On the corner of Buffalo and Main Street, Ten Thousand Wines inhabits a quaint brick building that welcomes visitors to its microwinery and tasting room. As a winery free from ties to a particular vineyard, Ten Thousand Wines' staff can source its grapes from vines all around the world—including Antarctica—a practice that inspired the winery's name. The vintners hand make each variety in small batches and carry more than 40 wines in their retail store. At a tasting bar, open Tuesday–Saturday, curious sippers perch around a quarter-circle bar to sniff and swirl their wines, such as Nooks & Crannies, a cranberry-chianti blend, or the delicate Delaware, made from New York grapes. The shop's resident oenophiles share their passion with guests in 90-minute wine-making classes, bolstered by a wealth of wine kits and raw grape juices. In an article from the Buffalo News, owner Mike Ditonto cites what he sees as the appeal of home winemaking: nostalgia for grandparents' wine cellars and new methods of family bonding more comfortable than supergluing yourself to a favorite relative.
The Lackawanna headquarters of Phoenix Scuba and Water Sports is situated so that it attracts both Canadian diving enthusiasts who drop in from the Niagara Peninsula as well as divers from throughout western New York State. Recreational-minded beginners hop into an indoor pool to build skills and underwater experience before venturing out to the open water on one of the company's scuba charters. Meanwhile, Phoenix's veteran instructors work with professional divers-in-training who are trying to become certified. Instructional programs are also offered in adaptive diving, which trains those with physical disabilities to safely enjoy the joys of scuba. Through the years, the resident community of adaptive divers has made trips to exotic locales such as the Cayman Islands, where divers explore the ocean's depths and play Battleship underwater.
For years, Rebecca Ruger collected the smooth pieces of glass that washed up on Lake Erie’s beaches. It started out as a pastime, but one day, she had a creative impulse and used some of the pieces to make a piece of artwork as a gift for her boyfriend. After that, she continued to create glass-based artwork, selling the pieces at craft shows alongside her jewelry-maker daughter. The work began to grow in popularity, and today, Ruger owns her own art boutique—Beach Bum Glass Cottage.
According to metroWNY, Ruger and her boyfriend now spend more than 20 hours each week scouring the Hamburg beaches for the glass, driftwood, and fossils that she uses to make the artwork and jewelry in her shop. Ruger also supports other local artisans by stocking handmade products that range from dog treats to soy candles.
With locations in 13 states across America, Stanton Optical helps clients from Georgia to California achieve better vision with prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Its shelves are stocked with more than 3,000 frames and sunglasses from high-end brands, including Coach, Calvin Klein, and Armani. Full-service onsite labs help optometrists immediately craft glasses and clone monocles without the delay of sending eyewear elsewhere. Eye exams are performed by independent eye doctors conveniently located within or adjacent to Stanton Optical stores.
If you can name it, the staff members at Village Sweet Shoppe have probably dipped it in their housemade chocolate. They dip everything from the mainstays of strawberries and housemade sponge candy to more inventive options such bacon and personalized wine bottles for party favors.