Shires For Hire lead passengers on rolling, relaxing, and intimate horse-drawn carriage rides. Passengers nestle up close as their antique-style carriage trundles along a downtown street, elegantly pulls passengers away from a wedding, or schleps holiday wagons through the snow. Drivers delicately lead the ride, sporting cowboy hats, top hats for a black-tie affair, or hard hats when riding through a car wash.
The team behind Taste of Main Street America perused every state in the nation to fill 280 pages with recipes and photographs from eateries located on the Main Street of their respective cities and towns. Readers' palates are whisked to Connecticut with the Willimantic Brewing Company's parmesan-encrusted tuna, and Oklahoma's easy lasagna bake provides relief on nights when the oven is exhausted from its day job as an accountant. Whipping up a dish of homemade lemon squares by the specifications of the Fifth & Main restaurant in Alabama can turn new neighbors into twice-a-day window knockers fiending for the tart treat, and the fresh flavors of Rhode Island's heirloom tomato salad with chilled cucumber soup rouses taste buds with a symphony of fresh flavors. The book is available for pickup at 12 locations throughout the southwest Missouri region, and it can also be shipped online.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
In addition to carrying used textbooks, the Student Book Exchange prepares students for life outside of class with a variety of tools and college-branded tokens representing Missouri State University, Drury University, Webster University, and other local colleges. Patrons can don a maroon MSU basketball T-shirt ($11.99), wield a Texas Instruments BA II Plus financial calculator for speedy differential calculus ($27.99), or brandish Greek-emblazoned flare to fit in at social mixers or at a house party on Mount Olympus. Hard-studying pupils can also equip themselves for class with books from the reading lists of several nearby schools, such as Comins’ Discovering the Essential Universe ($72.95 new; $49.95 used) or Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics ($10.50 new; $2.95 used).
Featured in the Springfield Business Journal, Homegrown Food dedicates its cheery storefront to locally produced fruits, vegetables, meats, baked goods, and other natural foods. While the shop's produce evolves with the seasons, recent bounties have included apples from Sunshine Valley Farm ($1.75/lb.), Homegrown Food's own beets ($2.46/lb.), sugar snap peas ($2.50/half-pound package), and other earth-approved candy. Meats, such as marbled rib-eye steak from Rocking Z Ranch ($16.25/lb.), join milk from Ozark Mountain Creamery ($3.15) in a spread of farmyard-derived delicacies. Homegrown Food also proffers dry goods, such as coffees and spices, nonperishables, such as honey and jams, and Old Mill Bagels ($5.50/half-dozen). All food is carefully labeled with its origin, cultivation method, and favorite Nietzsche essay.