS and food allergies are often similar, so testing for food allergies is reasonable. We can test for that, too. We have helped many patients diagnosed with food allergies, so it’s not all IBS.


I had

smaller practices
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Before there was Rookies AllAmerican Pub & Grill, there was a boy who loved sports growing up in the restaurant business.

Bob Karas grew up learning about the industry from his father, Paul, who co-founded The Village Squire in 1974. From a young age, Karas was involved in restaurants and sports, playing baseball, football and basketball and rooting on Chicago’s professional teams.

After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he would open his first Rookies, achieving a lifelong dream of owning a sports bar. Rookies’ St. Charles is the first of seven locations and part of 13 (soon 14) restaurants in the Karas Group.

To Karas, “It felt natural to meld my passion for sports and restaurants into my career,” he says.

In the early years, he and co-owner Mike Maridis faced competition from local sports bar franchise Bud’s, now closed. The two concocted the $1 burger and hot dog special to separate themselves. It was really well received, Karas notes. “People couldn’t believe the deal.”

The $1 burger promotion is still a popular rotating promotion throughout the year, alongside classics like homemade wings, gyros, ribs, salads, burgers, pizza and saganaki. It’s family-friendly, too: Kids eat free on Thursdays with the purchase of an adult entree. Other daily specials can be found online, ranging from $6 mimosas on Sundays to 99-cent wings on Mondays.

On the other end of the $1 burger is the $1 million-

plus renovation at Rookies’ St. Charles location. Brand-new furniture, booths, lighting, brick and stone exterior, sidewalks and and a huge outdoor bar, stage and patio are just some of the highlights that you’ll find at the updated location. The bar now boasts a Vegas-style sports setup, and more than 50 TVs guarantee you’ll find the game you’re headed there to watch.

“It’s a brand-new, beautiful restaurant,” Karas says, adding the fact that it’s the most beautiful Rookies is fitting, given it’s also the original location.

“We love St. Charles,” Karas continues. Maridis, along with Elpida Gates live in the St. Charles area and all of their children have attended St. Charles schools. Rookies sponsors local sports teams, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; the restaurant is also an active member of St. Charles Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to being involved, Rookies retains a longstanding group of dedicated employees that prioritize customer service. The quality of his staff and lack of turnover is something Karas takes pride in. “I cannot run 10 restaurants by myself,” he says, emphasizing the exceptional quality of Rookies' staff, food and service.

The restaurant industry is not an easy one, but that doesn’t affect Karas’ devotion to it.

“I love what I do,” he says. “I have passion for it.”

W. Main St., St.


Charles 630-513-0681 www.rookiespub.com
upgrades with $1 million-plus renovation


3 Kane County coffee shops offer unique fall favorites


toasty lattes and steaming seasonal drinks is a staple of everyday life when fingertips need warming from the cool weather. It’s the best time of the year to try a dazzlingly delicious signature drink at one of these three coffee shops, voted the winners in Kane County’s Finest readers’ choice contest.

 FINEST: Graham’s 318 Coffee House 318 S. Third St., Geneva 630-845-3180 www.318coffeehouse.com Graham’s 318 switches up the menu each month while simultaneously keeping classic favorites. “Our pumpkin spice latte is handmade by us with real pumpkin so we’re completely different because it’s not just a syrup we get from somewhere,” general manager Jennifer Farley says. “It’s our recipe we’ve created here for years and it’s a trade secret!”


Aside from the famed pumpkin spice latte, Graham’s always serves a toasted marshmallow latte and apple cider for October and November. “In December, our big winter holiday drink is the peppermint mocha,” Farley says. “That is also our own recipe, and we try not to do what anyone else does along Third Street.”

 ONE OF THE FINEST: Cafe & Barr 407 S. Third St., Geneva 331-248-0440

“This year we’ve decided to go back to basics,” says owner Jacqueline Barr. “We have a completely pumpkin spiced menu. We have a pumpkin spice latte, which is traditional pumpkin spice, and we have a pumpkin spice hot tea, and chai tea which we called the ‘Chumpkin’ and is definitely a favorite for the season. We also do a pumpkin spice mocha latte, and you’re able to add pumpkin spice cold foam or pumpkin spice drizzle to any of the drinks.”

Also, don’t forget to try one of their unique cardamom rose lattes!

 ONE OF THE FINEST: Limestone Coffee & Tea 8 W. Wilson St., Batavia 630-454-4556


“I would say one of our most popular fall drinks is our pumpkin chai,” says co-owner Joy Mason. “Year-round, we have our spiced and vanilla chai drinks, and they are probably one of our top five drinks and that combined with a fall twist is something people just absolutely love.” Another popular choice this time of year is Limestone’s unique brown sugar butter pecan latte, which evokes pecan pies and the sweet side of Thanksgiving.

