Founded by experienced nutritional counselor Chuck Homuth, Chuck's Natural Food Marketplace steers health-conscious shoppers toward 100% certified organic produce, packaged foods, and vitamin supplements. Showcase ventriloquism skills by gargling a glass of Tree of Life almond milk ($1.99/32 oz.) or Sunshine Acres' organic unfiltered apple juice ($8.29/gallon) or slake mature thirsts with organic and sulfite-free wines and beers. In addition to stocking raw-food products and organic pet food, Chuck's caters to gluten-free diets with snacks such as almond-packed Nut Thins ($2.39). A Natural Factors coenzyme Q10 supplement ($16.95) provides more all-natural energy than a portable potato battery, and an in-store café and juice bar refuel customers with freshly made organic goodies.
Bootleggers, a storehouse of brewing equipment and expertise, guides novice alchemists in their attempts to transmute vine-fruit into precious alcohol. Choose from merlot, cabernet sauvignon, port, or other select ingredient kits, the largest of which can produce up to 30 bottles. With the assistance of wine-making professionals at Bootleggers, customers will brew their wine on-site, where it will rest in glass carboys for four to five weeks. Afterward, the Bootleggers staff will lead patrons into a deep cellar, promising them a cask of amontillado. When picking up wines, patrons can either provide their own bottles or buy a bottle, cork, and label kit from Bootleggers (about $56-63).
The Comics Club has been a bastion of back-issue bargains for more than 20 years, during which every member of its staff has died and come back to life at least twice. More than 80,000 bagged and boarded imaginary stories are organized in The Comics Club’s issue retirement homes, where sharp-eyed scavengers can rifle through to claim pristine classic issues with covers unstained by baby drool or collector drool. Allow the store’s helpful staff to guide you to the issues of Avengers you’ve been missing, or expand your prized gallery of covers by scooping up the issue in which Superman throws Jimmy Olsen into the sun. Child-friendly comics may also be found, such as reprints of Chris Eliopoulos' Franklin Richards stories or the coming-of-age issue of Jonah Hex, in which he destroys Stonewall Jackson. Although prices vary, the average cost of a back-issue comic is about $3.50–$6.
The Bead Boutique puts beauty into the hands of the beholder, leading to a sense of accomplishment rivaling that of a financially successful mime. There are more than 60 different rotating classes, most of which are about two hours long, for aspiring bead buffs of all experience levels. Beginners can learn the tricks of the trade with a class in basic stringing, basic wire wrapping, or basic knotting. Intermediate users can choose from a number of weaving classes, increasing technical proficiency while earning the sophomoric right to put freshmen in lockers. With the basics down pat, third-level mages can try out a class in metalsmithing, PMC, or copper etching, among many other advanced-level courses.