Before opening Windmill Acres, Bruce and Lee Ann spent years exercising their green thumbs. Both raised on fourth-generation farms, the couple started a produce company after they were married. In the fall, Lee Ann painted pumpkins to sell from their farmers'-market stand, a tradition that mushroomed until she needed to hire more employees to paint as many as 6,000 pumpkins every year.
In 1997, the pair opened Windmill Acres, a place where they could combine their talents for horticulture and art. The nursery stocks a bumper crop of seasonal plants, from vegetables and flowers to a beanstalk rumored to be a shortcut back home to Ithaca. A miniature farm houses furry critters that visiting kids can pet while their parents enjoy steaming cups of coffee and talk gardening with the knowledgeable staff. Near the bucolic scene, a gift shop made of reclaimed barn wood showcases jewelry, flowers, paintings, other creations from local artists.
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.
Akira swaddles customers from clavicle to toe with a collection of trendy apparel from more than 200 designer brands crafted by foreign, domestic, and Chicago fabricsmiths. Women, men, and mannequins can browse a selection of clothing and accessories that includes the signature looks of Jeffrey Campbell and Boy London. Akira has cooperated with such endeavors as Generation Y, which fosters artistic expression in Chicago public schools.
Max 10 stocks a bevy of discounted brand-name apparel for men, women, and children. Frugal fashionistas can rummage through designer collections from Lee, Apple Bottoms, Levi's, Fubu, and more to find stylish swaddlings for any season. Shoppers can snag wardrobe basics from myriad $10 clothing items, or opt for the higher-end ensemble pieces ranging from $12.99–$19.99 without sacrificing any innocent Bills from their wallets.
As they’ve done for nearly 40 years, Cartronix equips cars with stereos and alarm systems. But in that same timeframe, they’ve mastered a few other technologies, including GPS navigation, Bluetooth installation, and remote car starters. Their expertise extends beyond autos, too: the team can upgrade everything from boats and RVs to motorcycles, golf carts, and even home electronics. They’ll install home theaters and other A/V capabilities in homes, offices, and upscale doghouses, using equipment from top brands such as LG and Samsung. They are also an authorized AT&T dealer, and have a selection of smartphones and accessories for AT&T smartphones, Windows phones, and Blackberrys.