“In the wintertime for the last three or four years we’ve had ‘Not Yo Mama’s’ hot chocolate,” Mason says. “It is hot cocoa with peppermint syrup and espresso. I’d say it gets all the parents of littles through the holidays and is probably our No. 1 holiday drink.” If peppermint is not your taste, try Santa’s Cookies, which combine shortbread, marshmallow and white chocolate flavors. Limestone Coffee & Tea also serves hot cocoa and steamers if you’re out and about with your kiddos.


Stockholm’s Restaurant

W. State St.,




& Brewery 306
Geneva 630-208-7070 www.stockholmsbrewpub.com ONE OF THE FINEST: 1910 Bar ONE OF THE FINEST: Nobel House  WINE BAR FINEST: Vintage 53 162
First St., St. Charles 630-549-0423 www.vintage53.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room ONE OF THE FINEST: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant  WINE SHOP FINEST: Geneva Wine Cellars and Tasting Room 227
Geneva 630-232-8888 www.genevawinecellars.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Vintage 53 ONE OF THE FINEST: Up North Wine Tasting Room Plan to grab a meal or dessert at these beloved spots, voted the best by readers in Kane County’s Finest!
Cup  BAKERY FINEST: Cocoa Bean Fine Desserts 11 S. Seventh St., Geneva 630-845-2990 www.cocoabeangeneva.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Mad Batter Bakery and Confections ONE OF THE FINEST: Harner’s Bakery Restaurant  BRUNCH FINEST: Stockholm’s Restaurant & Brewery 306
State St., Geneva 630-208-7070 www.stockholmsbrewpub.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Nosh ONE OF THE FINEST: Buttermilk  CATERER FINEST: Enticing Cuisine & Banquets 1117 N. Washington Ave., Batavia 630-761-0399 www.enticingcuisine.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Josef’s Elegante Meat & Deli ONE OF THE FINEST: Sergio’s Cantina  GOURMET SHOP FINEST: Chi-cuterie 321 Franklin St., Geneva 331-901-0474 www.chi-cuterie.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Vintage 53 ONE OF THE FINEST: Graham’s Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream  MEAT MARKET FINEST: Ream’s Meat Market 250 S. Main St., Elburn 630-365-6461 www.reamsmeatmarket.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Josef’s Elegante Meat & Deli ONE OF THE FINEST: Country Village Meats – Geneva Cheers! These Kane County’s Finest winners are the perfect spot to grab a drink with friends this fall.  HEALTH FOOD/SUPPLEMENTS FINEST: Sage Healing Collective 525 S. Tyler Road, St. Charles 331-901-5672 www.sagehealingcollective.com ONE OF THE FINEST: Trader Joe’s ONE OF THE FINEST: Fresh Thyme Market  SPECIALTY ITEM SHOP FINEST: Hearth & Hammer General 319 Main St., Batavia 630-454-4279 www.hearthandhammer.co ONE OF THE FINEST: Grow Geneva ONE OF THE FINEST: Pretty Pages Need a housewarming present or hard-to-find culinary item? Head to one of these Kane County’s Finest award-winning shops! NOVEMBER 2022 27DINING & ENTERTAINING

Penrose Brewing offerings don’t stop at beer

Reminiscent of a savvy server reciting a tap list, Tom Korder spools off a lengthy roll call of new craft beer kids on the Kane County block since Geneva’s Penrose Brewing Company debuted in 2014.

Korder beams with the exercise. To the co-founder and brewmaster at Penrose, the evolution of the craft beer climate “brings a bigger spotlight to the whole scene” while providing patrons with seemingly unlimited options.

A little competition never hurt anyone, goes the saying. In the case of Penrose — voted one of the finest local breweries in Kane County’s Finest — it drives Korder and Co. to keep customers thirsting for their offerings, both inside the taproom and out.

“It’s really just kind of made us hunker down and make sure that we are tightened up on everything that we can do and doing the best darn job that we know we’re capable of,” Korder says.

Kane County craft beer enthusiasts might hear “Penrose” and instantly think of Goofy Boots, the brewery’s award-winning New England hazy India pale ale.

That’s all well and good with staff and management, though it’s also their hope others might think not only of the dozen-plus other on tap, but any number of adjacent events Penrose has housed through the years.

Penrose in early October housed a reading and children’s picture book signing one day after welcoming

a food truck to the premises and three days before a weekly trivia Wednesday. Past events include pumpkin carving, a haunted brewery maze and instructional classes exploring fly fishing and playing ukulele.

Not simultaneously, of course.

Korder says while events have “been ongoing” through Penrose’s history, “they’ve certainly picked up speed of late” while catering to a variety of pastimes.

“We see Penrose as a community center,” he says, “where people can come out and enjoy.”

Whether it’s strumming a small stringed instrument or savoring a beer or lemon seltzer, Korder hopes clientele at Penrose act upon any yearning to learn.

