Doser: Real Kitchen
Founders: Nick Schmuck and Shannon Dudas
Why we love them: After spending years creating “art on a plate” for diners, Real Kitchen’s chefs decided to go back to their roots and begin cooking the real food that real people eat every day. (And we’re thankful they did.)
Products: Everything from soups, salads, snacks, and sandwiches to complete meals to reheat at home.
Doser: Burrow & Hive
Founders: Sally Gates and Newell Freivogel
Why we love them: This dynamic sister duo, with talents ranging from block printing to screen printing, lets the spirit of the nature-inspired pattern guide their choice of technique to create richly-colored textiles.
Products: A beautiful line of fabrics for your next home sewing project. For the non-crafty, but equally stylish, placemats and pillows are also available.
Doser: Rich Chocolates & Candies
Founder: Lauren Pett
Why we love her: Lauren has a way with chocolate. She understands the importance of quality ingredients, sourcing locally whenever possible. And, dang, do her candies taste good.
Products: Hand-dipped truffles, chocolate barks, toffee, caramel corn, turtles, caramels and very sweet chocolate-dipped animal crackers.
Update: Rich Chocolates & Candies closed its virtual doors in May 2012.
Doser: Quarter Circle Seven Ranch
Founder: Frank Morgan
Why we love him: In these days of big agro, it’s nice to find an old fashioned rancher with modern, sustainable values. All of Morgan’s livestock are sustainably raised, which is better for the consumers’ health, animals’ health and the health of the land they’re raised on.
Products: All-natural, grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef raised right here in Illinois. Order one steak, a whole cow, or anything in between.
Doser: Drift Eyewear
Founder: Chris Mantz
Why we love him: Drift brings together nostalgic style and new-age expression to create eyewear that turns heads. It doesn’t hurt that each hand-crafted pair of frames is sustainably sourced.
Products: Eyewear in classic shapes — think horn-rimmed and cat-eye — made from FSC ceritfied woods.
Doser: Rustic Tart
Founder: Stephanie Lock
Why we love her: Imagine this: Berries enveloped in buttery and flavorful sugar-sprinkled crust, crisp on the outside, flaky just below, and fruit-soaked inside. Need we say more?
Products: Perfect tarts with perfect fruit-filling.
Doser: knit 1
Founder: Karen Clements
Why we love her: We’ve always loved the idea of knitting, but our painstakingly purled garments always left something to be desired in the style department. No more, thanks to knit 1′s fashionable patterns and gorgeous yarns. You’ll actually want to wear the stuff you make — imagine that!
Products: Cozy, colorful yarns, chic patterns and how-to classes have all the makings of a great winter-time DIY project or gift for your crafty loved ones.
Founder: Abigail Glaum-Lathbury
Why we love them: Elmidae offers modern, asymmetrical shapes that are still distinctly feminine AND wearable.
Products: Women’s tops, jackets, skirts, dresses and jewelry.
Founders: The inimitable Tonia Kim
Why we love them: Ms. Kim is a true Renaissance woman: she’s authored a book on architectural interiors; worked the LA mens fashion scene; produced and directed documentary films; written for fashion magazines … did we mention she also has a law degree? Tonia’s immense and wide-ranging talents inform her always-evolving jewelry output and make her one of Chicago’s top bauble designers. Steven Alan is in love, too.
Products: These highly covetable necklaces, bracelets and earrings have the amazing power of becoming signature pieces immediately upon purchase.
Doser: Pasta Puttana
Founder: Jessica Volpe
Why we love her: Amazing sense of humor aside (pasta puttana means “pasta whore” in Italian), Volpe is serious about pasta. She not only makes delicious, silken noodles in a rainbow of flavors, she helps you figure out how to eat them with her handy-dandy flavor pairing chart.
Products: Volpe’s line of signature flavored, flat pastas. Try the Fiery Red Chile pasta with Italian sausage and caramelized onions. Coming soon: seasonally-inspired hand-formed filled pastas made daily and a selection of ingredients – both locally-produced and imported – will be available for quick flavor pairings to round out your dinner and your pantry.
Founder: Roslyn Dulyapaibul
Why we love her: Roslyn is the store of our dreams. It’s not to big, it’s not too small and we love EVERYTHING on the racks. We dare you to try to walk out without a Roslyn bag in hand.
Products: Well-edited womens’ fashion by hard-to-find designers, awesome vintage finds and perfect accessories and jewelery to top it off.
Doser: Orange Lingerie
Founder: Norma Loehr
Why we love her: It’s not exactly news that every woman’s body is unique, but Orange Lingerie is the only line of unmentionables we know of that creates bespoke lingerie. These bras and undies not only fit like a glove, they’re made of beautiful, of-the-moment fabrics that will keep you looking fresh.
Products: Bespoke bras and underwear.