I love the supporting our local community whenever possible, as many of you know! There are some talented business owners in central Illinois that provide us with delicious food, quality coffee, artisan goods, and fun experiences throughout the year. One of my favorite ways to embrace our community and show my love for our local businesses is to incorporate them into my hosting! Not only does it take some stress off me as the hostess, but it is an amazing opportunity to showcase some of the best that our locals have to offer as well!
Here are some of my go-to purchases to love on our community while hosting:
- Paper goods. Hosting is so much easier with paper goods. They can be equally as beautiful as a traditional table setting and infinitely easier, especially outside! So Chic Boutique makes this extremely easy, with many charming plates, napkins, and other paper good options to fit your event.
- Florals. It is amazing what a well-designed bouquet can do for a table scape when hosting! It immediately adds an element of cheer, brightness, and elegance. Floral Designs does a phenomenal job with fresh floral arrangements to help elevate your occasion.
- Pastries. Whether you are hosting a brunch, mid-day meal, dinner, or dessert, good-quality pastries or bread are a must-have! Between Great Harvest, Confectionary, Baked Blessings Cake, and The Sugar Crumb, we are not lacking in wonderful local pastry and dessert options. I recently bought the extreme cinnamon swirl bread and honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest, and they were so delicious. I made a quick honey butter to go with them and it was amazing. Makes my mouth water, just thinking about them!
- Coffee. In my opinion, a good coffee is the perfect ending to any meal. Few things are a better invitation to relax and chat than offering your guests a warm cup to sip on. Eli’s Coffee, Faire Coffee, CXT Coffee, and more are at the heartbeat of our community!
- Main course. I think the main dish is probably the most stressful aspect of hosting for any hostess! You want something exciting, yet something that’s guaranteed to be delicious. For Easter Sunday this year, I picked up some bacon-wrapped turkey filets from Beecham’s Market in Tremont and some smoked ribs from Dac’s BBQ in Morton for Jeff to throw on the grill. They were both a hit and made my job as the hostess so simple and enjoyable!
- Ice cream. Especially as we are approaching the warmer months of the year, ice cream is one of my go-to purchases when hosting friends or family! We are lucky to have the Kamaela’s Kreamery ice cream truck to provide us with many delicious varieties of specialty ice cream that elevate your event. You don’t want to skip this one! DQ in Morton is also a great place to go for ice cream and if you live close, a wonderful activity to walk there with your guests as well.
- Outings. If you are looking for an exciting evening with friends or family, there are so many great places to experience in the Peoria area! We recently went to Gone Axe Throwing in Peoria and would highly recommend this for some great family fun. We had an amazing time together and the “axe master” made it so enjoyable! I also took my daughter and daughter-in-law to Threads and bought a couple of cute tops and a pair of shoes for them. We had a delightful time!
- Party favors. Depending on the event you are hosting, you may want to find some party favors to send your guests home with. One of my favorite local places to find some goodies is Lulu’s on Main in Morton. I was able to find some adorable and fun Easter basket fillers for the grandkids there, and they have an endless supply of unique gift items.
That’s a wrap on some of my favorites, but this list truly could go on and on with everything our area has to offer! If you have opportunities to host in the upcoming months, I’d love to hear how you incorporate supporting our local businesses as well. I wish you all a wonderful spring and summer ahead, full of meaningful moments shared with family and friends, and many low-stress, rewarding, hosting experiences as well!