Stockholm’s Restaurant & Brewery won finest local brewery! Art History Brewing and Penrose Brewing Company were each voted one of the finest. NOVEMBER 202228 DINING & ENTERTAINING


is happy to oblige, even if he might have the day off.

everybody is an ultra-craft beer nerd

tuned into everything, but if they’re not, we want to make sure that they have the opportunity to ask those questions. ‘OK, what makes this beer like this? Why does it taste like that? What makes it special?’” Korder says. “Kind of having all those questions and being able to answer all of those for people is hugely important to us.”

Penrose approaches nine years in Geneva,

fans and newcomers alike should expect to see brewery brass do anything but be stagnant.

year we sit down and we take a look


how can we get better? How can we improve?’”

adds. “We’ve got a couple things up our

for early 2023 that will be just minor tweaks

you might not even notice it — but we’re just always on the hunt.

crew always wants to make sure that the experience is better.”

306 W State StreetDowntown Geneva630-208-7070www.stockholmsbrewpub.com Monthly Food Specials Outdoor Patio Seating Seasonal Brews $4.00 Daily Handcrafted Beer Specials Try Raider‛s Root Beer (ABV 7.5%) Voted Best Tavern in 2022 Kane County Chronicle’s Readers’ Choice Awards As far as learning is concerned, he encourages patrons to ask staff about any attribute of the brewing process. Should their query
anyone, Korder
 PENROSE BREWING 509 Stevens St., Geneva 630-232-2115 www.penrosebrewing.com  DINING ON THE WATERFRONT Finest: The Graceful Ordinary 3 E. Main St., St. Charles 331-235-5803 www.thegracefulordinary.com One of the finest: Atwater’s Restaurant One of the finest: Eden Restaurant & Events  ROMANTIC DINNER Finest: Atwater’s Restaurant 15 S. River Lane (inside Herrington Inn & Spa) 630-208-7433 www.herringtoninn.com One of the finest: Niche One of the finest: The Graceful Ordinary  STEAK Finest: Stockholm’s Restaurant & Brewery 306 W. State St., Geneva 630-208-7070 www.stockholmsbrewpub.com One of the finest: St. Charles Place Steakhouse One of the finest: FoxFire Restaurant  SUSHI Finest: Swordfish 207 N. Randall Road, Batavia 630-406-6463 www.swordfishsushi.com One of the finest: Shakou St. Charles One of the finest: Moto Imoto
Photo by Kelly Vanderploeg
Photography Before heading to Penrose, grab a meal at any of these award-winning restaurants: NOVEMBER 2022 29DINING & ENTERTAINING


Yes, Please

renovated space includes a specialty marketplace and pairing classes

Good times are easy to come by at Vintage 53, thanks to owner Mario Grado’s decision to renovate, add a specialty market and enhance the experience for his guests.

“I thought of this mixed-use vision of half cozy wine bar and half specialty market during our shutdown,” he says. “I got to take a step back and reflect on if my vision for Vintage 53 was consistent with what we evolved to. I felt changes had to be made, and it just clicked one day.”

Grado chose to reduce the size of the dining area while honing in on what Vintage 53 does best: wine, cheese, charcuterie and specialty food. Retail shelving has replaced all of Vintage 53’s benches and most tables.

“The renovations have been received incredibly well,” he notes. “A common reaction has been that we were great before, but this new concept is incredible.”

Today, Vintage 53 houses a specialty marketplace, cheese shop and wine bar in downtown St. Charles. The shop won finest wine bar and was also named one of the finest wine shops as well as one of the

finest gourmet shops in this year’s Kane County’s Finest readers’ choice contest.

Specializing in artisanal cut-to-order cheese, charcuteries, wine and accompaniments, as well as serving boards, glassware and gifts, Grado believes Vintage 53 has something for everyone. Additionally, Vintage 53 has curated to-go trays to accommodate about 15 people as well as grazing tables for larger gatherings.

“It’s a great date night spot or a place to meet friends,” he says. “We are also gaining a loyal following of people that just pop in once a week for some cut-to-order cheese. We have around 40 cheeses that are all cut fresh off the wheel! So, cheese lovers, wine lovers, food lovers: This is the spot for you.”

St. Charles resident Jan Held has quickly become a fan of Vintage 53’s new shop.

“I love them,” she says. “They are so helpful and the cheese is absolutely amazing. They always have great suggestions as to cheeses, accompaniments and pairings. I shop their market weekly and highly recommend.”

You have to come experience Vintage 53 yourself to truly recognize how Grado and his staff have evolved as they inch closer to their sixth year.

“I think what’s made us so successful as a wine bar has been our constant attention to the ‘experience,’” Grado says. “Every pivot we make, every wine we bring in, every aspect of Vintage 53 is about the overall experience. Beyond that, I think we stay true to ourselves and our customers. We sell products we like and we have a passion for sharing them with our guests.”

With the holidays approaching as well as the addition of wine and cheese pairing classes on Sundays and a grazing table program, it’s busy season at Vintage 53.

“We’re already taking catering orders for grazing tables and private pairing classes through the new year,” Grado says. “We’re expecting the gift baskets and holiday baskets to be a huge hit this year as well.”

