Copper Barrel on State
The area’s hottest new eatery is calling downtown Hampshire its home. The Copper Barrel on state offers an upscale vibe, a friendly atmosphere and a carefully curated menu that offers traditional American cuisine with a number of smokehouse specialties. The tantalizing signature lunch and dinner menus, full-service bar and fun community-focused event nights have kept the tables full and the customers coming back for more since opening in the fall of 2018.
Owners Kristie Perez and Michelle Bunkowske have a long history with the Village and the restaurant business. The pair met nearly 20 years ago when they both worked as bartenders at the Red Ox. They formed a friendship and talked about one day opening a restaurant together. Kristie and her husband, Aaron, own and operate the Lodge in Wasco. She said they were planning to open another restaurant and had been looking in Hampshire when she decided to team up with Michelle and open the Copper Barrel.
“We knew we wanted to be in Hampshire. We have developed so many close relationships and friendships here. Hampshire has so many loyal customers,” Michelle said.
The restaurant was designed by the owners, along with Michelle’s long-time partner, Randy Stevenson of Embassy Construction. The décor incorporates barrel art, historic photos of the village and trendy architecture that includes a glass garage door that opens to allow for al fresco dining in the summer months. The owners credit Randy and Embassy Construction for making their design dreams and plans into reality.
The Copper Barrel offers something for everyone. The restaurant caters to the lunch crowd and welcomes those who want to stop off for a drink after work. They are also the place to go for date nights, family nights and for adults who are looking for a fun place to hang out with friends after 9:00pm.
The menu offers an array of selections with appetizers starting at just $6 for a plate of savory smoked bacon wrapped asparagus. They offer delicious tacos featuring fish, shrimp, chicken or mouth-watering brisket; sandwiches and salads with both unique and time-honored flavor profiles, and signature entrees that include locally sourced, hand-cut ribeye, batter-fried walleye and lip-smacking, come-back-for-more lobster ravioli. One of the most popular items on the menu is the Friday night fish fry.
The staff at the Copper Barrel smoke their own meats on site daily and offer mouth-watering select smokehouse specialties like ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and salmon. Kristie’s dad, Andy Stover, brought his years of experience smoking meats to the restaurant and trained the staff at Copper Barrel in the art of smoking meat. They are also focused on using locally-sourced meat and produce whenever possible. They offer meats, cheeses and sausages from Dreymiller & Kray of Hampshire, some of their sauces come from Uncle Dougie’s in Union and desserts are provided by Prairieview Farmer’s Market and Distinctive Catering by Debi of Genoa. Fresh produce for the restaurant comes courtesy of Chris Toufexis of Elgin Produce.
Not only do patrons enjoy a great meal at a fair price, they also have a lot of fun. The owners feature event nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Interactive games like themed-trivia with teams, paint parties and music bingo get the crowd involved. They offer live music, DJs and karaoke and are always up for suggestions.
Copper Barrel on State is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 1:00 am, Sunday, 11:00am to 11:00pm and is closed on Mondays.
About this Business:
Name: Copper Barrel on State
Owners: Michelle Bunkowske and Kristie Perez
Location: 172 S. State, Hampshire
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00am, Sunday from 11am to 11pm, Closed Mondays
Phone: (224) 218-1300
Shop Local at Hampshire Pharmacy: Serving the Village since 2011
By Jeanie Mayer
When it comes to serving the health needs of their customers, the owners and staff of Hampshire Pharmacy are always there with a smile and a helping hand. Owners Rupal and Parag Maniar offer full pharmacy services, plus medical supplies and drugstore items to their Hampshire customers.
The pharmacy was first opened in 2011 and was located along Oak Knoll Drive. In 2014, the pharmacy was moved to its current location on the north end of the downtown.
Rupal said both she and Parag had spent their most of their careers as pharmacists working in large retail chains. When they decided to open their own independent pharmacy, Hampshire seemed like a perfect fit.
“I like the small town. It’s great. You know everybody’s name and what they are here for. You can relate to them. You get to hear about their grandchildren. Here, our customers become like our family members,” Rupal said.
