Village Bakery earns recognition


OREGON – This fall the Village Bakery was selected as one of 30 business this year to be recognized as an Illinois Maker.

On Jan. 14, The Blackhawk Waterways Convention & Visitors Bureau presented the Illinois Maker award to the Bakery.

In presenting the award, Diane Bausman, Executive Director of the Bureau, said that the Bakery now joins only 175 business in the State of Illinois to receive a similar honor.

“Makers like the Village Bakery represent the pinnacle of local businesses,” Bausman said.

Among the requirements to become an Illinois Maker, a business must offer an excellent customer experience, place a strong emphasis on its Illinois roots, and have a captivating story to tell.

“One of the great things about small town Americana is their ability to repurpose their buildings,” said Oregon Mayor Ken Williams.

Williams explained that the 100-year-old building that houses the Bakery was originally a movie theater before becoming a hardware store and then a video store.  

“You are a leader in redoing this building as a bright spot for other merchants in Oregon to follow,” he said. “And they have.”

Brion Brooks, Executive Director of the Village of Progress, Inc., which owns and operates the Bakery, received the award.

“It’s gratifying to receive recognition for what we’re trying to accomplish – giving persons with developmental disabilities the confidence and competence to work in a real-world business,” he said. “And giving others a chance to witness what they can do.”

Caption for photo – Brion Brooks, Village of Progress Executive Director receives award from Diane Bausman, Blackhawk Waterways Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director recognizing the Village Bakery as an Illinois Maker.