 VINTAGE 53 162 S. First St., St. Charles 630-549-0423 www.vintage53.com Vintage 53’s

Going on its 10th year in business, Lemonclean shines when it comes to cleaning services.

Since 2013 the eco-friendly home cleaning business has helped homes sparkle in the Fox Valley. “Our goal is to make you smile and your home sparkle,” is Lemonclean’s motto, one that owner and founder Miroslava Bohacova takes seriously.

“I think what sets us apart is the people I work with and obviously for,” Bohacova says. “I don’t employ random people. Everybody who is hired is somehow connected to the person next to her. I work with mother and daughter; I work with mother and daughter-in-law, two best friends, sisters. I don’t have to hover over my employees because they have their own internal pressure to do the best job they can. They’re all good, honest people. It’s like one big family. I always joke, if there’s a wedding on Friday, I could technically close my shop that day, because everybody will be at that wedding.”

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Lemonclean’s business comes from word of mouth. Bohacova

makes it a point to communicate well with her clients so both parties know what to expect.

“We talk to our clients and get to know them,” she says. “Each home is different. We try to understand what is important to you. This is your home, your safe haven. We understand that.”

People often confuse a cleaning service with a maid service, Bohacova says, noting, “We are not house organizers or housekeepers; we are house cleaners.” Services can range anywhere from one time to once a week. Lemonclean workers are insured, and they bring their own equipment.

“We really work hard and we genuinely try to help,” Bohacova adds. “I just love the people I work with and the clients. It’s a pleasure.”

For those looking for a cleaning service, Bohacova advises clients to sit down and discuss what level of cleaning is expected. Upon an initial visit, Bohacova will do a walk-through and point out what will and won’t be touched. “We don’t touch TVs and we don’t climb anything,” she says, for example.

Bohacova also advises those looking for a cleaning service to get several quotes before settling on

one. “And go with your gut feeling,” she says. “Have at least three services come to your home. It’s the same as a plumber or an electrician. Go ask your neighbor. Go by word of mouth.”

Lemonclean keeps no checklist or set of instructions for housecleaning. That said, in order to get the best cleaning results, Bohacova advises, “The more you pick up and expose surfaces, the better.”

This is the second year in a row that Lemonclean has been voted No. 1 in the Kane County’s Finest readers’ choice contest.

In summary, according to Bohacova: “The best way to describe our business is, when we are done, you can invite your mother-in-law for tea without feeling cautious.”

A CLEAN HOUSE winnerLemonclean,offinestmaid straightserviceforthesecond greatyear,prioritizes communicationemployees, ByDianeKriegerSpivak  MAID SERVICE Finest: Lemonclean One of the finest: Clove Cleaning One of the finest: Dawn’s Domestic Cleaners, Inc. NOVEMBER 2022 31HOME & LIFESTYLE

GRACEFUL grasses

Faithful readers, I have done you a disservice. I was looking back on over 10 years of articles in my archives, and not a single one was about ornamental grasses! I’m not sure how I missed them in my litany of love letters to plants over the years. Granted,

it’s too late to plant them this year, but I’m guessing you are still enjoying them in the landscapes even though fall is nearing its end and winter is fast approaching. That’s what makes the grasses so great they look good in summer, fall and winter!

Right now, in my garden I have seven different types of grasses just loving this cool weather and showing off some magnificent coloring. There are tons of others in just about any size you could want. Here’s some of my favorites to look for to plant in your garden for NEXT year! Again, my apologies for leaving this amazing family of plants out of the discussion. Go forth and plant grasses!

 MISCANTHUS: This family of grasses is the most diverse of what grows in our area. Most are referred to as maiden grasses, and they have that familiar arching shape and are usually quite tall — topping out at anywhere from 4 feet up to over 10 feet. Their graceful flowers

resemble corn tassels and can be pink, deep red or white and then go to seed in late October and turn a puffy white. Their foliage is usually thin and can sometimes have a white stripe on the leaf. The favorite ‘Zebra’ grass has dark gold vertical stripes on larger bladed leaves. My favorite is probably ‘Gracillimus’ because it has delicate blades with very large and numerous deep red inflorescence (their flowers).

 PENNISETUM: These are the fountain grasses. Usually ranging in size from 18 inches up to around 3.5 feet, they are an easy, tough grass for just about any garden. They reward the gardener with thousands of bottlebrush flowers in late

summer. Their fall color is a rich gold too! Give them some space as their foliage arches all the way to the ground.

 PANICUM: The switch grasses are mostly native grasses that are known for their tall, narrow upright habit. Most have some hues of blue and red to them at various times of the season. A favorite is ‘Heavy Metal’ — which has steely blue foliage and deep burgundy tips that get darker and more pronounced as the weather cools.

