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Made in DeKalb County

There's no shortage of industrial ingenuity and creative entrepreneurs in DeKalb County, home of the iconic flying ear of corn and all the intellectual prowess of Northern Illinois University. This special project highlights just a few of them, past and present.

"Made in DeKalb County" tells the story of Jim Hancock, whose seasoning business started in November 2011 when he brought a special mix to a beer and pizza night. It tells the story of Auto Meter, which provides the official gauges of NASCAR and built the video recording system Discovery Channel used to film underwater a giant squid alive in the wild.

This special project tells the story of area wineries evolving with the local tourism industry, of disabled clients earning a wage with Opportunity House and of the diversity of packaged foods produced by The Suter Company.

Each company and entrepreneur has a unique narrative — some elicited help from family and friends, while others employ dozens or hundreds of people. How did they do it, and why? What do they plan to do next?

VIDEO: Let them tell you their story.

Area

Wineries

Produces wine

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AcquavivaWinery.jpg

Auto Meter

Products Inc.

Design high speed sports instruments

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AutoMeterProducts.jpg

Basetcases

Unlimited

Creates quilty and teaches sewing, quilting and basket-making

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BasketcasesUnlimited.jpg

Hall Associates

Flying Effects

Provides equipment and expertise for flying effects

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HallAssociatesFlyingEffects.jpg

Monsanto

Corporation

Distributes corn

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Monsanto.jpg

Northern Illinois

University

Research reaches beyond campus

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NorthernIllinoisUniversity.jpg

Opportunity

House

Provides care and assistance for the disabled

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OpportunityHouse.jpg

Seymour of

Sycamore

Produces aerosol paint

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Seymour.jpg

Twisted Taste

Seasonings

Produces smoked seasonings

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TwistedTaste.jpg

The Suter

Company

Produces prepared food products

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TheSuterCompany.jpg