Illinois is home to many culinary traditions, from deep-dish pizza in Chicagoland, horseshoes in Central Illinois to barbecue in Southern Illinois.

Illinois is also home to many other diverse culinary traditions, thanks to the influx of residents from all over the world who have made Illinois home.

Sergio De Los Santos opened Sergio’s Cantina in Geneva eight years ago with his wife, Lindsey.

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While same-sex marriage has been legal for less than a year, some wedding planning businesses in Illinois are already seeing an economic impact.

Crafty Broads, a full-service wedding planning business based in Chicago, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of same-sex weddings.

“A few years ago, around 5 percent of our weddings were same-sex couples – today, that number is probably 50 percent,” Cindy Savage said, co-owner of Crafty Broads. “It has really increased quite a bit.”

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Illinois has long been a leader in manufacturing operations, with chemical, auto and food production well established industries throughout its history. While traditional manufacturing as a whole has decreased in the United States, Illinois still maintains a diverse array of manufacturing operations.

Power Solutions International, based in Wood Dale, started as a diesel engine distributor but has since expanded into the alternative fuel market.

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When you think of vineyards, Illinois might not be the first place that comes to mind. Al and Jackie Becker started one of the first wineries in Central Illinois in the early 2000’s.

“We had a planting in 1998 that was our initial planting, and in 2000, we planted the main part of our vineyard. In 2002, we planted seedless table grapes. We grow three varieties of grapes here: we grow juice and jelly grapes, wine grapes and we also grow seedless table grapes for eating,” Al Becker said.

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