Dustin & Mikaya Huggins of Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm & Produce In Sugar Grove Dustin and Mikaya Huggins operate Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm & Produce. The farm land itself is owned by Phil Nickels and has been in the family for over 100 years. He is a part of the Nickels Family that owns Troxel Ag, Inc in Maple Park.
Dustin and Mikaya live on the farm with their 3 and 4 year-old boys who are also actively involved in land preparations, planting and harvesting. “You will even find them with us during autumn operating hours, greeting and helping our guests,” Mikaya says. “It has been very important to us that they grow up as involved in the farm as possible.”
Autumn is the family’s favorite because it’s the season that farmers live for and hold their most cherished memories as business operators in getting to know members of their community. The family is proud they are small and simple and do not charge admission, parking or activity fees as a means to thank their guests for their support. Fall fun includes the witch hat ring toss, pumpkin bags, pumpkin tic-tac-toe and yardzee; as well as a corn maze, straw mound, and 56+ varieties of pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, straw bales, mums and local honey.
Kent and Joan Shodeen, Owners & Jesse Mercado, Hotel Manager of Herrington Inn & Spa In Geneva
Fall is the perfect time of year to sit in the Gazebo, enjoy al fresco dining with river views, or a day in the spa now that the kids are back in school. Herrington Inn & Spa, owned by Geneva homeowners, Kent and Joan Shodeen of Shodeen Inc. is a family-owned company specializing in residential and commercial real estate development in the Fox Valley region. Keeping it all in the family, Joan, an interior designer, helped create the look, feel and layout of The Herrington.
“The Herrington was built based on the vision and design of my parents. They have always enjoyed traveling, and felt a bed & breakfast, like those in Europe, would be a great fit along the banks of the River in Geneva,” says Anna Shodeen Harmon, daughter of Kent and Joan Shodeen. “The vision was to provide an upscale, yet comfortable, Inn.”
The Herrington is a community asset, and it shows in so many ways. A fun fact is that when the river floods, or threatens to flood, many different community members call and show up to lend a hand to help protect their community ‘gem’ on the river.
Mark and Patti Southern of Fishermen’s Inn In Elburn
Patti’s Great Aunt Anne and Uncle Ralph Schleifer owned Fishermen's Inn until Ralph's passing in 2005 when it subsequently went into a trust and closed in 2009. Since Patti and her husband Mark had grown up going to Fishermen's Inn, they felt a strong connection to the property and purchased it in 2012, re-opening it as a wedding venue. They were not new to business ownership as they already owned Encap, Inc. in DeKalb, IL and also have recently purchased a "sister venue" in Fort Atkinson, WI called RiverStone; but, Fishermen’s Inn was special – it was personal. “We are so honored when couples choose Fishermen’s Inn to share their special day and we take pride in helping make it the most memorable day of their lives!”
Patti loves changing the flowers for every season and watching the trees on the property turn beautiful reds, yellows and orange which she says make the most beautiful backdrop for wedding photos; and because Patti and Mark truly believe in community, they have also opened their Mill House Patio Bar on Thursday evenings through October. They offer a small plate menu, a variety of drinks and a live band while allowing guests to stroll through their beautiful gardens which hold the utmost pride.