Perched above the awning, a sturdy cow statue welcomes guests to the red-brick realm of Piatak Meats, first opened in 1910 and serving Merrillville since 1959. Inside, bright-pink cuts of meat line glass cases alongside homestyle heat-and-serve entrees such as lasagna and meatloaf. Culled from animals raised without hormones or added preservatives, the meat is chopped fresh daily, and staff also cut humanely raised Amish chickens by hand. Piatak Meats' signature house-made sausages include the flagship polish sausage made with garlic, as well as hot and mild italian sausage with whole fennel.
Antonio and Rosa DeRosa came from a long line of merchants who sold Italian staples such as pasta, olive oil, and wine in Montedecoro, Italy. The family was well known around Naples for these provisions, and when Antonio and Rosa immigrated to America in 1926, they stocked their business, DeRosa Imports, with these same Old World staples.
Today, grandson Anthony DeRosa runs the shop, where he upholds tradition by importing extra-virgin Sicilian olive oil, Italian espresso, and pastas ranging from rigatoni to gnocchi. Over time, the family has expanded their selection to include products from countries such as Croatia and Serbia. Artisanal pickles, sauces, and jams infused with rose hips or sour cherries line the shelves, along with bottles of wine to pair with dinner or pour on thirsty houseplants.
Honey Baked Ham Co.'s specialist butchers boast more than 40 years of experience preparing glazed meats. The staff slices roasted hams weighing up to 16 pounds, each dry cured, hickory smoked, and oven baked to fend off hungry snowmen. A fine glaze of honey and spices covers each ham, which is cut spirally to keep its sections intact for horizontal slicing. To complement its sweetly seasoned protein namesake, Honey Baked Ham Co. also furnishes meat collectors with honey roast beef, pork, and turkey.
Now spreading health from three locations, the staff members at Baums Natural Foods believe that individuals have a say in their longevity, energy levels, and overall wellbeing. To that end, they stock an abundance of natural vitamins and supplements geared toward fostering strength, preventing ailments, and bringing dormant superpowers to the surface. Focusing on the Foundational Four supplements––multivitamins/mineral complexes, fish oil, probiotics, and enzymes––the team works with patrons to carve a path toward smooth and efficient bodily systems. For an immediate booster, the Munster and St. John locations fill the refrigerators at their juice bars with kale, ginger, lemons, mangoes, beets, and garlic, prepped and ready to custom blend into healthy sips. All Baums Natural Foods locations also feature a wellness center where licensed aestheticians, acupuncturists, and other specialists promote holistic health with treatments such as ionic footbaths, body wraps, and reflexology.
Founded in 1996 at a lone store in Carrollton, Texas, Smoothie Factory began its journey simply by selling smoothies and nutritional supplements. The menu has since expanded to include frozen yogurt, juices, and healthy meals, but the franchise—which operates out of nine states and four countries—still focuses on its original mission: meeting the dietary needs of health-conscious customers with real fruit, nutritional supplements, and nonfat yogurt.
Each store mixes more than 30 flavor combinations, including Just Peachy, Very Berry, and Island Delight, a tropical blend of pineapple, banana, orange, and honey. Nutritional boosts such as caffeine, multivitamins, and fiber spin into chilled beverages to enhance weight loss and energy or give drinkers the cognitive ability to name all the stars in the universe.
Since starting his business in 1988, Dr. Dennis Gaeta has honed the vision of more than 18,000 active patients. He makes each pair of eyeglasses himself to ensure the accuracy of the prescription, which can be presented in digitally processed lenses, no-line bifocals, and Transitions lenses that adjust to the amount of light both outdoors and inside the car. These lenses get fitted into fashionable frames from brands such as Bellagio, Mandalay, and Modern Optics.