Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter - Winter 2021

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Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club

Business & Industry United For A Better Community



Christmas Dinner Dance theme is 'Footloose Prom'

#SHOPSMALL Spend dollars locally on Small Business Saturday


Two holiday donation drives will help neighbors in need

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ur esteemed local community war veterans have made many sacrifices through selfless service to others. After years beyond their military service duties, they still enjoy and look forward to the opportunity to get together, meet new friends, swap stories, and remain connected. “Since the mid 1990s the Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club has been a special outlet for veterans to support each other while enjoying a tasty and piping hot buffet breakfast,” said Rick Gardner, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran from 1966-68, who is co-president of the club along with Jim Davidson.

The group meets twice a month on the first and third Thursdays of the month at the Oswego American Legion Post #675 at 19 West Washington Street. It’s a time when they can nourish both their bodies and spirits. There is no fee to be in the club and it is funded by donations. The only cost involved is $10 and a tip for the breakfast, which has all the fixin’s including coffee, juice, scrambled eggs and hash browns, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and sausage. Those feeling lucky can participate in a 50/50. For early risers, the doors open at 6:30 a.m. followed by a short meeting at 7 a.m. with breakfast served at 7:30 a.m. u Continued on page 3

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Veterans attending the breakfast have served in Vietnam, Korea, and the Middle East conflict. A few stalwart WWII vets attend when they can. Attendees occasionally will hear guest speakers on a variety of educational topics. The club was instrumental in bringing the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall to West Aurora High School in 2015 and Oswego in 2017. This year, they brought the Middle East Conflicts Wall to Oswego. The club has also brought attention to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's Agent Orange Awareness fundraiser, Honor Flight Chicago, and much more. The Village of Oswego widely supports local veterans and has provided recent events such as: Starlifter: The U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America and Vet Fest. “We are proud of what we are doing for our local veterans,” said Gardner, who has been

involved with the club for ten years. He makes sure its founders are not forgotten. “It was our local late veterans like Elmer J. Michaels; WWII U.S. Navy-retired Illinois State Senator Robert Mitchler; and U.S. Navy Herschel Luckinbill, who passed earlier this year, who have all made a difference in many ways.” “Most of the vets involved today with the club are men, but we are happy that women veterans have also found us and are beginning to join us, too. We welcome all veterans.” During these tough times of struggling veterans who face isolation and mental health issues, the Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club can be a friendly oasis in the desert. For more information, contact Gardner at rickstunts@aol.com or call 630-638-5441. Visit the club’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Fox-ValleyVeterans-Breakfast-Club.

Additional information for Kendall County veterans support Veterans Assistance Commission of Kendall County 811 John St. • Yorkville, IL 60560 630-553-8357 • www.kendallvets.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS A place for veterans to connect.......................................1 Chamber CEO Letter.........................................................4 Message from the Chamber Chair..................................6 Celebrate the holidays, '80s style....................................7 Think local on Small Business Saturday..........................8 Chamber Board of Directors............................................8 Fill a Truck for Toys for Tots............................................ 10 About Oswego................................................................ 10 Fox Valley Winery opens at new location.................... 12 Ribbon cuttings............................................................... 14 New members................................................................. 15 www.oswegochamber.org

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Becoming a Member is EASY and Affordable! Check us out online at www.OswegoChamber.org Call, e-mail, or stop on by! Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce 73 W. Van Buren St. • Oswego, IL 60543 Phone: (630) 554-3505 • Fax: (630) 554-0050 Email: info@oswegochamber.org Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2021 3

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Chamber CEO Letter


all is definitely in the air and the holidays are fast approaching. This last year has been rough in so many ways for so many people. I lost my dad to cancer just over a year ago and thank goodness I had this great community behind me, supporting me and giving me something to focus on so I didn’t wallow in grief. I would like to thank the business community for standing tall, standing strong and working together. The last year and a half has been interesting and a struggle for many. I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and the working together to make things happen and continue. Starting in January the Oswego Downtown Association is coming under the chamber umbrella as an arm of the chamber. What that means to our downtown merchants is a great savings on their dues if they are a member of OACC. Watch for more information to come out soon regarding this. #Downtown Dollars are available for many of the downtown businesses and can be purchased at the chamber office.