 SCHIZACHRYIUM: I’ll give you points if you can pronounce that correctly! The little bluestems are NATIVE grasses that have magnificent color and poise in the


garden. ‘Carousel’ is a native that most closely resembles the bluestems that used to roam the prairies of Illinois. The newer cultivars like ‘Twilight Zone’ and ‘Standing Ovation’ are a bit taller and narrower, but the colors they throw out in fall are just amazing. ‘Twilight Zone’ in my garden is iridescent purple, pink, white, blue and a pinch of yellow right now!

 ANDROPOGON: Big bluestems aren’t as popular, but they should be! These are the turkey-foot flowering stalwarts of the native prairie. Giant plumes reach up to 8 feet into the sky from 3-foot-tall foliage. The new introduction ‘Blackhawks’ is gorgeous with deep burgundy foliage all summer that deepens with color as the temps cool. Excellent companion with black-eyed Susan, daisies, phlox and other bold-colored perennials.

SPOROBOLUS: The dropseeds are one of my most favorite grasses. These, too, are native to the Illinois prairies. When prairies are burned, you can see the charred tufts of dropseed dotting the prairiescape. They are tough, drought-tolerant, long-lived native grasses that are graceful and soft in the garden. I always locate them where the sun can shine through them in the fall as their colors are amazing. It will make you stop and relax and enjoy the garden when you see the sun setting through their graceful plumes, which smell like buttered popcorn when they bloom!

There are a few other odds and ends in the grass family that are equally pretty as these guys above; I just don’t have room for all of them. But you can safely start with any of these guys in your garden and you will fall in love and add more and more each year. Grasses are about as zero maintenance as you can get, so there is no reason NOT to have them. One quick cut down each spring all the way to the ground and you’re done for the year!

Meagan is the Senior Landscape Designer at Wasco Nursery in St. Charles. She can be reached at 630-584-4424 or design@wasconursery.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Let us gro w them into the gar den of your drea ms.

While November brings various distinct spices to our cuisines, adding zest this time of year isn’t merely reserved for pastries, turkeys and lattes.

If you’re looking to pep up your home, you surely aren’t alone. Interior designers and consultants figure clients have thumbed or scrolled through similar home decor Pinterest accounts before visiting to discuss projects.

“They tell us more what their desires are for their home and then we work our designs around what their overall desired outcome is for their home,” says Juliene Guffey of Haven Interiors Studio in Geneva. “But I think people are always influenced (beforehand) so they, a lot of times, will have a particular trend in mind. And if not, then we kind of guide them to what’s current and what’s happening right now and what we know is happening in the future.”

With help from experts in the Tri-Cities, Kane County Magazine takes a look at the latest home decor trends.


Are things in a room feeling stale or too straightforward? You might make like your favorite baseball pitcher — or the one your friend keeps hollering about — and throw in a curve to add a sense of playfulness.

“I always love including a curve in a room where everything is angular because it just softens the eye,” Guffey says. “It just relaxes the mood to add a curve.”


• Circular coffee tables or ottomans

• Circle designs in fabric

• Round tables

• Bowed chests

Rounded or ball-shaped pillows can help augment the curve motif, even in traditional furniture, adds Carolyn Soltesz of Style It Home in Geneva.


“Bringing the outdoors inside” is an ongoing trend that carries many facets, Soltesz says.

In other words, it need not only apply to finding an agreeable spot to shelter a plant as temperatures begin to cool.

Accentuating rooms with trees or plants — faux or not — can accentuate rooms, experts advise, as branches and leaves help create feelings of warmth and coziness.

Another recommended pick: pampas grasses. “People are decorating with those in family rooms,” Soltesz says, “and it’s got that earthy, organic feel to it, as well.”

To Guffey, green offers an innately soothing effect, which might help explain a surge in interest in the color, whether it’s with accents, antique pieces or furniture.

“Greens and blues have always been historically used but green, I think, is more so because it’s a comforting color and feels like nature,” Guffey says. “I think just as humans we’re naturally drawn toward nature elements because we get all of our food and our shelter and everything from nature, so


many employers have instituted

policies, remote and flexible work options remain on the table for many.

home office is an important part of the home now, right?” Soltesz says. “When it comes time to fill a home, it’s nice that there is a home office already set up.”

Perhaps your home boasts a home office in waiting. As experts tell it, multipurpose rooms remain popular following the surge of the pandemic.

Soltesz says an emerging accessory in an established dual-purpose room configuration home office by day, guest bedroom by night — is the pullout sofa. “They’re more comfortable now, and they can be used in an office like that to save space that way.”

Guffey says she has encountered fewer overtures about home offices of late but finds it’s vital to envision multiple activity possibilities for many rooms, especially for young families. A potential reading area here, an entertainment area there, and perhaps a table for writing bills or a rolling desk for a child to do homework.

“Every project is so individual,” Guffey says. “It’s just a matter of really analyzing how clients want to feel in a space.”


Home decor experts spotlight another trend for fall: a movement away from grays and neutrals to more color.

“People are just kind of tired of all gray,” said Guffey. “They’re getting ready for a punch.”

