Helado: a scoop of Buenos Aires’ ice cream scene

By Hailey Samples & Sidra Dahhan Medill Reports BUENOS AIRES — When the summer heat strikes Buenos Aires, locals find a cool reprieve in helado – Argentine ice cream. The silky, sweet treat is sold all around the city, one of the ice cream capitals of the world. Generations away from its Italian roots, the local […]

Supply chain pickles: An underestimated anomaly of a commodity

By Mollie Rotmensch Medill Reports Shortly after married duo Lindsay Malinowski and Bradley Treusdell bought their home in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, they gutted out the first floor and embarked on a two-year renovation. They remodeled the space into their first restaurant, The Little Pickle, which opened in 2017. The menu included soups, sandwiches, and […]

Q&A: Roseland schoolteacher aims to revitalize her neighborhood one book at a time

By Elisa Xu Medill Reports Iesha Malone, a teacher at Chicane Collegiate Middle School in Roseland, decided to open her bookstore Rose Café to help fill the book desert in Roseland — the Far South Side neighborhood where she was born and raised. She operates as an online bookseller, also hosting pop-up events in the […]

Filipina-owned clothing brand invests in Chicago communities

By Elisa Xu Medill Reports Megan Banias, a 30-year-old from Chicago’s Brickyard/Belmont Cragin neighborhood, started her online clothing company, Chicago for Keeps, during the summer of 2020. The racial reckoning that began that summer — sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor,  Ahmaud Arbery and others in encounters with police — made her […]

Chicago tea company founder highlights stories of tea farmers

By Elisa Xu Medill Reports Annie Xiang makes her online Chicago-based tea business about more than selling single-origin loose-leaf tea to customers. It’s about amplifying the stories of the Chinese farmers who cultivate tea and humanizing them in the process. “It meshes my (passions for) community building and cultivating empathy really well,” Xiang said. “I […]

Live from Chicago, it’s the return of comedy clubs

By MacKenzie Coffman Medill Reports Comedic relief was in high demand as we slipped into the pandemic almost two years ago. More than ever, we needed to feel unrestrained laughter — the kind that makes you wipe away stray tears and clutch your stomach as your abs strain. Instead of seeing live standup or improv, […]

Surviving in a digital-first world: The unexpected tenacity of analog games

By MacKenzie Coffman Medill Reports What do you think of when you imagine analog games? Maybe it’s Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons or just a deck of cards. Our schema for each of these games may vary vastly; tabletop games can be family fun or a highly competitive livelihood for professionals.  No matter what your game […]

The other lender of last resort

Pawn Shop Storefront

By Alyk Russell Kenlan Medill Reports COVID-19 has caused a role reversal in pawnshop borrowers. During the first four weeks of Illinois’ stay-at-home order, some pawnshops in lower-income areas of Chicago saw fewer new loans taken out and old loans being paid back early. Pawnshops in wealthier parts of the city, however, faced a rush […]

High Illinois taxes drive out business

By Jackson Elliott Medill Reports Scott Schnurr wanted to buy a fully equipped 30,100 square-foot building in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, but high property taxes convinced him to look for real estate elsewhere. The building had stood empty for two years. If not for the taxes, it could have housed a hundred jobs for […]

All-Star Weekend brings together star professionals from finance, law to support diversity

By Roderick Diamond II Medill Reports In addition to the big name athletes and  celebrities, All-Star Weekend brought Chicago high-profile African American professionals from the business end of sports, finance and other fields to a Friday brunch and panel. The event, “A Conversation on the Convergence of Black Athletes, Advisors and Sports Professionals,” brought together […]