Northwestern Cutlery's knife-sharpening tools have refined kitchen knives' razor-sharp edges for more than 50 years. Though the shop started as a knife sharpener for local packing houses and delis, it now also offers professional and amateur chefs hard-to-find cooking gadgets from brands such as Le Creuset and OXO.
These plant- and mineral-based Green Planet Paints contain no lead or noxious volatile organic compounds but are just as durable and vibrant as the typical can of paint. Choose from colors such as Neptune (bright blue), Juniper (forest green), Grenadine (dark red), Nutmeg (light brown) and Autumn (crunchy leaf with a touch of compost).
Sam's Club works with a worldwide network of suppliers to find in-demand products and premium food items, and then purchases them in large quantities to cut down on costs. The result is an average 33% savings over traditional retail prices. To date, the club counts more than 47 million amongst its ranks, spread across more than 600 club locations.
Sam's Club members often find something surprising in club?with values on anything from holiday decor to diamond earrings. The festive savings carry through all departments, as a trip through a typical Sam's Club reveals home decor, Energy Star?qualified TVs and computers, and pet supplies. In other aisles, associates hand out samples of food from name brands and the club's proprietary grocery lines. In-club pharmacies and optical centers fill discounted medications and fit members with eyewear.
Perhaps most surprising about Sam's Club is that, despite the ever-growing number of clubs, the company stays tied to its local communities. In 2012 alone, Sam's Club donated $106.4 million to various causes, such as helping small business owners secure loans. The clubs also host free health screenings and the occasional special event, such as weight-loss seminars and business boot camps. But the company also tackles some of the global issues on its members' minds. As of 2010, Sam's Club began offsetting 20% of its energy use from wind power?only a small step towards its ultimate goal of harnessing 100% renewable energy, just like an extension cord plugged back into itself.
The encapsulation experts at The Frame Shop at Michael Cleary preserve prize artwork and cherished memorabilia behind chic moulding and light-loathing, museum-quality glass. Since every project contains unique demands, dimensions, and quantities of dormant cicadas, prices can vary, though frame experts work with clients to accommodate both their design plans and budget constraints. Sustainability-focused products by Larson-Juhl lock away keepsakes with vintage and contemporary moulding styles ($21.75–$275/ft.). An 8"x10" photo might gain depth and character with a 2-inch border of precision matting ($18+) cut with Wizard International technology that can trim oval, circular, or specialized v-grooves for personalized designs. In its 25-year history, The Frame Shop has won commissions from the Smithsonian, White House, and State Department, and has used its expertise on projects as diverse as shadow-boxing a piece of the Berlin Wall, mounting game-worn autographed jerseys, and reconstituting the self-destructed fragments of a spy college diploma.
Ask an out-of-towner what they want to do when they visit Chicago, and they'll probably tell you they want to chow down on some deep-dish pizza. Chicago Pizza Tours owner and pizza aficionado Jonathan Porter leads parties on treks to some of the Windy City's most celebrated pizzerias with three different pie-themed tours. Guests sample Chicago's signature style with the deep-dish only holiday walking tour, enjoy slices with sides of adult beverages during pizza and cocktails outings, or visit the kitchens of four different restaurants during the original tour. Each outing takes visitors to local favorites across a wide range of styles and cuisines, from the caramelized thick crusts of Pequod's, the stuffed pies of Bacino's, or the Neapolitan-style creations of Spacca Napoli.
Recently, Jonathan Porter has teamed up with local writer and tour guide Jonathan Knotek to launch Chicago Prohibition Tours, a romp through some of Chicago's most famous speakeasies still in existence. During the 3.5-hour bus trip through the roaring '20s and beyond, guests can visit the old one-time haunts of gangsters and crooked pols, such as the Green Door Tavern or the Exchequer Restaurant and Pub, all while sipping popular cocktails from almost 100 years ago and communicating only through silent-film title cards.
Inside Old Temple Chicago’s showroom rests a diverse collection of furnishings and accessories imported from Indonesia and China. Pieces range in appearance from the simple to ornate and from purely functional to ornamental—pagoda-shaped stools built from natural wood sit beside crimson cabinets painted with intricate gold designs. Certain pieces date back as far back as the 16th century, though the shop stocks plenty of 20th-century designs to cater toward those who shudder to be reminded of a world without stay-at-home-dads. Beyond furniture, visitors can find accessories such as Buddha statues, colorful silk pillows, and hand-carved soaps.