Recipes From Our Village Staff Soup Cook-Off

Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff wemakeavillage

Last week at Village Home Stores we held our second annual Staff Soup Cook-Off and almost immediately when we started posting photos from it to our social media we had messages coming in with requests for recipes. We had many entries this year and once again, each was different from the next! It was pretty much the best work potluck on a snowy February day EVER!

Great soups this year for the Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff #villagehomestores #wemakeavillage | villagehomestores.com

Before we get to all of the delicious recipes we have to of course give a proper shoutout to this year’s winner of the coveted “Golden Ladle” ::: drumroll ::: congratulations to MaryBeth Farber for her winning Baked Potato Soup!!! Of course she was very excited to beat last year’s winner Gregg Swanson (he looks thrilled doesn’t he).

The winner of the Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff was MaryBeth. She was beyond thrilled to steal the title from her brother in law Gregg who won last year.

The winning recipe was MaryBeth’s Baked Potato Soup! She also staged up her serving station with decorations and had a whole buffet of toppings for the soup. If you are looking to find a delicious winter soup to feed the masses this is your new favorite!

The winner of the Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff was MaryBeth's Baked Potato Soup. YUM! | villagehomestores.com

Print off a copy of MaryBeth’s Baked Potato Soup recipe by clicking here.

Winning recipe for baked potato soup from Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff | villagehomestores.com

And now for the other incredible entries! We kinda hope that the party planning committee decides to make this annual event quarterly because we had so many different and creative soups compete this year!

Recipe for Italian Wedding soup from Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff. | villagehomestores.com

Print off a copy of Angela’s recipe for Italian Wedding Soup by clicking here.

Recipe for beer cheese soup from Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff. Serve with popcorn | villagehomestores.com

Print off a copy of Rachele’s recipe for popcorn-topped Beer Cheese Soup by clicking here.

Recipe for Pumpkin Apple Bacon Bisque from Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff. | villagehomestores.com

Print off a copy of Elizabeth’s recipe for popcorn and bacon-topped Apple Bacon Pumpkin Bisque by clicking here.

Recipe for sweet and spicy Mulligatawny Soup from Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff. | villagehomestores.com

Print off a copy of Gregg’s sweet and spicy recipe for Mulligatawny Soup by clicking here.

Village Home Stores Staff Soup Cookoff 2019 #villagehomestores #wemakeavillage | villagehomestores.com

What a fun time and who knew six crock-pots full of soup could feed a Village! Did you find this post because you were looking for a soup recipe? Well allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Village Home Stores and we are a small business located in downtown Geneseo, Illinois. We provide appliance sales, service, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, flooring, wall tile, and custom window treatments for the entire extended Quad Cities Region. Learn more about our store here at villagehomestores.com or stop by and see us sometime! You may even luck out and show up during a fun event like this soup cook-off!

Phone number for Village Home Stores 309 944 1344

Quad Cities Builders & Remodelers Home Show 2019

Are you planning a project for your Quad Cities home within the next few years? Are you considering building a new home within the next few years? Then we hope you were able to attend the 2019 Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers Home Show this past weekend at the QCCA Expo Center in Downtown Rock Island. This annual event is your opportunity to browse Quad Cities Area businesses that offer products and services for your home. Village Home Stores is a longtime member of the QCBR and we had an absolute blast this year meeting new customers and answering their questions about our store and what it is like to work with us as they visited our booth.

Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers Home Show event held annually at the QCCA Expo Center in Downtown Rock Island. Village Home Stores 2019 booth. | villagehomestores.com

What We Showcased This Year

If you aren’t familiar with Village Home Stores, we are a locally owned one-stop-shop home store with many categories of products and services all from one store. We offer Appliances, Appliance Service, Lighting, Cabinetry, Countertops, Hardware, Flooring, Wall Tile, Window Treatments and so much more! If you have seen our weekly TV Show you also know that we offer complete kitchen and bath remodels managed from start to finish. We had staff and products on hand from all departments to help illustrate all that we can do.

