The scoop on how local businesses spice up Bloomington-Normal


Hannah Sparrow

Main Street Scoop is located in downtown Bloomington, serving freshly made ice cream to smiling customers year round.

Hannah Sparrow, Staff Reporter

Central Illinois’ love for all things new can continue with the opening of new businesses in Bloomington-Normal; Main Street Scoop and Bloomington Spice Works made their place in the heart of Illinois this past spring. 

Sister cities, Bloomington and Normal are known for their many restaurants. According to Nielsen data, Bloomington-Normal is home to the most restaurants per capita in the United States and has the third highest restaurant growth index in Illinois, only behind Chicago and Springfield. 

Alongside the overwhelming number of chain restaurants and large corporations, local businesses are to thank for the thriving food industry in Bloomington-Normal. 

Main Street Scoop, located on 403 N. Main St. in Bloomington, IL. opened in May 2019. This ice cream shop offers 11 flavors made in-store daily. 

Main Street Scoop employee, Emily Scott said, “The mission of our shop is to serve delicious treats all while trying to save the planet.” 

Patrons can find four vegan options at Main Street Scoop and all will be served in a biodegradable cup or a homemade cone. 

“Producing minimal waste is something we take pride in,” said Scott, “Our hope is to be promoting a greener life to all our customers.”

Ruben Granados’ love for all things cooking lead him to discover his love for spices. 

In April 2019 Bloomington Spice Works opened on 507 N. Center St., in downtown Bloomington.

Bloomington Spice Works
Granados proudly displays his spices in jars behind the front counter. Bloomington Spice Works is home to over 200 fresh spices.

Granados offers nearly 200 spices, ranging from common table salt to madagascar vanilla. 

“I pride myself in being able to say that all of our spices are ground in store,” said Granados

Granados and his husband, Don Mock, are pleased with the response they’ve received from their customers. “We didn’t know how the people of Bloomington-Normal would react to our store,” said Mock. “However, we have received nothing but support and our Facebook crowd is amazing.”

“We have also been lucky enough to partner with other local businesses around town such as Epiphany Farms,” said Granados. 

Both Granados and Mock plans to “spice” up their shop with new house made blends this fall.