Gift Chalet cheers up homesick Viking-Americans with an array of home, kitchen, and clothing products that stir memories of the homeland's snowy winters, hammer-wielding thunder gods, and majestic fjords. Honor the ancestors with a knit hat flying the Norwegian flag ($8.50) or a T-shirt proclaiming one's hatred of lutefisk ($18). The best-selling almond cake pan and recipe gives Danish dessert fans all the tools they need to bake a traditional treat and present it as a housewarming gift to the next home they pillage ($10). Otherwise, add a sense of fun to a gray cubicle with a Finns Have More Steam mousepad ($5) or ward off cowardly ballpoint-pen thieves with a Lommedalen troll Viking figurine brandishing a Swedish shield ($40). Gift Chalet also supplies all the necessary Christmas accouterments for an Ultima Thule–themed Yuletide, including Lucia candleholders ($40) and accessories. Fans of international footwear can apply their Groupon toward a pair of Dansko clogs ($110-$120).
Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables fill the shelves of Weepin Willies, a local market that stocks produce and meats at two locations. Shoppers can find high quality cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, or opt for Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and prepared soups, salads, and sandwiches from the deli.
Isador's Organics stocks only the freshest ingredients from local farmers and artisan food producers to help health-conscious eaters fill stomachs healthfully. Before searching through shelf after shelf of USDA-certified organic products, shoppers can fuel up on delectable deli offerings.
In addition to introducing customers to the intricacies of brewing beer and wine with instructional books and DVDs, Strange Brew can actually train customers in the fine art of making booze from scratch during its monthly in-store classes. During these small-group sessions, brewers divulge the necessary pieces of equipment, explore the core ingredients, discuss their roles in the brewing and fermentation processes, and lead a tasting of the final product. Even when they aren't applying this hands-on approach, the staff excel at helping customers ready their first batch, whether for a party or as a way to make taking a bath more fun. Starter kits for beer and wine include essential tools, such as fermenting and bottling buckets, siphon hoses, and hydrometers. To help customers fill these components with the requisite ingredients, a range of basic and specialized recipe kits feature pre-measured selections of hops and malts or juices and yeasts. Other kits are suited to more specialty brewing projects, such as mead or sake. For the more serious craft-brewers, Strange Brew also carries heavy-duty stainless-steel instruments by Blichmann.
As autumn descends and the surrounding trees take on the color of an ever-earlier sunset, George Hill Orchards is at its most active. The branches are heavy with ripe apples, the myriad varieties including cortland, northern spy, and empire. Visitors carry these juicy orbs home by the basketful, along with cider donuts and fresh pies. At the petting zoo, calves, llamas, rabbits, and sheep let kids rub their fuzzy heads. A hayride trundles along, maintaining a casual speed so as to not draw the attention of a scarecrow highway patrolman.
Staff members at Performance Nutrition fuse their training in nutrition and fitness with a broad knowledge of the science of protein powders, multivitamins, and nutritional oils. After listening to clients explain their fitness goals, staff members flip through the encyclopedia in their skulls to pick out products—gluten-free supplements, herbal remedies, workout-recovery bars, and more—that match individual needs.