Armed with memories of his father's and grandfather's winepress, Dominick Chirichillo founded his wine school as a hobby in a basement cellar. Since he began crafting his own wines, he has won 47 medals from national American Wine Society competitions and established a proper winemaking school. During a series of classes, instructors guide students through all the stages of winemaking, from crushing grapes to prepping barrels, removing sediment, and softly singing to expedite fermentation. Students handle the same seasonal grapes—harvested from regions of California and Chile—that Chirichillo blends into more than 40 different varietals for sale by the bottle and case.
Though the five partners who make up this olive oil company are vastly different people, each share a common passion: healthy living augmented by authentic, small-batch products. From the business’s initial location in Red Bank, New Jersey, Carter & Cavero has grown to encompass six stores, each of which offers tastings and a unique collection of products from around the world. Extra virgin olive oils include those infused with wild mushroom and sage, meyer lemons, or Tuscan herbs, each a flavorful accoutrement for bread, cooking, or otherwise bland cardboard. Carter & Cavero also stocks a huge variety of gourmet vinegars, foodstuffs, and unique skincare products that make use of gentle herbs and olive oils.
Whether the sun shines or hail falls from the sky, kids at Fun Play USA stay safe from the elements while having fun. In this colorful indoor playground, they clamber up the ladder to race down the slide, then glide through the air on the swings before jumping around the bounce house. With other toys and games, the arena plays host to many a birthday party, and the staff also stocks swing sets for purchase and installation at home or in the company break room.
The insured and certified technicians at Pro-Tech Chimney Cleaning & Repairs scour and fortify the home's fire-containing spaces. The team professionally clears out flammable creosote buildup from chimneys and fireplaces, and they can install safety equipment such as animal guards, stainless steel safety caps, and Smokey the Bear propaganda. The chimney whisperers can also repair or replace faulty dampeners, remove poorly located bird nests, and fix up cracked masonry.
The Grape Escape intoxicates senses with interactive, winemaking courses that yield 12 bottles of wine over the course of four sittings. Each 60-minute sitting separately integrates the various stages of winemaking: crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling. During spring, crafty oenophiles gather and sift through scores of South American grapes shipped straight from Chile and Argentina. Classes commence upon choosing the type of fruits, barrels, and aging durations that will foster forthcoming fermentation. Crush sweet juices from well-measured mounds of nature's candy before reconvening about two weeks later to begin the pressing process. Work the wine press to extract elixirs and transfer them to your oak barrels of choice. After learning how to properly rack wines during the third sitting, burgeoning vino makers conclude courses with a bottling and custom-labeling session that curbs urges to conceal beverages in paper bags.
Twenty-two years ago, Mark and Lynn Zientek started New Jersey Partyworks as a small, family-run operation whose costumed characters and clowns entertained at parties, barbecues, and gatherings. Today, the business outfits small soirees as well as big-time special events with rental amusement rides, moonbounces, tents, slides, and interactive games and obstacle courses. Staff members oversee all the rides and revelry, backed by weekly trainings from managers certified in nationally recognized safety regulations and equipment maintenance as well as balloon-animal taxonomy. The company's troupe of live entertainers now includes DJs, stilt walkers, magicians, and caricaturists who help ring in special occasions for crowds of laughing kids and grownups alike.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.