Illinois-only store opens in Carlinville

A store that specializes only in Illinois-made products operates in a former post office building on the historic downtown square of Carlinville, Ill., according to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Carlinville — and its square — had an alignment of Route 66 from 1926 to 1932.

It’s called Market on the Square, run by a husband-and-wife team of Nathan Payne and Aimee Arseneaux-Payne.

In a back room of the store, refrigerated cases hold the Paynes’ naturally grown green onions, Bibb lettuce, turnips and other vegetables, plus milk, cheese and eggs from Illinois farms.

The main room of the light-filled store holds goods from more than 90 Illinois producers. About 60 percent of the inventory is food; the rest is soaps, lotions, jewelry, pottery, textiles, fused glass, candles and other handmade items. […] The store carries beer and soda from Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Co. and beer from Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro.

He also noted potato chips from Rockford-based Mrs. Fisher’s, dry soup mixes from Frontier Soups in Waukegan, Chicago-based Mullen’s applesauce, Crestwood’s Anisi honey wafers and Springfield-based Onofrio’s marinara sauces.

“This is the only spaghetti sauce we use,” Payne said about the Sicilian-style red sauces created by Joe and Linda Jannazzo, owners of the Track Shack restaurant in Springfield.

The Paynes say they get the occasional Route 66 tourist visit their store, but most of their clients are locals.

Market on the Square has a Facebook page here.

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