President/CEO Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce

I also want everyone to encourage people to #SHOPSMALL #SHOPOSWEGO this holiday season. It means so much to see people in our downtown eating, drinking and shopping. We’ve had so many great new additions – 113 Main and Fox Valley Winery and soon The Dairy Barn to add to our already fantastic stores and restaurants. Watch for the opening day of Freddies Off The Chain – they have their permits and work has started. I can’t wait for that ribbon cutting – Mona has worked so hard and already has made an impact on this community with her food trucks. Thank you to everyone who joined the chamber this year or referred a business to the chamber. I love meeting new businesses, learning about them and helping them celebrate their successes. Also if you are celebrating a milestone year – 5 years, 10 year, 15 years in business we can do a ribbon cutting ceremony for you to celebrate. Call us at the Chamber to learn more. Have a safe and happy fall and holiday season and we will see you in 2022. Great things are coming.

Page 4 www.oswegochamber.org

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Message from the Chamber Chair


appy fall, Oswego! With the holidays right around the corner I cannot believe how quickly 2021 is passing us by! The paths that we have all followed this year have definitely been an improvement to what we endured last year with navigating the hurdles of Covid-19. As I sit back and reflect upon the community and how our Chamber, specifically Angie and Shayna, stepped up to support and provide alternative ways for area businesses to continue to generate revenue, I could not be more proud of their ideas and efforts. It was their ability to "think outside the box"" that kept our spirits lifted and some business doors open! 2021 has been filled with so many fundraising activities and events for the Oswego community and businesses to participate in! Spring of 2021 the OACC started out with their annual Business Expo that was hosted at the Kendall County Fairgrounds for the first time. What a wonderful time of the year to enjoy an outdoor event! Followed

by the annual dinner at Whitetail Ridge Golf Course, the very successful Golf Outing in late July, an awesome turnout for Spirits on the Farm in August, the Young Professionals Pub Crawl around the streets of downtown Oswego in September, and the new member dinner in early October … just to name a few. Upcoming, the OACC presents the Fraidy Cat 5K in late October followed by the Dinner Dance-Footloose Christmas party to be held on Friday, December 10th! What a fabulous way to celebrate the holiday season with area businesses and friends than dancing the night away to 80’s themed music! A project that our OACC staff and committee has been working on this year is the Oswego-opoly game! This Oswego themed replica of the classic Monopoly game is for sure a keepsake item and treasure for Oswego long-time residents along with newbies to the area. Go to the Chamber website for more information and to on order yours today!

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Troy Parlier, our Village President, and Scott McMaster, the Director of Economic Development, along with the Village of Oswego staff for their support. They have all been wonderful to work with these passed few years and their ongoing team efforts are why this community continues to thrive. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the OACC for the 2021-2022 term. I have been a member of this organization for many year’s and I couldn’t be more proud of the leaders that I work next to, my fellow Board members, the business owners that I have been able to support and the networking that I have become a part of. With Best Regards, BROOK HENSCHEN Board Chair

Page 6 www.oswegochamber.org

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CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS, '80S STYLE Christmas Dinner Dance debuts in December


t’s been a long pandemic year and a half when virtual, hybrid and Zoom meetings became the norm. But at last, we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to bring back personal interactions. The Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce is breaking out the ’80s vibes to host a Christmas Dinner Dance with a creative “Footloose Prom” theme for six degrees of awesome in-person networking. “We would love to end the year on a positive note and get together with colleagues and friends,” said Angie Hibben, President/CEO, Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is a first-time chamber dance for us. We’re having ’80s music with DJ entertainment by Sounds Abound and will crown our very own prom King and Queen. We invite all area businesses to bring their friends, network, and have fun.” The event will be held on Friday, December 10, 2021 at the Kendall County Fairgrounds in Yorkville from 7 to 11 p.m. The cost for guests, age 21 and up, is $35 per person, which includes two drink tickets. Dinner will be served buffet style with a sweet www.oswegochamber.org

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table and cash bar. Tickets for a 50/50 drawing will be available for purchase. The chamber has held successful Christmas parties in the past. Brook Henschen of Brook Henschen Real Estate Group, current Oswego Area Chamber board chair, thought it was time for a different twist. “Our past events have been great and laid back,” said Henschen. “I’ve always loved that era of ’80s music. It will be fun to get dressed up ’80s style and have a relaxed time with colleagues and meet new friends.” The large Smith Hall room at the Kendall County Fairgrounds will provide plenty of social distancing space, plus a party atmosphere with confetti and balloons. To keep the spirit of giving for the season, guests are requested to bring donations of an unwrapped child’s toy for Toys for Tots or unopened canned or boxed food for the Kendall County Food Pantry. Starting in November, tickets for the “Footloose Prom” Christmas Dinner Dance can be purchased at the Chamber office, 73 W. Van Buren St., Oswego, or on the Chamber website at oswegochamber.org.