QCBR Home Show event held annually at the QCCA Expo Center in Downtown Rock Island. Village Home Stores 2019 booth. | villagehomestores.com

In our 2019 booth we introduced a brand new full-access cabinet line named WynnBrooke. We are very excited to roll out this new option for our customers and this “Frost” White display will soon be installed in our conference room at the store. You can learn more about this cabinet line here on their website. We also showcased some DIY stick-on wall planks installed in our booth. This great product that can be used for so many fun projects. We covered the back wall surface of our booth in the “Pewter” wall plank adding floating shelves and our LED back-lit sign.

Stick on wall planks and floating gray shelves designed and installed by Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

Our Home Show booth included new and exciting product launches like the connected appliances Whirlpool has introduced recently. What is a “connected range” and how can voice commands and scan-to-cook features make your life easier? We would LOVE to answer those questions for you. The Black Stainless connected range we brought to the home show is now back in our appliance showroom. Our expert sales team will explain all of the great features and benefits these “smart” appliances have to offer.

Whirlpool's new connected range in Black Stainless Steel. | villagehomestores.com

“We have a lot of fun every year at the Home Show. We try and make our booth open, inviting, and exciting. This show is our opportunity to invite guests into our booth to meet our team and get all of their questions answered about our store and our process”

-Elizabeth Round, Village Team Member

This year we installed a lighting grouping that focused on some of the current trends we are seeing in finish and style. “Gold” finishes are definately back in style but the new take on this trend is subtle, brushed, and can be blended with other metals and finishes well. We have seen lighting trends shift from a Farmhouse style into a more Coastal look. We had a lot of interest in the weathered, wooden-beaded chandelier from our booth.

Coastal styled lighting for your home. Lighting selections shown at the 2019 QCBR Home Show. | villagehomestores.com

We included two engineered quartz countertops in our cabinet displays this year. We answered so many questions about countertop surfaces and their differences from guests who visited us. The large kitchen island we displayed included one of our promotional-priced quartz surfaces named “Rolling Fog” (shown below on left with Ogee Edge). Learn more about our 2019 Quartz promotion here in a past blog post.

Quartz countertops in the Quad Cities Home Show booth for Village Home Stores. Rolling Fog (left) with Ogee Edge and Cambria Quartz in Skara Brae (right) design. | villagehomestores.com

The back wall of our booth had a stunning statement quartz surface from our Cambria Quartz line. The Skara Brae design (shown above on right) blends on-trend grays and whites in an innovative natural-stone lookalike pattern. This series of quartz from Cambria offers you the look of a marble pattern with the maintenance-free piece of mind you get by investing in quartz surfaces.

A Quad Cities area customer chats about her project with a member of the Village team at the QCBR Home Show. | villagehomestores.com

Be sure to visit the QCBR website here to learn more about the Home Show event and upcoming Spring and Fall Parade of Homes. We hope that we had a chance to meet you this weekend but if you missed the Home Show, you can just come see us at our showroom! Village Home Stores is located at 105 S State in Downtown Geneseo, IL. Our hours are M-F 9am-5pm and on Saturdays we are open from 9am-noon. Our design staff can also meet with you by appointment if you just contact us by completing this short online form.

Quad Cities Kitchen Showroom Wins Best of Houzz in Service for 5th Year!

Village Home Stores wins Best of Houzz Customer Service 2019 | villagehomestores.com

We sincerely can’t believe that our small business was honored again with a Best of Houzz Customer Service award in 2019. Customer Service awards are so incredibly important to us because we have chosen to make your experience with our store our main focus. Anytime we are recognized for keeping this focus, it only makes us more excited to keep on going for you! Since 1984, our customers have been amazing with their return business, referrals, and online reviews. We are of course very thankful as well for the community of builders and contractors that we partner with in the Quad Cities area. Thank you for helping our small business stand out in such a gigantic industry.

