Peoria Symbolizes Mainstream America
Peoria is acclaimed for closely reflecting the diversity of the United States population in terms of race, income, age, rural and urban living, business interests, and educational background. This diversity combined with its location in the heart of the country makes Peoria an ideal place to take the “pulse of the nation” on consumer products. Peoria is one of the nation’s strongest test markets. Pampers disposable diapers, McDonald’s McRib sandwiches, and New Coke were all marketed in Peoria before being sold across America.
Peoria’s Midwestern values, welcoming communities, and warm hospitality are fundamental to our eclectic culture. Discover the magic of global and regional culture colliding in our farm-to-table cuisine. Discover the diversity of our neighborhoods, businesses, and people. From Lebanese Itoo Societies to the Black Business Alliance to the Islamic Center to Hispanic-Owned Peoria, discover for yourself the vibrant, inclusive place that is Greater Peoria, IL
A taste of Peoria
Triple Dipple’s Treats + Delicacies
Triple Dipple’s, home of the Sweet Tater Cheesecake, is committed to creating triply delicious treats and delicacies designed to delight your taste buds and satisfy your sweet tooth. Every cheesecake is made entirely from scratch and from the finest ingredients. Harreld Webster is on a mission to bring mouthwatering cheesecake to the Greater Peoria Area. Harreld credits his pioneering grandfather, also an entrepreneur, as his inspiration. Now, Harreld’s whole family takes part in the business’s ever growing success, which includes selling Triple Dipple’s at our local HyVee grocery stores.
I love the community I’m in. The people are amazing, they’re supportive… It really is a connecting community. Even if you think the old mantra doesn’t fit anymore [if it plays in Peoria], Peoria is still willing to give anybody a chance. And if Peoria likes it, Peoria supports it.”– Harreld Webster Jr., Owner Triple Dipple’s Treats + Delicacies
The Lariat Steakhouse
Dan Kouri and his extended family have spent the past 50+ years infusing the Peoria Area with Lebanese tradition. Excellent service and quality family recipes and made the Lariat Steakhouse a community staple. The Kouris are diligent—some might say obsessive—about passing down their culinary secrets and heritage to each succeeding generation, and it shows. This establishment is a true, multi-generational family-owned business. Do yourself a favor and visit this Peoria favorite.
We feel like our family has a rich heritage here. We’ve been able to grow generational businesses, build meaningful relationships, and live out our dreams. We are a small town with a big city feel. Other cities just don’t have the amount of successful, decades-old, mom-and-pop shops. That’s why Peoria is special… because Peoria believes in Peoria.”– Dan Kouri, Owner Lariat Steakhouse
Yeni’s Palarte Mexican Ice Cream
Yeni Rodriguez moved to Peoria in 2004 and was immediately touched by how the community embraced her family and heritage. In fact, Peoria was so friendly and encouraging, she was inspired to open Yeni’s Palarte, a homemade ice cream shop combining the unique flavors of her Mexican heritage with locally sourced ingredients. Ever since opening, she has had a steady stream of customers waiting to sample the unique flavor-of-the-day. Stop in—you won’t be disappointed!
I was so surprised at the incredibly diverse and passionate people I met in Peoria! I make it a point to visit local foodie spots when I travel and I fell in love with Yeni’s Ice Cream Palarte in Peoria Heights!! The authentic Hispanic atmosphere was rich, colorful, and vibrant! AND OMG THE MEXICAN ICE CREAM!!!! The flavors were so unique and made from scratch—we ended up going every night we were in town!”– Vera G., Yelp Review
Will it play in Peoria?
The phrase “Will It Play in Peoria?” originated in the early ‘20s and ‘30s. At that time, Peoria was one of the country’s most important stops for vaudeville acts. If a performance did well in Peoria, vaudeville companies knew that it would work throughout the nation, ostensibly because Peoria was a tough audience. Phrases like, “It bombed in Peoria,” had recognizable meaning from one coast to the other. If a show “bombed in Peoria,” one of several things happened: the production was rewritten, recast, or canceled altogether.
Because of its location and demographics, Peoria has since become a well-known test market to gauge the popularity of products and ideas nationwide. Not only has it been a test market for consumer products, Peoria was—and remains—an ideal place to take the “pulse of the nation” on political campaigns and proposed legislation. An advisor of President Richard Nixon popularized the phrase in political circles. He would ask how something would “play in Peoria” to gauge the average voter’s response to whatever they were planning.