October, 2019
Business: NITE Equipment
Owner/Operator: Jim & Jenny Sacia

Congratulations to NITE Equipment for Business of the Month for October!

“We are long- time residents and members of the Winnebago and Pecatonica communities. We moved to our present home in the Winnebago School district in 1972. Our business developed from Jim’s farming background and love of tractors, farm equipment, and cars and trucks. Jenny always had to answer the phone calls on items Jim would buy and then advertise in the papers. His sons have followed his footsteps with the oldest, Jerry, and youngest, Jesse, building and growing the business after each graduated from college.

We incorporated in 1997 and are now employing 13 fine fulltime employees. Our first goal at NITE is to provide a variety of products accompanied with excellent service. It is an on-going challenge to keep up with technology and daily tasks involved in running a business. An equal goal for us as owners is to provide very good salaries and benefits to our family of employees.

Raising horses and working on tractors has been a part of our life here from the beginning. That is what brought us to our little farm between Pecatonica and Winnebago. Jim loved to restore old tractors and Jerry is very involved in the tractor pulling world. We hold consignment auctions giving the public an opportunity to buy or sell items they need or need to get rid of. Hopefully the taxes generated by every business are an asset to all communities.

Nite cherishes the joy of many friendships and business relationships built over these 22 years at our present location and the 20 years before at our original location at our home.

Our Mission:
The mission of NITE Equipment is to provide competitively priced new and used trailers, trucks, farm tractors and implements, heavy construction equipment, and related accessories and services in an honest and professional manner.

September, 2019
Business: Sullivans Foods
Owner/Operator: John Sullivan

Congratulations Sullivans Foods, here is Seth Holmgren (Ace Hardware Manager) Bob Miller (Store Manager) and Craig Engelbarts (Store Assistant Manager) being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of September!

Sullivans Foods is a family owned and operated grocery retail business that was started in 1967 by John & June Sullivan. John Sullivan married June in 1959 and then went off to serve in the United States Army. While serving in the army he took a part-time job as a meat cutter. After his military service, John and June returned for a short time to John’s hometown, Stockton, Illinois where he became a full-time meat cutter. Then they moved to Platteville, Wisconsin, where John worked for another grocery store.

During his seven years in Platteville he learned more of the meat cutting trade and other valuable tools for success. Most significant was how important it is to be fair to your employees, vendors, and customers. In September of 1967 John and June moved to Savanna, Illinois where they decided to purchase their own grocery store. For a short time in the beginning he had a partner and eventually ended up buying his share out and then built a new store – tearing down the older structure to make room for a larger parking lot. The Savanna location became a success so in 1973 they expanded their business with an additional store located in John’s hometown, Stockton, Illinois. Keeping up with the ever growing market, John and June ventured out in 1978 and purchased two more locations, then in 1980 they increased their stores again with the purchase of another two locations. They now own and operate 11 locations in Northern and Central Illinois.

In addition to building his successful grocery chain, John and June were also raising six children Kathryn, Scott, Bryan, Susan, Mike, and Julie; all of whom followed in Dad and Moms footsteps and are a part of the company. Each of them started off either as a cashier, meat cutter, or stocker and now help run the company. Today, John is still the CEO, Scott Sullivan is the President, Kathryn Christensen is the Vice President of Human Resources, Bryan Sullivan is the Vice President of Advertising, Susan Sullivan-Dauphin is the Property manager, Mike Sullivan is Vice President of IT, and Julie Sullivan-Mensendike is General Merchandise Manager as well as being a teacher.

Business of the Month

August, 2019
Business: The Brauer Barn
Owner/Operator: Jason & Molly Brauer

Congratulations to Jason and Molly Brauer owner of The Brauer, here is Molly being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of August! Jason and Molly Brauer are the owners of The Brauer Barn; they renovated the barn for their own wedding in 2016. When they decided to renovate it they had no intentions to rent it out until they saw the excitement from the community and surrounding area about it. Once they knew they had the support of the community behind them they decided to turn it in to a venue that allowed others to plan their dream weddings, host all types of events, or be used for photographs.  The Barn operates from April to November, due to not having heat or air conditioning, allowing the barn to stay in its original form and give families a true barn and rustic feel. Both Jason and Molly were both raised in Winnebago, graduated from Winnebago High School, and still have family ties in the area. They love the idea of having an event center in their hometown to support local businesses and families. The Barn has been in the Brauer Family since 1906, Jason and Molly are the 5th generation to own it. This past year the Barn was recognized as being a Centennial Farm. When Jason and Molly are not working at their full time jobs or doing events in the barn they enjoy spending time with their children: Parker, Landon, Everly and Kora, family and friends.
Jill Gettle ; Molly Brauer

July, 2019
Business: Mary K Gottman Embroidery
Owner/Operator: Mary Gottman

Congratulations to Mary Gottman owner of Mary K. Gottman Embroidery, here is Mary being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of July!