Quad Cities area kitchen showroom Village Home Stores wins Best of Houzz Customer Service award in 2019. | villagehomestores.com

What is Houzz?

So what is Houzz? If you are online searching for ideas for your home, chances are you will stumble upon a link to Houzz pretty quickly and find out. Houzz is a website and app that is packed with content from 2.1 million home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals. It is the leading platform for home renovation and design and as of the time we post this blog, there are over 40 million monthly unique users on Houzz! Are you one of them? Houzz is free for you to join and it acts as a place to get current project inspiration, find local professionals, and organize your ideas. We are still pinching ourselves over receiving a service award in 2015 that it is truly taking us aback to realize this is our 5th year in a row to receive Best of Houzz in Customer Service.

Quad Cities area kitchen showroom Village Home Stores wins Best of Houzz Customer Service award for 5th year. | villagehomestores.com

How To Use Houzz Ideabooks

Curious how you can use this platform to help organize your remodel or new home project? Your first step is to sign up for a user Houzz profile of your own. This allows you to log into the app and keep your ideas organized as well as use the messaging system within the app to contact professionals like us privately with questions. TIP: they do send quite a few emails to users, so try and un-select any options available to avoid a full inbox of notifications Next you will want to create some ideabooks for you to sort and save your ideas into. Think of ideabooks as file folders within your Houzz profile to keep things organized. On the Village Home Stores profile, we use ideabooks to sort categories of product or areas of a design (i.e. kitchen hood ideas, flooring, tiled backsplashes, etc). Follow this link to see our ideabooks.

How to use Houzz ideabooks by Best of Houzz winners Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

You can create many ideabooks, or choose to just build one to “save” your ideas to. Within the Houzz app you can even make notes to yourself about an idea you are saving. Another great feature is sharing these ideabooks with a spouse or your design professional to start a conversation about how you can take your idea and include it in your own project. Houzz has great features within sharing like adding text, sketching on images, arrows, and even stickers to the idea as you collaborate.

How to use sketch feature in Houzz ideabooks by Best of Houzz winners Village Home Stores. | villagehomestores.com

We have found this platform to be the best location for Village Home Stores to “house” our portfolio of work. While we don’t add every single project we work on to the platform, we try and update it at least a few times a month to give you a fresh idea of the work we are completing around the Quad Cities region. Village is so blessed to be located in Geneseo, IL because it means we can work in such a large surrounding area. You will see so many different cities represented in our projects. You can browse our projects on Houzz here at this link.

View our portfolio of work in the projects section of our Best of Houzz winning profile. | villagehomestores.com

Great customer reviews remain our favorite part of our Houzz profile because it warms our hearts to hear from our happy customers. If you have written us a review online this year you are sharing this award with us! Your kind words help our store stand out online and give our potential new customers way to learn who we are and the work we do. We have also been awarded a few other badges on our profile. We have been recognized as being “knowledgeable and highly valued by the Houzz community” with a Houzz Influencer badge. Our customer reviews and quick response-time for Houzz messages have granted us a Houzz Recommended badge. We have also reached a milestone of having our own work saved over 25,000 time to ideabooks on the platform.

Quad Cities area kitchen showroom Village Home Stores wins Best of Houzz and influencer badges. | villagehomestores.com

If you are curious about how you can use Houzz to collaborate on your upcoming project with our Kitchen and Bath design team just reach out to us! Our designers are excited to see what inspires you and how we can help make your own space amazing. You can find out more information about Village Home Stores here on our website and feel free to contact us to get the conversation started about your own project.