Especially prevalent are warm neutrals, including yellow, orange and red/pink. Green also has been a popular pick as an accent (see above).

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Philanthropy is an important aspect of generational wealth transfer because it allows you to earn income tax deductions and transfer money out of your estate to avoid additional estate taxes. Although there are many strategies for philanthropic giving, the most common is through direct gifts. Even though this method of giving may seem straightforward, there are options for how you can choose to give and benefits to each. Whether it’s through cash, securities, real estate or other assets, you can provide for a cause and receive tax benefits through direct gifts to charity.

 PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS: For families interested in donating a considerable amount of wealth, setting up a private foundation may be a viable option. Private foundations are completely tax-exempt, although they can only grant up to a 30% income tax exemption rather than the 50% granted by direct donation. Private foundations are typically managed by a board consisting of family members and financial advisors, who define charitable goals and manage donations. They allow this board to act as intermediaries

between the donor and the chosen charity. Private foundations provide a unique way for families to come together for philanthropy because they allow relatives to be named to the board of directors.

DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS: Donor-advised funds are designed to allow you to grow your donation to charity through investment. Donors, who can be individuals or groups, take donations and have a sponsor organization invest them. Although these sponsors charge fees for the creation and management of DAFs, the investment returns they can produce may help to build the value of the fund and could generate more money for charity than a simple gift. In addition, many DAFs have no minimum distribution requirements. In terms of generational wealth transfer, DAFs can be especially significant because they allow the donor to choose a successor advisor to continue the gifting tradition within the family.

While DAFs do have many tax benefits that private foundations do not, they also allow the donor less control. You should consider that the official controller of donor-advised funds is the sponsor, who retains the right to disregard

Thanksgiving in sight and fresh holiday decorations ramping up cheer in your neighborhood, it’s the time of year when it is hard not to feel more festive and grateful than usual. Whether you are motivated to contribute to a worthy charitable cause or thinking about helping family, let’s take a very brief look at some financial instruments you may want to consider using to help you make a difference.

a donor’s choices if he or she deems a recipient charity to be unqualified.

 CUSTODIAL ACCOUNTS: Anyone can open a custodial account for anyone else under the age of 18. These are commonly known as UTMA Accounts (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act). The person who opens the account must name a custodian (which can be him- or herself) to manage the account with a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary. While the custodian controls the account and manages the investments, anyone can donate to it and there is no limit to how much can be contributed. The beneficiary owns the assets immediately but cannot access them until he or she reaches the age of majority, which varies by state from age 18 to 21. The custodian is allowed to withdraw funds from the account before the beneficiary reaches the age of majority, but only if those funds are used for the benefit of the child (for instance, for a new laptop or summer camp fees).

While some people see the flexibility of a custodial account as a benefit,

others see it as a drawback. If you donate to a custodial account so that your child can go to college and then he or she decides not to, you have no say in how the money is spent. The beneficiary could squander the money at a casino and you would not have any legal authority to keep him or her from doing otherwise, despite contributing the money in the first place. Another potential drawback is the effect of the funds on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If the sole purpose of this account is for future college expenses, you will want to talk with your financial adviser about other options.

 KEEPING IT SIMPLE: These are quick overviews of common vehicles used for clients seeking to make an impact while leaving a personal legacy. When seeking to maximize the impact of your personal giving, work with your financial and tax advisers both so that you can make smart decisions and leverage your impact. If you are seeking fresh insight into your personal situation, our team would love to chat!


Thismaterialisintendedforinformationpurposesonlyandshouldnotbeconstruedas legalortaxadviceandisnotintendedtoreplacetheadviceofaqualifiedattorney,tax advisor,orplanprovider.Investmentsinsecuritiesinvolverisksincludingthepossible lossofprinciple..Theinformationhasbeenobtainedfromsourcesconsideredtobe reliable,butwedonotguaranteethattheforegoingmaterialisaccurateorcomplete. AnyopinionsarethoseofTomMcCartneyandnotnecessarilythoseofRaymondJames. Expressionsofopinionareasofthisdateandaresubjecttochangewithoutnotice.
TomMcCartneyistheFoundingPrincipalof MyAdvisor&PlannerandaWealthManager. SecuritiesandInvestmentAdvisoryServicesOffered ThroughRaymondJamesFinancialServices,a RegisteredBroker/DealerandInvestmentAdviser, MemberFINRA/SIPC.MyAdvisor&Planneris independentlyownedandoperated.
and his team can be reached at info@ mapyourfuture.net,at630-457-4068,oryoucan visitthematwww.mapyourfuture.net. NOVEMBER 2022 37BUSINESS & CIVIC

Plan for a FAB NEW LAB

Grant funds new classroom space at Primrose FarmGrant funds new classroom space at Primrose Farm

It may be the end of the harvest season, but there’s something exciting and new growing at Primrose Farm.

