?My love of chocolate making came from my mother, who is from Newfoundland,? says Vintage Sweet Shoppe owner Debbie Dever. To stave off boredom during the region?s harsh winters, Debbie?s grandmother taught her children to craft candy and treats. Her mother passed the skills she learned on winter days down to Debbie, who channels her passion into her handmade truffles, flavored fudges, and chocolate-drenched nut clusters made only with fresh ingredients at the on-site kitchen. Popular favorites include lemon and dark cherry bark. Her signature wine-infused truffles pair sips of champagne, port wine, and Napa Valley vinos with complementary chocolates chosen based on cocoa content and willingness to tell embarrassing stories about their compatriots. Dever?s team of innovative chocolatiers has been making chocolates for more than 30 years and also hand-mold chocolate-covered wine bottles?featured on the Food Network?by shrink-wrapping full bottles of wine before coating their surfaces in dark or milk chocolate, leaving each label framed by an edible exterior. The shop also serves espresso coffee drinks, frozen yogurt, and ice cream.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
Mike Bee and Jim Peterson first teamed up in the early 90s, working side by side to resolve legal cases at their firm in Charleston, West Virginia. At the end of the workday, the two would often uncork a bottle of wine, discussing the characteristics of their favorite bottles in between sips. While attending a law convention in 1994, they toured the wineries of Napa Valley, and the experience proved inspirational. They enlisted the help of veteran winemaker Ray Coursen, and Falcor Winery was born.
In order to achieve an exceptionally balanced taste, the Falcor team selects grapes harvested at peak ripeness, well before the expiration dates spelled out by their vines. This fastidiousness has paid off. Their 2005 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon earned a spot on Wine & Spirits’ Year’s Best Cabernet & Blends list in 2010. This wine and others can be enjoyed in the winery's tasting salon, where award-winning chef Chay Woerz prepares menus and tastings that incorporate smoked meats and cheeses and wine-infused chocolate.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
The aisles at Napa Valley Art Supplies are as colorful as the paintings their materials help to create. Tubes of oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, from brands such as Prismacolor and Liquitex, await to top an arsenal of Winsor & Newton brushes made to suit varying types of paint, desired brushstrokes, or canvas tickle-thresholds. Beads, jewelry, water-soluble crayons, and frames help inspire other artistic endeavors, while markers and eco-friendly Plutonium and Liquitex spray paints fuel onsite expression during BYOB events, which?in the past?have included a Spray Can Slam with local writers and street artists.
Napa Valley Adventure Boot Camp owner Jeff Larson and his team of trainers know all about breaking a sweat. Each day, they challenge their students with fitness classes that string cardio and resistance workouts into a challenging chain of intense exercise. They also understand that water and electronics don't mix—instead of hosting their classes inside gyms filled with treadmills and stationary bikes, they stage their regimens outdoors, fortifying their workouts with rejuvenating sunrays and the encouraging shrieks of onlooking robins.