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.
Owned by artist and healthy cuisine honcho Revathi Chillapalli, Deepam India’s inventory of groceries and its rotating menu of entrees offer customers the conveniences of a grocery store and the hospitality of a dine-in restaurant. Groceries enable take-home tours of Indian flavors ranging from fresh breads ($2.99) and lentils ($2.99–$5.99) to reheatable frozen entrees ($3.99–$4.99). Those preferring instant gratification can sit down to enjoy Deepam's fresh offerings such as chicken kebabs ($1.99 each) and a selection of dosas—Indian crêpes —with a choice of fillings ($5.50–$6.50). While munching, visitors can admire the interior’s evocative wall hangings that include Revathi's original oil paintings and autographed headshots of vegetable stars such as spinach and peas.
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.
At Gji's Sweet Shop, customers browse nostalgic penny candies from bygone eras and Chicago-style popcorn popped fresh daily. Popcorn is made from high-quality ingredients and hot-rodded with more than 20 kernel coatings including cheese and caramel. Buyers with indecisive palates can request popcorn tins separated into two or three compartments to accommodate multiple flavors or make room to store a popcorn journal. Patrons can also browse old-fashioned candies often unavailable in modern candy aisles such as Necco wafers, candy cigarettes, and flying saucers ($3.99–$7.99/lb.), alongside a selection of vintage soda pop and a variety of smoothies.