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THINK LOCAL ON SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY Support Oswego businesses by shopping in town on November 27


mall Business Saturday, created by American Express in 2010, is a celebration of local businesses and the fundamental impact they have on their communities. This year’s Small Business Saturday falls on November 27 and Oswego’s stores are looking forward to spending time with you while you shop and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. President and CEO of Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce Angie Hibben discusses the importance of supporting local businesses while finding ways to strengthen community commerce. Still recovering from pandemic era hardships and new supply chain issues, small businesses in the Oswego area are struggling. “The public has been awesome,” says Hibben, “They have been fantastic about supporting our small businesses, but I think some people are under the misconception that because the stores are open, they are doing fantastic and everything is back to normal. That is not true.” Local business thrives on local support and this year presents another golden opportunity to bolster these businesses. “Many of these stores are still struggling,” Angie notes. “They’re still recovering.”

It is a harsh reality easily met with a simple solution: shop locally. Like small businesses, many customers are still struggling financially and may not feel that buying product is a way they can reasonably support local stores. Angie suggests one of the best ways to boost local commerce regardless of financial status. “Refer your favorite stores in your downtown communities,” says Hibben, “Give a shoutout on Facebook or Instagram, write a review for a business. Word of mouth is huge.” Hibben also recommends that folks do their research when shopping locally. “Remember that there are businesses that a lot of people don’t think of as small businesses, because they have multiple locations, like Chick-fil-A. Those are all independently owned,” reminds Hibben, “Remember to do your research and understand the difference between corporate and small business.”

Page 8 www.oswegochamber.org

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“Bringing my clients a seamless real estate transaction with my team of professionals.” BROOK HENSCHEN BROKER MARK YO UR CALENDA R This year's Small Busi ness Saturday w ill be November 27.

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"Oswego has the best stores!" this young shopper said.

69 W. Washington St / Rt 34 Oswego, IL 60543 Another fantastic way to strengthen local business starts with families. “Parents coming out and teaching their children about the importance of shopping small, and then posting a picture and praising the stores is huge,” underscores Angie, “Their children and their grandchildren are going to school with your children and your grandchildren. When you buy from them, you’re supporting dance lessons, drum lessons, food on the table and keeping people employed.” Hibben emphasizes the impact local business has on its community and encourages Oswego to understand the ripple effect your support creates. “There’s more than just buying from a business, you have to think of all the fingers that thread out and things that are affected,” says Hibben, “When you do buy locally and shop locally, you get much better customer service, in a lot of cases, you tend to actually meet and deal with the owner. They’re right there working beside their employees.” A little bit goes a long way when staying local. Remember the practice of shopping locally is incredibly vital to its community and Small Business Saturday is a fun-filled way to celebrate the businesses we love. Oswego’s local stores are more than a place to shop and they are more than a place to buy a present, they are truly a gift to our community.

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Ed and Matt invite you to stop by and see how over 50 years combined experience can make your purchase truly pleasant. We specialize in vehicles under $10,000 many in the $4,000-$8,000 range. If you don’t see what you are looking for in our inventory regardless of the year, we will find that special vehicle for you. We truly appreciate the many loyal customers and referrals we have had over the last 17 years. Make your next vehicle purchase from us and we will exceed your expectations.

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'TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING BACK Help local families in need with annual food drive and toy drive

ABOUT OSWEGO The Village of Oswego, located approximately 50 miles southwest of Chicago, is ideally placed at the southern end of the Fox River Valley. With a population of 30,400, Oswego is the largest community in Kendall County, and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing communities in the country. The Village was founded in 1833 and today provides a rich and expansive history, landscape, activities, events, culture, shopping and dining opportunities for its residents and visitors. - Village of Oswego


ne reason why the holidays mean so much to so many is the spirit of giving. Two local causes will once again allow Oswego residents to catch that spirit and benefit those who are less fortunate this holiday season.

