They say that home is where the heart is, and, in 1984, next-door neighbours Vickie and Jo Ann couldn’t have agreed with that statement more. Both moms with young children, the two women dreamed of staying home and caring for their kids, while also doing what they loved—sharing with others their joint passion for cooking. A kitchen-table discussion led to the foundation of Gooseberry Patch, and their first cookbook, released more than 25 years ago, featured many recipes borrowed from family members and friends.
Gooseberry Patch continues in its original tradition of collecting home recipes, but now their recipe ideas come from across North America. An active user base contributes to cookbooks covering topics such as baking, seasonal dishes and desserts, and kid-friendly dishes that children can make for themselves or with the help of a Barbie with arms bendy enough to hold a spoon. The library of cookbooks is complemented by calendars that similarly showcase recipes, help clients organize their holiday or party planning, or provide a foolproof way for anyone to remember what day it isn't.
Divine De-lites owner Kim Herring didn’t set out to become full-time baker. “I was really more of a cook,” she says, “but then whenever we had family functions I always baked stuff.” But not just any "stuff"––breads and cookies that had family and friends raving. For nearly 10 years, others tried to convince her to turn her part-time passion into a career, and when the economic downturn led her to leave her job in the corporate arena, she decided to do exactly that.
To craft her treats, Herring employs family recipes––including one for a much-lauded banana bread––and formulations she developed herself using organic and local products whenever possible. Cookies are her No. 1 specialty, which she whips up in flavors such as oatmeal apricot, peanut butter, and almond butter with fig, and can be made gluten-free, sugar-free, or disguised as salads to suit a range of dietary concerns. But it’s her chocolate-chip cookies that are the real crowd pleaser. “They’re kinda crispy on the outside, but when you break ‘em open they’re real soft on the inside. And [there are] lots of chocolate chips.”
Eleven years ago, Randy Elkins and Chris Ratchford pooled their collective video expertise to open Keepsake Solutions, and today their staff continues to transfer outdated media to future-friendly formats. Services include video transfers, in which up to two hours of taped sports games or home movies emerge from their old-format cocoons as beautiful DVD butterflies or powerful DVD velociraptors.
Photo-to-DVD transfers and slide scanning keep memories alive with a modern format and user-friendly layout, and video-editing services boost school presentations, demo reels, and company instructional videos, relying on programs such as Final Cut Pro, Encore, and an industry-specific version of Minesweeper.
Greg Lehman found inspiration to start a distillery in an unlikely place?a volleyball court in Switzerland. While playing there professionally, Greg was struck by the commonness of locally distilled spirits. It resonated with his upbringing in Ohio, where distilleries once thrived before Prohibition made malt liquor America's classiest drink. Upon returning home, Greg and business partner Dave Rigo founded Watershed Distillery, joining the state's heritage of microdistilleries.
Today, the pair mans a 660-gallon custom-made copper still to craft the signature Four Peel Gin, infused with eight botanicals, as well as a vodka that's quadruple-distilled from Midwest-grown corn and a bourbon aged in American oak barrels. Greg and Dave also open their distillery for tours, taking guests through the facility and letting them watch everything from mashing to barreling, depending on the stage of the current batch. A tasting room enables patrons to sample spirits.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Brady Konya and Ryan Lang aren't from Ohio, but they loved the area for its business-friendly community and rich natural resources, and decided Columbus was where they had to build their distillery. The duo's passion for the Midwest colors everything about Middle West Spirits, from the name down to the Ohio-grown soft red winter wheat in their whiskey and award-winning vodka, which they also infuse with honey and vanilla beans or stone fruit. Inside the distillery, which sprawls over 10,000 square feet of open air, Brady and Ryan craft these artisan OYO spirits—named after the original word for the Ohio River Valley, pronounced o-y-o—in 600-liter pot-and-column stills. Hand-built onsite by German craftsmen using copper, stainless steel, and bits of Saturn's rings, these stills earned Middle West Spirits a place on Popular Mechanics' 5 of the World's Most-High-Tech Distilleries list.