St. Charles Park District is working on design concepts for a new Agricultural Lab at the working farm. The new fully accessible building, slated to be located on the west side of the farmstead, will include multipurpose programming areas as well as room for exhibits, storage, offices and indoor restrooms.

The project is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, which awarded $750,000 to the park district to help offset estimated construction costs of $1.6 million.

The new building will allow farm staff to store its collections of small farm machinery and equipment in a safe, temperature-controlled environment as well as make them accessible to the general public visiting the farm. Today, the staff uses the farmhouse basement, which was originally a root cellar, as its on-site office and storage space.

“Providing a safe, indoor, permanent location for exhibits will be an asset to the farm’s educational experiences,” says Alison Jones, manager of farm programs and interpretive services.

“The hatchery, for example, isn’t seen by many visitors because of its location,” Jones adds.

Learning firsthand about chick hatching is just one of the many ways farm staff plans to make an impact with this new building. The experience of this cycle of life starts with an incubator and fertile chicken eggs. The delicate life process unfolds during several weeks of incubation until the eggs start cracking and the chicks emerge from their shells. For the hatchlings to survive, they need heat, water and food until they can make it outside. “Sharing the excitement of hatching chicks with families, especially young children, is rewarding,” Jones says.

Farm discovery classes that teach roles of working a dairy farm and include tasks such as stacking firewood, scrubbing laundry, hauling water, mixing

feed or churning butter are just a few of the current program opportunities.

“We’re looking to expand our STEM program offerings for our community,” Jones says.

Jones says the park district would like to use the new building to host classes with a focus on the sciences, engineering, agricultural and even food preservation and production.

“I’m very interested in showcasing how farming technology has evolved over the years from simple machines to the massive equipment used today,” she says. “I’d also like to establish farm-to-table cooking demonstrations and classes, using farm fresh products grown in our garden plots or fruit orchard.”

Agriculture education affects many aspects of daily living — food, clothing, entertainment and education, to name a few. Crayons are made from soybeans. Pencils come from trees. T-shirts are woven from cotton. The key concepts of science or math learned in a farm setting help develop future veterinarians, scientists, nutritionists and more.

Primrose Farm, which opened in 2008, is the place to experience farm life. Visitors can explore the historic buildings, meet the barnyard animals and even participate in their daily care through programming and special events. For current program opportunities and more information as this initiative develops and, visit www.primrosefarm.org.






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Pick up at Pottawatomie Community Center 8 North Avenue • St. Charles, Illinois Purchase tickets: stcparks.org/events ALL Ages Twas’ weeks before Christmas and all through the town park district elves are scurrying around. Planning and preparing family dinners with care You will see Santa while driving through there. Pizza and cookies are yummy to eat give Santa a smile and receive a sweet treat! Dinner Dash SANTA’S SANTA’S A family dinner for $79 includes two fresh-baked pizzas – one 14” 1-topping & one 12” cheese – from Riverside Pizza & Pub, four specialtyfrosted sugar cookies and two coloring books with crayon sets. Choose to add salad or more pizzas & cookies at time of registration. December 10 4-7pm Come Try Our Mexican Food Serving Breakfast All Day Long SM-CL2023137 630 W. State St., Geneva (331) 248-0646 www.statestdiner.com THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Present this ad for 20% off your purchase! Offer expires 12/15/22 LuxurySERVICES OUT & ABOUT Whether taking care of your health, finances or pets, these services come highly recommended You can’t go wrong with these professional services. Whether trying out a new Pilates studio, getting a head start on your retirement planning or finding a place for your puppy to play while you’re on vacation, here are 18 recommendations, as voted by readers. Compiled by Hannah Hoffmeister  HEALTH CLUB
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Thank you to everyone who voted in the second year of the Kane County Magazine's Finest contest! We couldn't have made this issue without your participation. We're already looking forward to next year's contest! — Kane County Magazine staff NOVEMBER 2022 39FAMILY IN FOCUS
9 10 K. Hollis Jewelers, Boutique & Wine Bar celebrates its expanded, new location with a 4:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting with Batavia Chamber of Commerce. 11 Veterans Day honors military veterans. Thank you for your service. 12 State Street Market Shops hosts a holiday open house. Between gifts and decor, you can’t go wrong! 7 8 Exercise your civic right to vote on this Election Day. 6 Today marks daylight saving time. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep! 16 Penrose Brewing Company’s trivia starts at 7 p.m. Learn more about this brewery on P. 28! 17 18 Catch Aurora’s Winter Lights on this evening, 6-9 p.m. You’ll find fireworks, Santa, a parade and more. 1914 1513 Don’t miss the chance to get a head start on your holiday shopping at Winterfest Art Market, held at Water Street Studios. Studios. 23 24 Happy Thanksgiving! 25 St. Charles shines in its annual Holiday Homecoming weekend — learn more on the next page. 26 It’s Small Business Saturday! Don’t forget to shop local for your holiday gifts. 21 2220 Paramount Theatre’s “The Sound of Music” is showing at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Arrive early to take in the lobby’s impressive holiday decor! 28 2927 Catch “Carol of the Bells,” performed by Chamber Music on the Fox, in Aurora and Elgin over two nights, respectively. 1 Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated over these two days. Sugar Skull City in Aurora goes through Nov. 6. 3 4 5 calendar SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT 2 Mark your calendarsin advance! Geneva’s Christmas Walk begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 2. 30 NOVEMBER 2022 From Election Dayto weeknight trivia,here’s what’s happeningin Kane County
Clip thispage out Hang it on your fridge so you can experience all that November has to offer! Please check online ahead of time for more details. NOVEMBER 202240 FAMILY IN FOCUS