FILL A TRUCK FOR OUR NEIGHBORS AutoSmart and the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce are inviting folks to help fill a truck with nonperishable food items for its neighbors in Oswego. “Part of what is embedded in our values is to give back to our community,” said Brian Caldwell, CEO/co-founder of AutoSmart. “We started doing this many years ago, and as a member of the Oswego Rotary Club this is kind of what we do anyway. It really gives back to the community we serve, and by doing so people will then support those businesses. I call it civic marketing: doing something with zero expectation in return.” Fill A Truck for Our Neighbors has drop off locations at AutoSmart (5498 Rt. 34) and the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce (73 W. Van Buren St.) with the non-perishable food items going to the Kendall County Community Food Pantry. Donations will be collected Nov. 1 through Dec. 18.

Among items the pantry needs most are flour, vegetable oil and condiments, such as mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. Hygiene items, including toothbrushes, toothpaste and larger size diapers also are needed. However, monetary donations make the largest impact. Every $1 donated is equal to $8 in grocery purchases from the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help keep the pantry stocked. Checks can be made out and mailed to the Kendall County Community Food Pantry, 208 Beaver St., Yorkville, IL 60560. Whether you purchase these items and help fill a truck, donate other items or send a check, your support will be greatly appreciated.


Support in the form of new, unwrapped toys is the gist of the annual nationwide Toys for Tots drive, co-sponsored by the Oswego Fire Protection District. This event benefits local children and their families who struggle to afford gifts during the holidays. “This year will be the 14th year of the department collecting toys along with the five junior high schools,” said Lt. Kris Kearns. “The department will be handling the distribution of the toys, so we’ll reach out to different organizations and that’s how we disperse the items.”

Page 10 www.oswegochamber.org

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Donors can bring new, unwrapped toys to any of the four fire stations in Oswego from Nov. 1 through Dec. 10, and there is also a collection at the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce and other businesses around town. “All our toys stay here in Kendall County,” Kearns said. “So we are helping our own community.” Gift cards also are accepted, and since Meijer is one of the partners in this fundraiser, gift cards from the store are most welcome. “My wife and I and others will take whatever gift cards and go buy presents,” Kearns said. “Toys for Tots is for kids up to 12 [years of age], but we’ve found if we’re helping out a family with a 3-, a 7- and a 14-year-old, we should get something for the 14-year-old too, so we do.”

Bicycles and toys fill the lobby of Oswego Fire Protection District Station 1 after a previous Toys for Tots drive.



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opens at new location

ox Valley Winery has moved to 59 S. Main Street, joining other beloved local businesses in downtown Oswego. Visit their new spot for good times, live music, and unforgettable wines - all while enjoying their improved location. Owner of Fox Valley Winery, Mike Faltz, comments on the fated new location of his business and the exciting improvements he has implemented. “We moved, number one, to get into a better location where we are downtown and where we initially wanted to be,” says Faltz. Nearly two decades ago, Faltz had his eyes set on the old firehouse for his business – the very same building Fox Valley Winery recently moved into. “When we were

looking to buy a building in Oswego, the old firehouse was the first building we thought about,” recalls Faltz. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t available at the time.” After speaking with the original building owner Art Black of Oswego Cyclery last Fall, Faltz realized his initial plan could come to fruition. “Turns out, there was a vacancy opening up and Art Black asked if we were interested in moving down here,” says Faltz, “After downsizing production this past year, this place was a perfect fit.” Art graciously moved his Cyclery to a smaller location, allowing the space to open up to Fox Valley Winery. Faltz comments, “It just didn’t work out then, but eighteen years later we’re now in this building.”

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Patrons can expect some improvements to the Winery, while experiencing the same exceptional customer service and delicious wine selection they have been used to for nearly 22 years. When commenting on the aesthetics of the new location, Faltz points out a difference in décor but emphasizes a continuation of the Winery’s cozy atmosphere. “The old building was more French Countryside looking, this one is much more industrial, but it’s still welcoming and warm,” assures Faltz. In addition to plentiful indoor seating despite its smaller size, Fox Valley Winery also hosts patrons on multiple outdoor patios. “We’ve got inside seating for about 60 people with [the ability to fit] another 75-100 outside,” says Faltz. One of the most exciting aspects of the new location is the simple fact that Fox Valley Winery is now nestled in among the businesses on Main Street. Faltz is looking forward to participating in downtown events and has partnered with the Oswego Brewing Company and 113 Main to integrate easily accessible food options to customers.

