Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Anderson Japanese Gardens featured in state travel magazine

MainFraiM, Rockford Roasting Company also honored

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Anderson Japanese Gardens will appear on the cover of the next Travel Illinois magazine, be highlighted in a feature story in conjunction with its 40-year anniversary and listed as one the Midwest’s top destinations.

Published by Illinois Office of Tourism, Travel Illinois’ latest cover photo depicts garden visitors practicing yoga amid the garden’s lush trees and foliage.

“The new Travel Illinois magazine combines rich content and stunning photography to highlight the amazing destinations and attractions across Illinois, inspiring travel to the state,” Illinois Office of Tourism Director Cory Jobe said.

The office has also honored two Rockford businesses. MainFraiM – Habitat for Art and Rockford Roasting Company have been named Illinois Made Makers and will be featured in a series of in-depth editorial videos, exclusive web content and social media posts. Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO John Groh said the campaign will position the Rockford region as a destination throughout the upcoming spring and summer travel season.

“We are extremely grateful that the Illinois Office of Tourism is shining a spotlight on our local partners and our community,” Groh said “I’m constantly inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of our makers and attraction leaders who work so hard and help ensure our region is a fun and vibrant place to live, work and play. The hard work certainly pays off when we get to see our destination featured in branded marketing materials and programs promoted by the state.”

Also promoted in the Anderson feature are Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens and its 85-year-old rose garden, Rockford Art Museum and Burpee Museum.

“It’s such an honor that Anderson Japanese Gardens is recognized as a ‘must see’ destination by the Illinois Office of Tourism,” David Anderson, whose father built the gardens in 1978. “Forty years ago, my father set out to create a Japanese-inspired garden at his home. Now, four decades later, Anderson Japanese Gardens is recognized as one of the highest-quality public Japanese gardens outside of Japan.”

Anderson added that the garden is an oasis in Rockford, one he will continue to grow to make the region more vibrant and culturally rich.

MainFraiM – Habitat for Art pays homage to the city’s heritage and manufacturing past by using salvaged and repurposed materials like unearthed bottles and reclaimed wood and relics to provide custom framing, lighting, sculptures and built-in displays. The business is owned by Jeremy Klonicki and Carmen Turner.

Rockford Roasting Company has become a staple downtown since it refurbished the former Serrano’s Mexican Kitchen building at 206 N. Main St. in 2014.  Owned by Ben Chauvin and Lucretia Ristin, the specialty coffee house offers a complete menu of espresso-based beverages, cocoas, gourmet teas and other specialty drinks. Whole beans are roasted on site and available for purchase, along with locally produced chocolates, pastries and gourmet sandwiches and salads.

Rockford Roasting has been recognized nationally as one of Food Network Star Alton Brown’s top eight coffee shops in the United States.

“We know today’s travelers crave authentic experiences they can’t find anywhere else and that is what Illinois Made is all about,” Jobe added. “This latest group of artisans, creators and small businesses will only add to the success of Illinois Made and will continue driving tourism to our state.” R.

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