After the turkey leftovers get packed away on Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to shift gears from fall fun to holiday magic. If you’re looking for a family outing to kick off the holiday season, look no further than the annual Holiday Homecoming weekend in downtown St. Charles.

Presented by St. Charles Business Alliance, Holiday Homecoming weekend will take place Nov. 25 and 26.

The festivities begin with the Lighting of the Lights ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday at East First Street Plaza. Come and celebrate the lighting of the city's lights while kicking off the holiday season with the whole

community. After the ceremony, be sure to say hi to Santa and get a picture with him.

Speaking of Santa, the festivities continue Saturday with the grand opening of Santa House in the First Street Plaza. From 1 to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 18, youngsters can drop off their letters, share their holiday gift wish lists and take pictures with the North Pole’s most popular resident.

Holiday Homecoming weekend also provides an opportunity to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday. Many downtown establishments will offer events, specials and discounts throughout the event.

Be sure to stick around for the Electric Christmas Parade, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in downtown St. Charles. Vehicles decked out in holiday lights will make their way down Main Street. The parade also will feature bands, parade floats and more.

If you’d like to help spread holiday cheer, there are plenty of opportunities to get on Santa’s nice list by volunteering at the Electric Christmas Parade. Volunteers help carry banners and can serve as parade marshal or a parade pacer. You can sign up online.

Visit www.stcholidayhomecoming.com to check out the latest event details!

Happy Holiday Railway!

November 25(Black Friday) Saturday and Sunday November 26th and 27th December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th ILLINOIS RAILWAY MUSEUMVisit: www.irm.org or Call 800-BIG-RAIL or 815-923-4000
For The
HOLIDAY HOMECOMING Celebrate the season in downtown St. Charles


D uring this year’s Swedish Days festival, Terry Emma got a call that made history for Geneva History Museum.

The museum became the first in Kane County to receive accreditation from American Alliance of Museums. Only 3% nationwide get this recognition, putting Geneva History Museum in an elite category of institutions.

“I cried. It was awesome,” remembers Emma, executive director. “It validates what the museum is doing for the community.”

According to American Alliance of Museums, accreditation is “the museum field’s mark of distinction” and “offers high profile, peer-based validation of your museum’s operations and impact.”

The rigorous process was one that didn’t yield the desired result right away. Last November, the organization tabled the museum’s application, asking them to include and consider more diverse perspectives.

The museum formed a relationship with a Native American tribe, the Prairie Band Potawatomi, who have ties to the Tri-Cities region. “The whole process opened our eyes about diversity,” Emma notes, adding the museum is updating its gallery information with information from diverse sources.

“It’s on our minds.”

The museum’s 950-square-foot gallery changes exhibition each year. There’s still a month left to see this year’s exhibit about The Little Traveler’s century of anchoring Third Street’s retail offerings. Beginning in February 2023, you’ll

find an exhibit about Geneva’s Viking ship. While the entire ship won’t fit within the museum, the original, restored head and tail will be displayed in public for the first time in more than 60 years.

The 3,000-square-foot Main Gallery, which features an inviting array of Geneva’s history, will soon be adding an Apple computer, circa 1984. “Many people don’t know that some of the first Apple software was created here in Geneva by Penguin Software started by Mark Pelczarski,” Emma says. “The Apple IIe will display some of the original games and visitors will be able to try them out.”

After being closed for 16 months due to the pandemic, Geneva History Museum has now been reopened for more than a year. To increase accessibility, the $5 admission fee is waived each Tuesday.

Terry says she has seen a “great increase in attendance and curiosity.” Visitors can view a wide array of artifacts and stories about Geneva’s history, as well as record their own in the Main Gallery’s “story booth.” And don’t forget to snag a selfie with the nonprofit’s new neon sign, which fittingly reads, “Belong to Geneva’s story.”

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved,” she says, adding that receiving accreditation has re-energized museum staff, volunteers and the board. “We like to keep things fresh.”

 GENEVA HISTORY MUSEUM 113 S. Third St., Geneva 630-232-4951 www.genevahistorymuseum.org
Kane County Magazine wrote about the museum’s relationships with Native Americans in our October issue! Check it out online at www. issuu.com/shawmedia/ docs/kcmag_oct2022. NOVEMBER 202242 FAMILY IN FOCUS



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