About the Owners

Samantha and Mike Koon both have their roots in small Midwestern communities and continue to appreciate the charm and appeal in living and visiting these places of Americana. Mike, in fact, has returned to his hometown of Monticello, having graduated from Monticello High School. Samantha, meanwhile, hails from Wolcott, Ind., north of Lafayette, where she both studied and worked at Purdue University, holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business.

Samantha is continuing a family tradition of entrepreneurship, following her mother, Ann, who owned and operated a café and catering business. She has been a director of marketing for three non-profits and a lecturer in the University of Illinois College of Media. Samantha is the owner of the sister company, Monticello Mercantile, a downtown Monticello boutique that sells apparel, home décor and gift items. She enjoys entertaining, reading, and traveling.

Mike is a regular at local sporting events and has worked for 18 years as a communicator for both University of Illinois athletics and the U of I’s College of Engineering. He holds a B.A. in broadcasting from North Central College in Naperville, Ill., and continues voice work as a public address announcer and radio voice for Illini sports, having served in that capacity for football, volleyball, women’s basketball, soccer and softball.

Mike and Samantha and spunky four-year-old Stella live within walking distance of Zybell House and downtown Monticello.