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Buono in his Bucktown loft with a gouache painting by Laura Scandrett
Rob Buono knows a thing or two about artisanal products. As the new co-CEO of Chicago’s Intelligentsia and owner of the organic Granor Farm in Three Oaks, Michigan, he is responsible for some of the highest-quality coffee and produce in the Midwest. A former lawyer and real-estate developer, Buono, 48, grew up in small-town Minnesota, eating primarily food that he and his mother raised on their farm, where she also ran a preschool. He credits her and his father, an Italian tailor and designer, for fostering a passion for the simple, well crafted, and ethical.
Those principles guide Buono’s aesthetic choices too. See below for 20 things he loves—some of which he owns and some of which he’d like to.
20 Things He Loves
EVA SOLO CAFÉ BREWER ($90, Intelligentsia Coffeebar, 3123 N. Broadway)
“I like it for its simplicity. It’s easy to clean, and it’s attractive enough to leave out in your kitchen.”
CZECH AIR FORCE WATCH
“I found this 1938 Longines watch at a street fair in Santa Fe for $300. I like its simple face.”
ICEBREAKER MERINO WOOL T-SHIRT ($60, icebreaker.com)
“It’s my base layer even when I’m not skiing. It keeps you dry, and it doesn’t smell.”
“This 1942 tractor has a great design. It’s open at the base, which allows you to actually see where you’re tilling.”
“My father designed and sewed it 40 years ago, and he wore it all the time. It reminds me of cold Minnesota winters.”
Photography: (all except tractor) Anna Knott