Mary Gottman is the owner of Mary K. Gottman Embroidery. Mary and her husband moved to thier current address twenty-five years ago while all of her children went to school in Winnebago, IL. Mary Gottman started her business in 2004 when she purchased her first commercial embroidery machine, at this time she was only doing embroidery and clothing alterations. In 2011, she purchased three more commercial embroidery machines, a vinyl cutter, and a heat press from the previous business in Winnebago. Mary decoration offerings are embroidery, heat transfer vinyl, rhinestones, vinyl decals, sublimation, patches and recently she added glitter spangle decoration. Along with all the machines, she has a lot of business coming in from Winnebago. Mary has enjoyed servicing the Winnebago School District but in the last two and a half years she has started receiving work from other areas. Mary’s goal is to grow her business and eventually she would like to hire outside help to give her more time for designing. When she is not working in her business, she enjoys gardening/yard work and reading, along with one day a week she babysit her beautiful 3-year-old granddaughter!

Jill Gettle ; Mary Gottman

June, 2019
Business: Cimino’s, Winnebago
Owner/Operator: Vince Cimino

Congratulations to Vince Cimino owner of Cimino’s in Winnebago, here is Vince being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of June! Cimino’s has been family owned and operated since the early 70’s, by Frank Cimino. Vince has grown up in the restaurant industry, and is where he is today because he has a passion for what he does. Stop by Cimino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria to experience the incredible flavor of their pizzas, sandwiches, fresh salads, pasta dishes, and desserts. Did you know Cimino’s has recently started selling draft beer, and is working on serving a full bar!
Jill Gettle ; Vince Cimino

May, 2019
Business: The Post, Winnebago
Owner/Operator: Tom and Michele McDonald

Congratulations to Tom and Michele McDonald owner of The Post here in Winnebago, here is Heather Roach (Bartender at The Post) being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the Month of May! The Post Sports Bar & Grill, located at 119 South Benton Street, Winnebago, IL opened March 2019. They are the first bar in over 100 years to serve beer and cocktails in the downtown district. The Post is owned/operated by Tom and Michele McDonald. Offering a full menu with a variety of burgers, wings, tacos, Irish Nachos, onion rings and specials coming soon. There is a full bar with six beers on tap, seven big screen TV’s to catch all of your favorite sports, darts, and a jukebox!
Jill Gettle ; Heather Roach

April, 2019
Business: Garden Arts, Winnebago
Owner/Operator: Shirley Crawford

Congratulations to Shirley Crawford owner of Garden Arts here in Winnebago, Shirley is being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the month of April! Shirley opened her doors on July 8th, 1989 and will be celebrating her 30 year anniversary this July bringing over 40 years of experience to the community. In almost 30 years Garden Arts has touched our lives somehow whether it being a special occasion, anniversary, birthday, wedding, funeral, or just because someone wanted to brighten up your day! You continuously see Garden Arts at community events from center pieces at the Awards Night Dinner held by the Chamber, or stopping in to a local business to drop off some of their fresh cut flowers. Needless to say that Shirley gives back to this community in more ways than can be counted. Congratulations again Shirley, and thank you for all you do!

Shirley Crawford ; Jill Gettle

March, 2019
Business: COUNTRY Financial
Owner/Operator: Erica Kielty

Congratulations to Erica Kielty with COUNTRY Financial Insurance, she is being presented Business of the Month by the Winnebago Area Chamber of Commerce for the month of March. Erica has recently taken over COUNTRY Financial here in Winnebago, in her short time here she has already done so much for the community. Stop in her office at, 102 N Elida Ste C today if you are in the market for Auto/Home/Life/Business/Retirement insurance!

Jill Gettle ; Erica Kielty