Customers enjoy the local pharmacy for the personal attention they receive at the store.
“Our customers like our service. We take time to help them with questions and concerns. We check to see if we have coupons to bring down the price,” Rupal said.
While large chains offer RX saver cards and membership discounts, Hampshire Pharmacy offers discounts without membership fees.
“Anybody that does not have insurance, we give a discounted price,” Rupal said.
The pharmacy offers a delivery service for those customers who are unable to get out of their homes. They also strive to make it easier for patients and caregivers who must manage multiple prescriptions. Through the use of their pill packaging service, customers can rest assured that an entire month of medications is pre-packaged and organized day by day.
“Many people are taking care of their parents and it is hard for them to keep track of all the medications. It is a great thing for both seniors and caregivers to have each day’s prescriptions prepared.”
Rupal said they try to be responsive to the products people are interested in purchasing. From specialty soaps to essential oils to CBD products that treat everything from pain to pets, Hampshire Pharmacy strives to meet the demand of local residents.
Rupal said Parag spent a year researching CBD products to find the highest quality brands to offer to their customers. They now offer a full line of products and even sell wholesale to other independent pharmacies.
Rupal said she is looking into offering more organic products for her Hampshire customers.
“We are always looking for suggestions if people want us to bring different things into the store. I don’t want to sell the same things other stores sell. I’d like to offer specialty products that people can’t find elsewhere.”
About This Business
Name: Hampshire Pharmacy
Owners: Parag and Rupal Maniar
Address: 260 N. State Street
Phone: (847) 683-2244
Hours: Monday – Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm. Closed Sunday
James Motors Makes Car Buying Easy
By Jeanie Mayer
When you walk in to James Motors, you’re greeted with a friendly hello and a smile. The dealership may have a new name, but when you enter the showroom and service station, you will find many of the same friendly faces that have been working at the facility for many years. Known as the King of Savings, James Motors offers both new and pre-owned vehicles, an expanded service center and longtime staff, some of whom have been serving customers in Hampshire for over 20 years.
Sales Managers Rusty Mulvaney, who worked for over 20 years with John Fenzel, and Steve Stanley who has been at that location for six years, are still on staff offering the same customer-focused service and knowledge that residents have relied on for many years.
Evidence of the dealership is everywhere in the village. Enter the downtown from the north and travelers are treated to a rainbow of new Dodge Challengers, Dodge Chargers and other new models poised for sale. A bit further into town and potential buyers can catch a glimpse of shining new Ram trucks awaiting a test drive. At the corner of Rinn Avenue and East Street, buyers will find the Wrangler lot, brimming with brand new Jeeps for sale. These, plus a showroom of 30 new vehicles, are among the offerings you’ll find at James Motors.
Vito Losacco is the General Manager of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, & Ram dealership that was purchased from John Fenzel in January of 2018. This is the 76th year that a dealership has occupied the space at 206 S. State Street. The staff is pleased to report that their relationship with the former owner continues to be great. In fact, John Fenzel still comes in a couple times a week and has coffee with the service customers.
Owner James Reveliotis chose to purchase this dealership because the small town feeling of Hampshire reminded him of the Monee location where his Mitsubishi dealership is located. Despite the small-town size of Monee, Reveliotis built up the dealership to be number one in the Midwest. Both the owner and the staff are committed to the town of Hampshire and to growing with this community.
“What we like best is the people. Hampshire is a good Midwestern town. Everybody waives to us. They beep when they drive by. I can’t believe how friendly everyone is,” Vito said.
What sets James Motors apart from other dealers is their commitment to the customer and the ease of doing business with the team. James’ staff of 25 professionals ensures that customers know who they are working with and can build a relationship of trust.
Customers have responded favorably to the atmosphere because it is unlike any other showroom with its brick walls and open ceilings. Since opening in January of 2018, the dealership has expanded its vehicular offerings by close to 300 percent, has five mechanics on staff to service vehicles and has expanded the hours of both sales and service to better meet the needs of customers.
During these times when every dealer can get the same price for tis customers, the staff at James Motors believes the difference is one hundred percent all about customer service. “This is a small town and we take care of you.”