Geneseo Giving Tree 2018- Weathered Wonderland

We are so excited to be a part of such an active and thriving small business community in Geneseo, Illinois. Our community supports small business and each other so much it’s impossible for the support not to be contagious! We are so thrilled to be involved in a brand new way to give back by participating in the inaugural year of the Geneseo’s Giving Trees! Today our tree is in place at the Village Home Stores showroom at 105 S State Street in downtown Geneseo, IL and we couldn’t be happier with how our team’s vision has come to life with Christmas Magic! This is our Weathered Wonderland Tree now available for auction:

Wooden barnwood Christmas tree built by Durian Builders and Village Home Stores for the Geneseo Giving Trees event to benefit Rebuilding Together Henry County. | villagehomestores.com
Photo by Laura Kashner

The goal of Geneseo’s Giving Trees is to see businesses partner up to create a tree design that can be auctioned off for proceeds to be given to a local charity. We have partnered up with a crew that we are pretty used to working with, Durian Builders. If you love seeing our before and after remodel stories that we share here on the blog and on our TV show, then you are familiar with their craftsmanship. The partnership between Durian and Village Home Stores was a perfect match and we decided to choose Rebuilding Together Henry County as our charity. We knew we would make a great team but we never dreamed the tree would turn out this great!
Geneseo Giving Tree 2018 Weathered Wonderland. Barnwood tree built by Durian Builders and trimmed by Village Home Stores with proceeds raised to help Rebuiding Together Henry County. | villagehomestores.com

The team at Durian Builders decided instead of purchasing a tree… why not make a tree? Well, because that’s not that easy …right? It is if you are a skilled carpenter with vision. We searched all of Pinterest and Scott never found what he had as his own vision… so he sketched it up and went to work with his own idea. When he sent us an update that he had found the perfect stack of reclaimed barnwood to work with, we knew we were on the right track. Geneseo Giving Tree built from barnwood by Durian Builders and decorated by Village Home Stores to benefit Rebuilding Together Henry County. | villagehomestores.com

From that pile of wood, Durian and friends built us a one-of-a-kind Christmas tree that we were certain could stand out as unique. But how to dress it without covering up all of that great character? We decided to take a trend that we have seen take off in Interior Design and Lighting and translate it into Christmas decor. An Upscale, Weathered, Coastal style has branched off of the Farmhouse trend and we thought a Coastal vibe would be a perfect fit for weather barnwood. To light the tree we wrapped copper LED fairy lights around a thick jute rope. Eucalyptus Christmas idea! Take clear lanterns and hang from your tree with small bouquets of greenery. | villagehomestores.com

Of course no tree is a tree without some greenery on it. We kept our greens on trend by using varieties of faux Eucalyptus contained in transparent vessels. Small lanterns hang from five of the branches with small bouquets inside of them. The most talked about part of the decor are our DIY ornaments. We fully grant you permission to steal this idea!
Great eucalyptus ornament DIY idea! Take clear ornaments and fill with faux greenery. | villagehomestores.com

We took a large pile of shatterproof transparent Christmas Bulbs and filled them with sprigs of faux eucalyptus. This would be a super fun and safe DIY Christmas craft for a family to do together. We re-capped them and added a single simple loop ribbon and they are one of our favorite parts of the tree! Pin this and many more ideas to your own Pinterest boards by following our Holiday Decor board here. All of the ornaments hang from brass hooks applied to the tree branches.Burlap Christmas idea! Wrap ornaments in burlap strips for your tree. | villagehomestores.com

As an added stringed element to compliment the lighted rope, we made wooden bead swags. Medium-sized wooden beads strung on jute rope were painted with a white paint distressing finish and then given a subtle brushing of a pearled champagne wash for a little sparkle. Weathered wooded beads are a huge trend right now in home lighting and you should see some of the fixtures we have on display in this category.
Coastal Christmas idea! String and paint wooden beads for your tree. | villagehomestores.com

