After the local camera shop went out of business, customers contacted Ron Henges, the building's manager, about picking up their finished prints and repaired cameras. In the process of helping fill these last orders, customers recommended Ron open his own camera store to fill the need in the community. More than 30 years later, Creve Coeur Camera continues to serve and educate its customers through nine area locations, including a 12,000-square-foot flagship store. The shops supply and repair top-of-the-line cameras and photographic equipment and timely print services and teach how to craft charismatic images through a broad curriculum of classes.
Though most people hate the feeling of getting lost, that’s the point behind spending a day at the maze at Brookdale Farms. Not because the staff wants guests to wander aimlessly, but because the maze makes for a great way to enjoy the autumn sunshine at a relaxed pace and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Open as a family-friendly jaunt during the day and as a haunted attraction at night, the maze tests navigators’ skills and affords a rare view into how scarecrows live when they think no one is looking. Outside the maze, the farm offers other autumnal activities such as pumpkin slingshots, pony rides, adrenaline-pumping ziplines, and a hay jump, inviting families to spend a full day disconnected from their televisions, computers, and employer-mandated tracking devices.
Formerly St. Louis Carpet Cleaning, 5 Star Carpet Care's crew of cleaners arrives wielding a truck-mounted steam-cleaning system to perform its signature five-step cleaning treatment. Owner Sonny Haney arrives at clients' abodes to discuss individual cleaning needs before pretreating carpet, giving special attention to specific problem areas in need of etiquette lessons. The truck-mounted unit heats water to 240 degrees, which effectively breaks up stubborn grime before expunging colonies of carpet odors. The final step involves raking the carpet to restore its gossamer sheen and remove dead leaves left behind by the unwanted houseplants that grew out of thriving dirt tracks.
For more than 60 years, Zeke's Paint & Design Centers have been outfitting do-it-yourselfers with the paints and tools they need to give their homes chromatic makeovers. Zeke's preferred brand of paint, Benjamin Moore, can be mixed to perfectly match the preexisting colors on walls or breathe new life into boring pieces of Renaissance artwork. The store's commitment to professional-grade products doesn't stop at paint; finely bristled brushes, rollers, and supplies from brands such as Purdy and Corona ensure even coats and minimize the need for later touchups. Resident experts share helpful tips for do-it-yourself projects and can even point visitors in the direction of trusted professionals for more complex jobs, such as re-creating The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of a dog's house.
The old mulberry tree at the top of Noboleis Vineyards—the same creature that graces the estate's wine labels—symbolizes the endurance of Robert and Lou Ann Nolan in pursuing their dream to own a vineyard. After purchasing a 74-acre expanse of Augusta farmland in 2005, the Nolans planted their first grapes: chambourcin, traminette, norton, and vignoles. Initial growth indicated high yields, but a late frost in 2007 claimed most of the chambourcin crop. Adversity struck again in 2011, when a tornado tore through part of the vineyards and lifted sections of roof off of the winery.
But between these setbacks, the Nolans built a steady string of accomplishments. Their first vintages claimed multiple awards at the 2010 Missouri Governor's Cup, and what had started as plain farmland grew into an estate encompassing an onsite winery, tasting room, cafe, and wine shop. The Nolans now lead tours and host tastings so that visitors can get an up-close look at how Noboleis's wines—such as the barrel-fermented vidal blanc—are produced without tickling the grapes. The indoor and outdoor grounds also regularly host events that range from weddings to live music performances.