Name of Business: James Motors
Address: 206 S. State, Hampshire
Owner: Jim Reveliotis
General Manager: Vito Losacco
Motto: The King of Savings
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Closed Sunday.
Dreymiller and Kray: Handcrafting Smoked Meats Since 1929
By Jeanie Mayer
Hidden in plain sight along State Street is a storefront so humble, it is hard to imagine the bounty that lies within. Dreymiller and Kray is a specialty butcher shop that is a destination location for customers who travel from Chicago, Rockford, and many of the states that surround Illinois, for the premium bacon, smoked meats and artisanal sausage products they craft on site.
In our fast-paced, pre-cooked, microwave bacon world, it is hard to imagine the craftsmanship that goes into smoking meats over hickory and applewood logs, grinding small batches of whole spices into special blends that flavor brats and sausages or savoring every bite of high-quality artisanal meats.
Bacon Man, Ed Reiser, would like to make more people aware of this artistry.
Stepping into his shop is a sensory experience. The first thing you notice is the aroma of the smoke house that runs daily in the back of the shop. The savory hickory and applewood scents, combined with the heady aroma of sausage and bacon, stimulate the palate as the eyes feast on the varieties artisanal meats in the cases.
Dreymiller and Kray has occupied that simple storefront since first opening in 1929, and Reiser, who grew up in the Village, has been the owner since 1987. His history with the shop goes back much further to his childhood, learning to tie up sausage links at age 13 and formulating his own beef jerky recipes by the time he was 16. Reiser said he has an innate way of formulating his spices and he formulates all his own at the shop.
The Bacon Man crafts his artisanal meats in small batches to ensure the highest quality and flavor. He says the craft draws him year after year as he continues to learn and grow. He has built relationships with industry experts who share their insights and he uses that knowledge to keep improving his products.
Reiser incorporates a lot of modern science into his old-world processes to ensure that the safest, highest quality meats are sold in his store. Reiser utilizes a pH meter, a water activity meter and a thermo calibration meter to ensure he meets or exceeds food safety standards. He recalibrates his thermometers each day because sanitation, production and making a satisfying, safe product are his top priorities. Reiser keeps meticulous records on his formulations and processes so he can ensure that his products taste the same every time a customer purchases them.
Dreymiller and Kray offers seasonal favorites that include 5 different bacon varieties like mouth-watering hickory, applewood, and unique Matilda Beer Bacon which complements the amber ale of that same name; 5 different brat types; a dozen sausage blends as well as artisanal ham, turkey, duck and goose.
To anyone not sure of what to buy on that first trip into his store, Reiser says, “Just come in!” He and longtime employee, Keith Bloedorn, are happy to help new customers find the perfect flavor profile for a special dinner, an appetizer or even the weekday lunch.
“The world is too fast today. We are right downtown. Just come in and look around. We all have to eat. Take a little time to enjoy the food-savor the aroma. Take that moment to appreciate excellent meats!” Bacon Man advises.
About this Business:
Name: Dreymiller and Kray
Owner: Ed Reiser
Location: 140 South State
Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 8am to 5pm, Saturday: 8am to 2pm, Closed Sunday and Monday
Specialties: Smoked bacon, beef, pork, lamb and sausage
March Industries Puts Priority on Customer Service
By Jeanie Mayer
Tucked away on Arrowhead Drive near the I-90 interchange is March Industries, a national supplier of innovative maintenance and industrial products that includes three main branches of business: Ooga Lights, which offers party lights, wedding and event lighting and accessories; the Floor Mat Shop which specializes in custom logo-designed floor mats and safety mats for your business; and Uno Clean, which offers floor cleaning machines and janitorial supplies.
Owners Joe and Chris Marchewka are 20 -year residents of the Village of Hampshire and have raised two daughters here. The eldest graduated from Hampshire High when it was still a part of the Middle School building on State Street. Their younger daughter graduated in 2019 and was part of the first class to attend the new Gary D. Wright elementary school on Big Timber Road. Both daughters are currently involved in the business.