This tree was created with many neutral colors in mind so that it can be easily placed in any settings. You can always add your own punch of a favorite color or change elements of it year to year. Don’t you think you need this tree in your own home? You can have it! A bid sheet has been placed inside of our store window next to the tree. Opening bids begin Friday November 16th and bids may be placed in $25 increments. Our tree will be on display in the showroom window and available to bid on from November 16th through December 10th. Farmhouse Christmas idea! Wrap ornaments in fabric strips for your tree. | villagehomestores.com

If you just can’t wait until then to take your tree home, you can take part in the Buy Now option! Any time from November 16th through December 10th you can bid the full $1,000 retail value of our tree to “win” the auction instantly! This “Buy Now” option allows you to take the tree home at any time (even before the 10th). Wouldn’t she look lovely in your home or business?
Geneseo Giving Tree built by Durian Builders and Village Home Stores to benefit Rebuilding Together Henry County. | villagehomestores.com

Stay updated on auction details and find information about all of Geneseo’s Giving Trees here on their Facebook page. To bid on our tree stop by anytime M-F from 9am-5pm or Saturdays from 9am-noon. You can call in your bids during business hours at (309) 944-1344 as well. Please note that a comment on any Facebook post or Instagram Post with an auction bid does not qualify as a bid. You must come enter a bid on the sheet or call it in. Geneseo Christmas Tree built by Durian Builders and Village Home Stores to benefit Rebuilding Together Henry County. | villagehomestores.com

You can learn more about Rebuilding Together Henry County here on their website. If you would like to make a donation to them in the giving spirit of the holidays, we have a donations jar at our front desk. Learn more about Durian Builders here on their website and if you see any of their crew around town be sure to thank them for helping make our tree truly one-of-a-kind. Please stop by to see us this Holiday season and see it in person. Thank you so much to the Giving Trees committee for putting an idea into action and empowering so many small businesses with a way to give back this year.

Who is Village Home Stores?

Hello there! We hope that you have found this post because you a curious about Village Home Stores and want to know more about us. Village Home Stores is a small business located in a small town with a BIG mission to be your regional home store experts. That is why we have so many categories of products all under one roof for you to shop at 105 S State Street in historic downtown Geneseo, IL. We offer appliance sales and service, cabinetry and countertops, lighting, flooring, wall tile, and custom window treatments for remodel and new home customers. Having our store located in a strong, growing small town community allows us to provide our clients with over 10,000 sq. ft. of showroom as a destination. We service a large radius surrounding Geneseo including the entire extended Quad Cities region. Located in Downtown Geneseo, IL Village Home Stores is proud to be a small business rooted in a strong, growing community like Geneseo. | villagehomestores.com

Since our founding in 1984, Village Home Stores consistently strives to improve the customer experience while offering quality products at a reasonable price.  We offer a one-stop-shop approach and can build an expert team for your project no matter the scale or budget. Curious about what you can expect when shopping at or working with Village Home Stores? Press play below to meet our owners and learn more about who we are.

We want to thank BrandSource for providing us with such a great way to tell our story! They created this video for us in August of 2018 when we were named the 2018 BrandSource Dealer of the Year at the National Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our co-owners Rob Ries and Jim Ries were on hand to receive the honor at the awards ceremony. The BrandSource Dealer of the Year award is presented annually to a member who has shown continued support of BrandSource and its direct suppliers.

Co-owners of Village Home Stores, Rob Ries and Jim Ries were on hand to receive the honor of being named a 2018 BrandSource Dealer of the Year. | villagehomestores.com
Co-owners of Village Home Stores, Jim Ries (centered left) and Rob Ries (centered right) were named a 2018 Dealer of the Year at the BrandSource National Conference held in August. Photo provided by AVBmarketing.