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FREE PARKING 200+ spaces The Reserve at Hudson “We are partnering with the brewery, which is right under our feet here, to get as many food trucks as we can,” Faltz proudly reveals. “Also, we’ve partnered with 113 Main. You can sit at a table here in the winery and using their QR code they have out on the tables, you can order your food and it’s delivered to your table here at the winery within 25-35 minutes from the time you ordered it.” Faltz is looking forward to the future of Fox Valley Winery: bringing back live music, serving up exquisite wines, and bringing a treasured Oswego legacy to the downtown scene. Make sure to try their popular sweet red wine Corruption, a new 2019 Zinfandel, and beginning in early November, their warm seasonal spiced wine. Fox Valley Winery is ready to welcome you with many of the beloved old and exciting new ways to enjoy their favored establishment. www.oswegochamber.org

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77 S. Adams St. Oswego, IL 60543 2 levels of parking

Enter off of Harrison or Adams Street IT’S MORE CONVENIENT THAN EVER to shop and dine in downtown Oswego, thanks to the new parking deck open in the first two floors of The Reserve at Hudson Crossing. Parking is free and open from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Oswego Area Chamber Newsletter | Winter 2021 13

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Recent Celebrations

SOCIAL STUDIO 16 S. Cherry Dr., Unit B • Oswego IL 60543 800-384-1863 • www.theesocialstudio.com

FIT4MOM OSWEGO 168 S. Adams St. • Oswego, IL 60543 618-602-2348e • www.oswego.fit4mom.com

FOX VALLEY WINERY 59 Main St. • Oswego, IL 60543 630-554-0404 • www.foxvalleywinery.com

ROADHOUSE 71 4571 Route 71 • Oswego, IL 60543 • 630-636-9231 www.ytentertainmentgroup.com/roadhouse71

RONDI'S S.E.L.F. FITNESS (10-year anniversary ribbon cutting) 1224 Douglas Rd. • Oswego, IL 60543 630-554-7353 • www.rondis-self-fitness.com Page 14 www.oswegochamber.org

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Michelle Fifer 16 Cherry St. Unit B Oswego, IL 60543 630-400-3828 info@theesocialstudio.com www.theesocialstudio.com


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Tony Weeks 508 Center Pkwy., Ste. C Yorkville, IL 60560 630-686-2337 flightteamyorkville@gmail.com www.flightbottleshoppe.com


Matthew Oliva 803 Ziegler Ave., #4933 Aurora, IL 60505 815-677-1274 matthew.i.oliva.mil@mail.mil

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Jason Mitchell 150 E. Butterfield Rd Elmhurst, IL 60126 630-728-9483 jmitchell@wintrustmortgage.com www.jasonmitchellmortgages.com

Robyn Vickers 306 Westminster Ct. Oswego, IL 60543 630-995-0366 robyn@communitycaresgroup.com www.communitycaresgroup.com



Bree Rials Oswego, IL 60543 630-492-0865 bree@brialslaw.com


Joe Hein 100 Illinois St., Ste. 200 St. Charles, IL 60174 630-485-4394 joe.hein@goosehead.com www.goosehead.com/joe-hein


Amy Gressell 7007 E. Pleasant Valley Rd. Independence, OH 44131 216-360-9441 www.facebook.com/byredwood www.twitter.com/byredwood www.linkedin.com/company/ redwood-living

Dr. Jennifer Gross 2460 S. Eola Rd., Ste. G Aurora, IL 60503 630-499-2225 qualitycarechiro@gmail.com www.qualitycarechiro.com


Shannon Cameron 1110 Jericho Rd. Aurora, IL 60506 630-692-3057 scameron@aurorafoodpantry.org www.aurorafoodpantry.org


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Becoming a Member is EASY and Affordable! Check us out online at www.OswegoChamber.org | Call, e-mail, or stop on by! Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce 73 W. Van Buren St. • Oswego, IL 60543 Phone: (630) 554-3505 • Fax: (630) 554-0050 • Email: info@oswegochamber.org


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