In 1906, Joseph Fleitz purchased a tract of land along Seaman Road. Though he immediately started to farm, it would be another 85 years before his great-grandson, Paul, planted the first pumpkin patch, officially christening Fleitz Pumpkin Farm. Since then, the family has built other attractions, and the wind raises a thrumming whisper from the stalks of a 5-acre corn maze capable of stumping even Ivy League–educated scarecrows. Tractors pull hay carts full of chattering riders, and other amenities include a free tricycle zone and an area to feed goats and chickens. During the fall, when the air grows crisp and cornucopias hang heavy on the trees, row upon row of sunset-hued pumpkins line the periphery of the farm. The scents of cinnamon drifts from a snack shack serving freshly made doughnuts and hot cider.
Like its minimalist interior, this historic Oliver House eatery keeps its menu simple. Peckish patrons can sample light, freshly made offerings of warm soups, salads, and sandwiches, complemented by a rotating list of daily specials ($5.50−$7.50). Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Café's warm and cold sandwiches, such as the grilled-ham-and-cheese Croque Monsieur ($7.50) and the tangy-tuna Waldorf-salad sandwich ($7.25) rest contentedly on black-checkered tissue paper before meeting their delectable demise. Assuage appetites in the Café’s sleek, minimalist dining room amid tasteful artwork and warm brick accents, then retire to the breezy courtyard to season postmeal sips with fresh sunshine. Guests can sip on café au laits while they browse the web via the complimentary WiFi, or mime coffee-drinking and internet searching to the customers around them.
Owner Revathi Chillapalli combined 20 years in the food business with a love for introducing Ohioans to the health benefits and exotic flavors of Indian food to establish Deepam India, an emporium for Indian groceries and meals available for takeout or dine-in. The shop’s restaurateurs prepare food fresh daily, treating shoppers to a selection of 12–14 entrees that, like a merry-go-round with Earth wedged into it, rotates daily. Diners can clasp fingers around flaky filled samosas ($1.25 each) or savor dosas, fermented crêpes made with rice batter and lentils ($5.50–$6.50). Individuals and restaurant owners alike peruse the grocery section to stock up on Indian breads ($2.99), frozen vegetables ($1.99), and lentils ($2.99–$5.99) and to admire the wall-mounted oil paintings created by the shop’s owner. The enthusiastic staff welcomes questions about particular dishes, the health benefits of Indian food, and the health risks of eating Indian silverware.
The Garmo family first opened the doors to Shoppers Valley Market in 1979, and its been stocking the store's grocery-packed aisles and bursting display cases by hand ever since. Vine-fresh produce spills out of bins and vies for the attention of customers browsing thick slabs of marbled meats at the deli station. Canned goods, household items, and spare shopping-cart wheels line the towering food corridors, delighting eyes with the sight of brand names that range from Dole to Duraflame, Mott's, and Ziploc. Just outside of the store, off-street parking allows visitors to leave their vehicles unattended without using their last genie wish to secure a space.
Scoops, cups, and tins overflow with old-fashioned sweets, handmade treats, and a cacophony of fond taste memories at Gji's Sweet Shoppe. Air-popped popcorn bursts and cools daily before being sorted into a menagerie of more than 20 flavors, such as kettle, cheese, caramel, or premium cheesy caramel ($12–$23/gallon). For a taste of the past, Gji's variety of hard-to-find and nostalgic candies, such as Necco Wafers, Squirrel Nut caramels, and Sugar Daddies, quiet even the most panicked of lost time-travelers ($3.99–$7.99/lb). Tour the straw-paved road of a thick fresh-fruit smoothie available in flavors including wildberry, peachy keen, and banana bliss, or explore the sweetery's menagerie of ice creams, which oversee satisfaction in varieties such as black walnut, rainbow sherbet, cappuccino crunch, or Mackinac Island fudge ($1.99/scoop), which only causes brain freeze when consumed in a landlocked nation.