If you are familiar with our weekly TV show, or this store blog, then you know we love telling stories about the projects we have completed for our customers. It is a bit awkward sharing our own story, but we think it is important for us to get information out there about our store so that we can help as many people as possible with the expert team and services we have assembled over the years.Village Home Stores an award-winning expert appliance service and repair team servicing all of Henry, Rock Island, Scott, Mercer, and Whiteside counties. 309 944 1344 | villagehomestores.com

Our growing staff currently has 35 employees. This includes designers, inside and outside salespeople, project managers and estimators, service technicians, delivery and installation technicians and more. Our appliance showroom has a full staff of expert appliance service technicians and can service all major appliance brands including ones we don’t sell. We don’t just end the conversation once we get your purchase. It is important to us that we do not sub contract out our product deliveries because we want to be your expert team from start to finish. Village Home Stores 105 S State in downtown Geneseo, IL 309 944 1344 | villagehomestores.com

By choosing to support our small business, you are supporting our 35 employees so thank you! That support is why we are not only still here, but growing! Every department we have added to the store is by the request of our customers who hoped to get the same experience they have come to expect from Village. Therefore, we believe our customers deserve an award-winning experience in an award-winning showroom. In 2018 Village Home Stores was named a Showroom of the Year by Lighting and Decor Magazine and named a 2018 BrandSource Dealer of the Year. | villagehomestores.com

We want to make your building or remodeling process as easy and enjoyable as possible. We know for many of our customers, we are a destination. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and be worth your trip. We value your time and hope that you will find our showroom setup and process a way to save you time and money. Another way of thanking you for your business is by assuring you that we are doing all that we can to provide you with the fairest prices possible for the quality products and services we are providing you. That is why we offer a Local Low Price Guarantee.Village Home Stores is home of the local low price guarantee. If you can locally find a better deal on the same product and services we will match it. | villagehomestores.com

Our customers find that our everyday low prices are comparable to all of our competitors plus they receive a great customer experience when working with our staff. We buy from a very large buying group to allow us to offer quality products at the same prices as larger stores. If we find that someone has offered you a better price for the same products and services, we will match that local price.

“After so many years in business, many of our customers have come back to buy from us again because they know they are going to be taken care of, ” says Rob Ries, co-owner of Village Home Stores.

The goal of our staff is to stay expertly trained and to listen to your needs and best match your needs to the right products for you and your budget.  Plus you get the personal one-on-one treatment your investment deserves. You can rely on us to match you with the right product and help you learn the features that best suit your lifestyle.
Village Home Stores is your expert source for Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana, Sharp, and Viking purchases and repairs. | villagehomestores.com

We curate a team of experts for your project based on your needs. That team, all under one roof, can openly communicate about your project to keep you on track and on budget. Having multiple department experts aware of your overall project vision and goal allows them to work for you to confirm details on your selections. That gives our customers a piece of mind that their overall finished project is always the team’s vision.
Village Home Stores is your expert source for appliance purchases and repairs. | villagehomestores.com

Winning the title of Dealer of the Year comes just behind a handful of other 2018 awards that we would have never dreamed of receiving! The bottom line is, Village Home Stores would be no place without the years of support our customers have shown us. Support in the form of trusting us to help make their homes more functional and beautiful. Inviting us into your home is a big deal! We don’t take that for granted. Thank you for your continued support and we hope if you haven’t yet worked with us, you will give us the opportunity to meet you and gain that trust. From DIY cash and carry customers, to complete start to finish remodels, we want to help.Village Home Stores, servicing the extended Quad Cities Region. In 2018 Village was a winner of the QCBR Business of the Year, Lighting and Decor Magazine's Showroom of the Year, and multiple Houzz awards.

We want to be your one stop shop and we can’t wait to hear what you are working on! We offer appliance sales and service, cabinetry and countertops, lighting, flooring, wall tile, and custom window treatments for both remodel and new home customers. If you have questions about any of these categories of product, just click on them in this paragraph and you will hop right over to our website. Want to start the conversation about your own project and not sure where to begin? We have a process for your project no matter how much help or product you need. Every first step to our process begins at the same place, just reach out to us. Contact us for an appointment by calling our phone number at 309 944 1344 or by completing this short online form