Welcome to the Mill River Blog

The Pet Food Industry


During the pandemic, many of us adopted furry family members - millions of them. Most of these pets are still in comfortable homes. This increase in the number of pet companions translated into an increase in the demand for pet food. High-quality pet food is the choice for many to feed the loving companion who stayed by their side during "lockdown"...

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Bredwell, Ltd. Looks to Fill the Gap in the Dog Food Market


Over the past few years, we have used this space to provide information on new small food businesses, local farming, and food trends - basically all things food. We have unfortunately left out details on feeding some critical family members – our dogs. In the past decade or two, dog food has made headlines when we learn about problems with the food...

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Got Cow's Milk?


 A year ago this month, we published an article on the increased demand for non-dairy drinks made from nuts, oats, and coconut. Despite the high demand for these beverages, most people in Illinois still prefer milk from cows. Unfortunately, there has been a nationwide decrease in the number of dairy farms. Between 2003 and 2020, in the U.S., t...

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The Thrill of the Grill


Americans love to grill, and right now, we are in grilling season. The 4th of July is reason enough to light your grill. There are so many grill options. So many different items to cook on the grill. Here's a breakdown. Types of grills Charcoal grills have long been popular. They come in all shapes and sizes and range in price from $20 to $2000 dep...

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The Future of The Family Farm


The other day, I saw a photo on social media of a very wet but not quite flooded farm field. The comment was about washing the veggies before heading to the farmers' market the following day. Picking the lettuce and spinach didn't look like it would be much fun. Farmers have always had to contend with the weather. Will there be too much rain or not...

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May We Introduce you to Hand Pies?


We believe that less is more, simple things bring joy, and amazing food doesn't have to be eaten on fine china. That's why we love the hand pies made by Christy Sharp here at the Cookery. The Treehouse Pie Company is a welcome addition to our shared kitchen. Christy combines perfectly curated savory or sweet fillings with a "proper" pastry dough to...

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Eggs for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert


Eggs are fickle things. They can be a one-ingredient meal or snack, but many people can't seem to cook them properly. Have you ever had a hard-boiled egg that has green on the outside of the yolk, scrambled eggs that have the texture of rubber, or a raw sunny-side-up egg? Chances are you have! When you buy eggs, which color should you choose? White...

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Holiday Food Traditions


Holidays bring us together with friends and family. Regardless of the holiday, all cultures celebrate with traditional foods. While Christians and Jewish people celebrate their respective holidays, Muslims also celebrate Ramadan this spring. Each celebration comes with festive meals. Ramadan Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month of the Islamic calen...

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The New Normal in Restaurants


If you've been out to eat recently, you may have noticed a difference in the post-pandemic restaurant scene. Smaller menus, higher prices, longer waits, and sometimes a change in food quality await many diners. Restaurant closures Crain's Chicago Business reported that over 300 restaurants in Chicago have shuttered since the 4th quarter of 2021. Th...

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Learning to Cook Through Time


How you learned to cook might depend on how old you are and whether you grew up with home-cooked meals. Generations of Americans cooked with whatever was at hand. Meals weren't fancy and were limited to what was canned from the previous harvest or what was in season and how often they could afford meat. Many early home cooks didn't rely on recipes ...

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Wanderin' Barefoot Farm Takes the Fast Track From Farmer's Markets to Wholesale


Introducing our newest Cookery member, Jillae Langman! If you visited the Batavia Boardwalk Shops this summer, you undoubtedly found Wanderin' Barefoot Farm's shop. You might have met its energetic, smiling owner, Jillae. Jillae and her husband Wesley Dalmolin are the owners of a six-acre homestead on the Campton Hills and Elgin border that kept th...

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The Basics of Starting a Food Business


Thinking of starting a food business? Or are you looking to take your Cottage Food business to the next level? Starting any business is always challenging. There are taxes, regulations, managing staff, managing inventory, and so on. A passion for your product will only get you so far, and then you'll need to consult an expert. If you've never run a...

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Your New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight


Did you make any New Year's resolutions? If you did, you might have resolved to go on a diet and lose weight. We all want to lose weight or watch our weight. However, there is plenty of evidence that diets don't work. When you're on a diet you are restricting yourself in what you can eat. it's not unusual to think of food all the time and therefore...

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Paths For the Food Entrepreneur in a Pandemic


Due to the pandemic, have you put your dreams of starting a food business on hold? Or maybe you are part of the Great Resignation/Reshuffling. Either way now may be the perfect time to become an entrepreneur and start your food business. Restaurants have been hit very hard by Covid, but out of the metaphorical ashes comes opportunity. You may not r...

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Baking With Intention


All work and no play isn't good for anyone. That's why five years into his career as a speech therapist, Bret Todd started looking for a creative outlet. Bret was no stranger to the kitchen. His dad and his uncles worked in kitchens at some point in their young lives, and Bret's father did a lot of the cooking for the family. Bret himself enjoyed c...

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The Origins of Our Christmas Food Traditions


Holidays the world over involve celebrations that include food. A lot of food. Did you ever stop to think about how these traditions started? Some of the stories might surprise you! The Feast of the Seven Fishes For example, the feast of the seven fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration. However, in Italy, there is no ...

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Food Packaging at the Farmer's Market


Farmer's markets are gaining popularity in urban and suburban settings nationwide. The importance of eating locally-grown, organic foods and plant-based diets are all factors in this trend. In addition to all the fruits and vegetables available at farmer's markets, people can purchase various appetizing baked goods. Unless you know exactly what you...

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Little Brittle With a Big Flavor

One of our first Cookery members was Big Little Brittle and owners Dan Sigman and his wife, Lynn Pelka. Their journey in food entrepreneurship started because Dan and Lynn wanted to gift family and friends something homemade for Christmas that wasn't the standard cookie tray or candy. They chose brittle. Dan found the initial brittle recipe in the ...

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Meet The Flavor Wizard

My favorite time to visit our shared kitchen, the Cookery, is when it's busy. I love everything about being there - the smells are the absolute best. Some days it smells like granola. Other days it might be sugar, bread, spices, or a delightful combination of everything at once. Once I get past the smells, I enjoy talking to the members and learnin...

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Contains Artificial Flavor


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Do you use flavored coffee creamer? Have you noticed 'natural flavor' or 'artificial flavor' listed in the ingredients on food packaging? Natural and artificial flavor The FDA defines natural flavors as the essential oils or compounds extracted from natural plant material or animal products. Natural flavor...

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The Business of Food, LLC
1330 E. State Street, Unit A
Sycamore, IL 60178