The Marchewka’s have seen many changes over the years and have witnessed the growth of the village.
“We are located near the truck stops and the expansion there has been tremendous,” Chris said.
March Industries has expanded over the years as well. The company began in 1992 when the couple decided to leave their current jobs- Joe worked as a maintenance supervisor engineer at an apartment complex and Chris was a medical records clerk, to sell maintenance equipment full time. They began out of their garage with Chris running the office and Joe heading up the sales team. The company grew and they began renting more space for their products until they bought a building in Elgin. With the boom in online business, the couple added a website and started selling their lighting supplies online and the business flourished. Five years ago, they bought their building in Hampshire.
Chris said that while the company offers online products, they are focused on customer service and keep regular office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. so they can be available to assist their customers.
“We try to do hands-on service. We talk to our customers on the phone when there are problems or questions. We pride ourselves on customer service,” Chris said.
The owners believe that credit for their success belongs to their team of employees who see to the daily operations and provide exceptional service to their customers. Their current team, shown in the group photo, consists of Abby Barringer, Kate Mucci, Liz Juarez and Luis Martinez. Three staffers not shown in the photo are Erik Bohrnell, Sydney Marchewka and Rex Hoppe.
“Our employees are the ones who we give the credit to. They make everything happen,” Joe said.
Chris said bringing the business to Hampshire has been a positive experience. They are involved with the community having worked with the Village and the Coon Creek Country Days committee to provide the outdoor lighting for the annual festival for the past three years.
“I love the small-town feel of Hampshire. When we were in Elgin, we were just another building. But here we have a hometown feel. The people, everybody is great. From the time we got the building, working with the Village has been so easy,” Chris said.
The company serves industrial and hotel clientele as well as individual customers. With over 70,000 industrial maintenance products, plus lighting units, floor matting options and floor cleaning machines, customers will be able to find what they need when they need it. As a benefit to their local customers, Hampshire residents can order online and pick up their lights directly from the warehouse to save on the cost of shipping.
About This Business:
Name: March Industries
Owners: Joe and Chris Marchewka
Location: 150 Arrowhead Drive, Hampshire
Phone: (224) 654-6500
It’s a Dog’s Life at Hampshire Pet Resort & Spa
By Jeanie Mayer
The local hot spot for happy hounds in the Village can be found at 225 Industrial Drive. A little off the beaten track but still close to downtown, the Hampshire Pet Resort & Spa is a doggie day care offers a fun, safe environment for four-legged friends to run, play and socialize while the family is at work, school or out of town for a few days.
Owner Rob Wyka and his wife, Beverly, had seen the need for a fun, safe place for dogs to burn off energy during the day when they adopted their first dog, Charlie, a Catahoula, Border Collie mix, who was too high energy for the small condo in which they lived. Rob said he connected with a trainer who told him his dog needed a job, an outlet for his energy, that would leave him tired and happy at the end of the day. The pair discovered AWI – a competitive disc dog format where high-energy dogs and their owners can play frisbee for points.
“The activity was great for Charlie, but finding safe places for him and our 3 other dogs to run was always a challenge,”
A few years later, when Rob, a former outside sales representative, took a management position that tied him to a desk, the timing seemed perfect for a change. Rob began looking for the ideal location to open a doggie day camp for dogs to safely run and play and has been pleased to be a part of the Village of Hampshire since August of 2016.
“The whole community has helped us get on our feet. Our first two customers where the Mayor and the Village Clerk,” Rob said.
At the Pet Resort, dogs are sorted by size, speed and temperament so that all the pets have the chance to run and play in a safe environment. Dogs are also able to board at the resort. There they are able to catch some zzz’s in one of the various sized suites located in themed rooms aptly named The Cabin and The Beach House because of their fun decor.
“The more I looked around, the more I realized Hampshire was the best fit for us. There are no other doggie daycare places west of us. I like it that we are tucked away, but still so close to downtown,” Rob said.
