|
Maria and Jose Chaparro took over La Criolla Foods at its original location in the West Loop in 2016. (WTTW News)

When Avelino Maldonado started his spice distribution company in Chicago, the biggest waves of Latino immigrants had yet to arrive. Sixty-four years later, Latinos comprise nearly 30% of the city’s population, and La Criolla’s new owners hope to bring their Latin flavor to another generation of cooks.

|
Florin Deleanu powerline fishes at Montrose Harbor in Chicago on March 12, 2021. (WTTW News)

This time of year at Montrose Harbor, you’ll see people lining the lakefront with fire extinguishers — but they’re not putting out flames, they’re fishing. Powerlining is a unique fishing style with local roots.

|
The gospel group A4L. (WTTW News)

A group of young women are changing the narrative of gospel music — and who it’s for. We meet a band of sisters who are on a mission. 

,
|
Felt food snacks like a Chicago-style hot dog and deep-dish pizza are sold on the pop-up shop Chef’s Kiss Co. (Courtesy of Rebecca Skoch)

Craving a Chicago-style dog or a slice of deep dish? A new online pop-up serves artful representations of the city’s most popular eats — and these dishes double as holiday gifts and ornaments that won’t get your fingers greasy. 

|

A cobbler in his mid-80s inspires a shoe repair dynasty that spans three generations.

,
|
BandWith founder Anna Palomino, left, instructs 10-year-old Arviyanna Bell during a ukulele lesson at Marillac St. Vincent Family Services in East Garfield Park on Oct. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)
When her music education program was cut from a charter school in East Garfield Park, a local teacher refused to quit on the kids in this underserved community. We check out the nonprofit BandWith to learn more.
|
Firefighters battle the blaze inside Central Camera, a 121-year-old Chicago business, on May 30, 2020. (Courtesy Dominic Gwinn)

For a 121-year-old camera store in Chicago, everything changed on the night of May 30. How the third-generation owner of Central Camera is rebuilding the business after its destruction.

|
(WTTW News)

For more than 50 years, a family business in West Garfield Park has persevered in good times and bad. They run a record shop that sells music in many formats – and pretty much anything else that will sell.

|
(WTTW News)

Inside a 1907 tavern once owned by Schlitz that's being restored by new owners and heading for city landmark status.

|
Tyrell Jerry, a student at the Chicago High School for the Arts, performs at the first open mic held at a South Side community garden on Aug. 5, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

A community garden and farmers market in Auburn Gresham is now the venue of an open mic hosted for young Chicago artists. We go for a look to learn more.

|
(Courtesy of Matt Bergstrom)

Chicago artist Matt Bergstrom wants kids across the city to get to know the homes that make up their neighborhood blocks by building them with their own hands, one free printable model at a time. 

|
Pastor T. L Barrett sings as Dwayne Barrett, the drummer of his choir, adjusts his microphone at the pastor’s South Side Pentecostal church on Sunday, July 12, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Pastor T. L. Barrett wrote and recorded soul-infused gospel music in the 1970s with his youth choir. Forty years later, his music is reaching new generations — via some star-studded names.

,
|
Eco House’s Englewood farm site. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Eco House is planting the seeds for a homegrown flower industry on vacant lots in Englewood, Woodlawn and West Garfield Park. We learn about the mission behind this slow flowers movement.

|

When it comes to Midwest brewing, Chicago tends to get overshadowed by neighboring cities. The revival of a popular early Chicago beer aims to prove the sudsy beverage has always been a vital part of the city’s economic and social life.

|
Chicago musician Wyatt Waddell speaks with WTTW News via Zoom.

When local artists were asked by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office to sing their remake of a Chicago classic, musician Wyatt Waddell decided to recreate the song altogether. 

|
The Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln Avenue. (WTTW News)

It’s been a Chicago institution since it opened in 1957. Since then, the Old Town School of Folk Music has expanded its curriculum and, now, its online offerings. We stop by to see how it’s adapting to the changing times.