The Bears lost to the Packers on Sunday but made it into the playoffs anyway, so their suffering continues.
The season started so well, if I recall, base on snippets overheard Monday mornings on WBBM radio news. Not that I watched a single second of a single game. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the team.
I’ve been reading about how, 100 years ago this October. the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company of Decatur, producers of starch, sent their factory team, the Staleys, north, along with its young coach, George Halas, to become the Chicago Bears.
Learning this led to the rare football-related question that intrigues me: Does Staley still makes starch?
Yes, they do, but not under that name. The company was purchased for $1.4 billion in 1988 by British sugar refiner Tate & Lyle. I contacted them at the end of August. We hear so much about the football part of the tale, but drop the ball — look, a sports metaphor! — when it comes to the starch aspect.
Tate & Lyle not only has a 400-acre factory making starch in Decatur called Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC but a mixing plant in Sycamore that employs 100 workers; various silos; a purchasing facility, Tate & Lyle Grain; and a research lab, the Commercial and Food Innovation Centre, in Hoffman Estates, which is the place they decided our two-hour Zoom dog-and-pony show should showcase.
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