In addition to the day camp, the Hampshire Pet Resort & Spa offers overnight boarding with discounts for multiple dogs, eight-week training classes for both puppies and older dogs, and a do-it-yourself dog wash that provides a professional wash station, a bevy of shampoos and a specialized blow dryer designed for K-9s. Plus, the staff cleans up the mess, so clients can feel free to leave when they finish. For owners who don’t want to wash their own pups, Rob provides a basic wash, dry and nail trim at a very reasonable rate.
“There is another groomer in town for the fancy haircuts and services. Most of our clients are farm dogs and family pets that have gotten dusty or muddy. They want a clean dog and the nails trimmed,” Rob said.
Rob said he loves the community of Hampshire, from the new businesses and improvements that are happening downtown to the small-town feeling where everyone knows everyone.
“Every client that has come through our door has been through word of mouth. The community is so tight-knit. It’s a positive,” he said.
More than anything, Rob said his clients love knowing that their dog isn’t just sitting in a kennel all day. They are being socialized and having fun with other dogs and the employees at the spa.
“People like that when they pick up their dogs, they are tired and happy. A tired dog is a good dog,” he said.
About This Business:
Name: Hampshire Pet Resort & Spa
Address: 225 Industrial Drive, Hampshire
Motto: A tired dog is a good dog!
Run… Romp… Wag!!!
Daily Rate: $30
5-Day Rate: $125 for a 5-day pass that’s good for 12 months and does not need to be used on consecutive days.
Boarding: $50/day with discounts for multiple dogs.
Do-It-Yourself Bath: $10 per pup
Grooming: Bath & Nails $25, Nails only $10, Bath only $30
Hampshire Cleaners: An American Dream Come True
The pages of our history books are filled with the tales of people who came to the United States for a better life, greater opportunity and a chance to achieve the American dream. Alfred and Nereida Miranda, owners of Hampshire Cleaners, are among those success stories.
The couple left their home in Guerrero, Mexico, a rural community near Acapulco, where they worked as teachers, to start a new life in America in the late 1980’s. Nereida’s parents and siblings already lived in California and worked in the fields, picking soybeans to make ends meet.
At first, Nereida planned to join her family in California, but one of her cousins encouraged her to move to the Chicago area where she could use her education and earn a better living for herself and her family. The Miranda’s settled in Elgin but would drive out to the country often to visit the town of Hampshire.
“When I first came to Hampshire, it was a little village. I am not a city girl, so I felt at home in Hampshire,” she said.
Nereida began her business career in the United States by opening a coin laundromat and drop-off dry cleaning service in Elgin. During that time, Nereida’s cousin, Maria Nava, owned the 4 Seasons dry cleaning shop in Hampshire, which was located along Illinois Route 72 next door to Rosati’s. Maria later built Hampshire Cleaners in its current location, and in 2004, the Miranda’s bought the business from their cousin and have been operating it ever since.
“My cousin was a good businesswoman. She taught me a lot. She made my dream come true,” Nereida said.
Nereida and Alfred have three grown children: a son, and two daughters, whom they raised in their home in Elgin. The couple has 7 grandchildren, two of whom are teenagers that help out in the store part time.
Hampshire Cleaners offers same day service, professional tailoring, wedding and bride’s maid dress alterations, leather and pillow cleaning, drapery alterations and pressing services.
Nereida said she has enjoyed being a part of the Hampshire business community and is grateful for the support and friendship she has received from the people of Hampshire. Despite ups and downs in the economy, her loyal customers have continued to show their appreciation for her business.
Nereida recalls the story of several customers who came in with coupons for a big sale she was having on the cleaning of comforters. She said that when she rang up the sale price for the cleaning, her customers insisted on paying full price telling her that her work is worth full price.
“My customers take such good care of me,” she said.
Nereida said the village board of trustees have also made her feel very welcome and valued in the village.
“The people from the village board come in and talk to us about improvements in the town. It makes us feel important,” she said.
About This Business:
Name: Hampshire Cleaners
Owners: Nereida & Alfred Miranda
Location: 105 W. Oak Knoll Drive
Hours: Monday through Friday- 7am to 7pm, Saturday- 8am to 5pm, Sunday-Closed