People generally associate premium vodka with distillers in Poland, Russia, or Sweden. But Mastermind Vodka is changing this preconception with a fine American vodka that’s truly local.
In a custom-designed still that resembles a giant martini glass, they mix small batches of the locally grown grains with water purified by a filtration system they designed themselves. The result is a clean, crisp drink that won a gold medal in the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The emphasis on local sourcing extends beyond the liquor as well, with nearby manufacturers supplying the glass bottles and obliging townies offering to taste-test each fresh batch.
Plato's Closet curates a collection of gently used name-brand apparel, incentivizing their customers to bring in their own quality used clothing for cash. Each week, the staff pores over piles of clothing and accessories in search of young and on-trend sweaters, dresses, shorts, and hazmat suits from popular brands. After picking out the best clothes and accessories, the staff reshelves items, priced at up to 70% off their retail value. The style-savvy staff aims to keep the shop’s stock in line with current trends and classic fashion statements, generally choosing only pieces that are 12–18 months old. Most of the available apparel comes in sizes 00–19/20 for girls and waist size 28–40 for guys.
Andrea's Boutique—described by St. Louis Magazine as "serene and cool"—brandishes a rotating inventory of new, resale, and vintage merchandise and furniture alongside a collection of the owner's original artwork. Shoppers can drape torsos or dress mannequin collections with a selection of secondhand and vintage clothing ($7–$25). Strap necessities across shoulders in a Liz Claiborne messenger bag ($13), or incubate fingers with a vintage fur muff ($19.50). A selection of resale furniture ($15–$300) and décor ($4–$50) populates households and includes items such as a small white bust statue, whose perpetual vacant stare ensures customers will never again have to watch another TV miniseries alone ($13.50).
A kaleidoscope of colorful blossoms peeks out from the sun-drenched windows dotting W.W. Florist & Gifts' 1850s-era structure. Inside, two designers, one floral assistant, and a floral wholesaler combine their petal prowess to lavish patrons with predesigned bouquets and custom arrangements, each artfully crafted to create a thoughtful surprise for a loved one or a decadent feast for a couch-surfing hummingbird. For nonbouquet baubles, gift baskets brim with themed treasures and blossoms unfurl from within decorative mugs and whimsical figurines to splash presents with a festive touch.
The owners of Peak Nutrition founded their business with a simple goal of helping others. To that end, they provide customers with the supplements they need to kick-start a new diet, fuel a workout, or muster the strength to rip off their tank tops Hulk-style. On-staff nutritionists and dieticians can further help clients in their healthy pursuits with custom five-step nutrition plans.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are grounded in the kind of American culinary tradition that chef Dave Rook knows best: raised in a family that ran a drive-in burgers-and-root-beer stand in Alton, Illinois, an appreciation for the comfortable side of dining runs in his blood. Globally inspired dashes of red chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you’ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."