The People of Peoria Podcast

The People of Peoria Podcast

The People of Peoria Podcast is a local show that exists to introduce you to the people and places that shape the culture of the Peoria, Illinois area the most. Join us Host Jeff Himstedt, co-host Reagan Leslie and producer Tyler Frazee, as we learn the stories behind the places we all know and love, grab coffee (or a beer) with the people who are making a difference in the community, and discover things about Peoria we never knew! Got ideas for the show or businesses, people, and organizations that should be featured? Send us an email at


February 1, 2023 63 min

The gang took the short hop across the river and sat down with Tate of Jonah’s Seafood House. Talked about everything from the epitome of “family business”, the proper way to eat an oyster, and how hospitality has and will always be about the people. If you're hungry, pull up a seat and join us for another episode!

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We sat down with the person who is all about "No Scraps Left Behind" with Aareon of Twistedaways! A different form of art that Twistedaways has to offer. Aareon gives us the inside of how and why he started Twistedaways. 

Instagram @twistedaways

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January 18, 2023 64 min

We had an great time talking ART in a BIG way with Mae Gilliland Wright of Big Picture Initiative, Peoria's 501(c)(3) organization centered around using art and creative experiences to bring about social and economic change. Join us as we talk augmented reality, and how even the most serious science enthusiasts are, in fact, artists in their own right. 
Always a good time when we're talking beautifying the city we all know a...

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January 11, 2023 60 min

Karen Lewis decided to switch up the restaurant industry with an exciting event center. Although you can walk in and get pizza any day of the week they will have special events with local chefs, music, and drinks. It's such a unique and interesting business. We are excited to share with you guys. Be sure to check out The Table with the links below.

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January 4, 2023 39 min

Its been a fun ride so far everyone! In just a few months we have learned so much about this podcasting thing and the networking has been awesome! We invited Bre back to talk more about her business Real Smooth Foods. We answer some Q&A questions  and talk about the future of the air balloon? 

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December 28, 2022 39 min

Mike Little (Owner and Founder of Sexy Little Eatery) KNOWS southern food and KNOWS how to take care of his customers. His block building at 1112 W Pioneer Parkway is filled with love and amazing food. Buffet Style, Dine in, or Catering. Mike and his crew will leave you full and wanting more next week! Check them out on Facebook!

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December 21, 2022 57 min

The history of this unassuming building at 502 Main Street Peoria IL dates back to 1920 when the theater was built!
It was originally a movie theater then hosted live music including Linkin Park and The Smashing Pumpkins until 2003 when the doors were closed. 
The new owners are on a mission to bring 502 back to its original glory! 
Social Media


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December 14, 2022 62 min

Bre tells us that greens are healthy and almond milk indeed comes from almonds. 
Her healthy take on smoothies has transformed into the Owner of Real Smooth Foods located in Junction City.

Instagram: @realsmoothfoods 
Facebook: Real Smooth Foods 

Take a listen and let us know what you think!

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We chatted with Brad Motteler the owner of Blank Slate Painting Co. 

We learned how painting 20 ft murals in his college house evolved to becoming Peoria's #1 premiere painting company! 

Along side Brad is Allison the one who keeps the squeaky wheels greased and the wolves at bay! 

Its always exciting to hear people talk about their passions and this episode was no exception! 

find them on social @blankslatepatiningco mention u...

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November 30, 2022 65 min

This week we visited Mike Chasteen Jr a local dirt track driver! This episode is not about a bunch of "left turns" trust us.  Mike talks about the business and marketing side of the sport the doesn't often get talked about.  If you know nothing about dirt track racing trust me Reagan (Co-Host) does not either but after this she was very intrigued.  Be sure to check out his social media posted below! 

Instagram: @mcha...

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November 23, 2022 50 min

Jon set us up in the Northwoods Church studio and we got to chat about religion, where Northwoods started, dog poop, and the extraordinary christmas program they have every year.

Thanks to our sponsor @309Cultures Be sure to check out his instagram for more information on his event December 3rd.

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November 16, 2022 50 min

We sat down and talked with Santa Bill this week. What he does for the children at OSF and Methodist is absoulutley incredible. But he can't do this on his own. Please find his Facebook: @Santabillshospitalhelpers to learn how you can contribute to spreading a little joy!

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November 9, 2022 64 min

Michael Vandy (Owner Of Waters Edge Winery) sits down with the crew to talk about the successes and struggles of his winery in the heights. Getting through covid, overcoming brain tumors , and the worries of the upcoming winter months or just few things that make this interview exiting!

Mike also offer domestic beers for those of us that are sticking to our younger days and refuse to "expand our pallet"!

Be sure to find him ...

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November 6, 2022 75 min

This week we visited Charlie Johnson at CJ Signs and dove into all the extraordinary items he makes. Window Tint, Vehicle Wraps, Signage, Business Cards and many many more. He has established an incredible business starting from the ground up. 

Find him on Social Media: @cjsigns

Big thanks to Rambler-Peoria and Whiskey City Images for sponsoring this episode! 

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It was a great talk with Jon the passionate man behind 309 cultures. 

Joe is grinding hard to achieve his kraut goals and is making a great name for his self! 

It was a topic we didn't know a ton about so this was a very interesting to learn the process of what he does and where he is heading! 

check him out on insta @309cultures 

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October 29, 2022 60 min

We had a great time talking with Tim Anders the founder of ElectroBrew a hydrating coffee. His background in farming, dancing, landscaping somehow ended up with him making one awesome brew!

Check out ElectroBrew on:
Instagram @ecectrobrew 

thank you to Bellevue tap for sponsoring this episode! 
GOOD FOOD.... COLD BEEER and amazing Korean bbq wings.. get traditional..not boneless..grow up! 

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I wish there were the perfect words to put here in the description for this one, but there simply aren't. More than anything, Alex and I (Austin) just want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who supported this project over the years. As life has changed, it has made it more difficult for us to focus on this podcast we love so dearly.

In today's episode, we're reminiscing on the conversations we've been able to hav...

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Today we have a highly requested episode we get to share with you! The experiences we get to have and the people we get to meet is always the best part of doing this podcast. And this episode is no different. We got to hangout for an evening with Jodie & Cliff Vieira, Founders of Crafted DIY Studio & Bar in the Warehouse District.

In this casual episode, they share what it was like to open Crafted 2 WEEKS before the shutdown...

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Getting to meet the people who make up our community is the BEST part of doing this podcast! For Episode 17, we had such a fun and casual conversation with Jeff Himstedt, Owner of J.Him Woodworking, recorded live from his shop. HUGE thanks to Bearded Owl for the brews and Peacocks Pub for the pizza and wings.

Jeff is an incredible craftsman. In this episode, he shares his journey from growing up on his family's farm to entering ...

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Now that we're at Episode 16, it's about time we share our first outdoor episode with you! And here it is! This week, we had the incredible opportunity to meet Jan Powers, tour Stone Well Gardens, and enjoy a couple glasses of wine. Jan has written a column in the Journal Star for over 10 years, is a garden writer, an artist, author of multiple books, and the host of the annual Market on Moss. She also has recently walked t...

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