One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $2.2 million to charitable organizations.
Among rock gardens, stone pathways, and the old-growth forests of the Allegheny Mountains, Hilltop Lodge's redwood cabins proffer comfortable rooms near breathtaking nature. Sitting 2,217 feet above sea level, the cabins house two full-size beds and private bathrooms, while providing overnighters with access to private campfire areas. Inside the redwood lodge, built in 1928, chefs whip up Italian specialties, seafood, and hearty cuts of meat to refuel stomachs after days of golfing at nearby greens, exploring the outdoors, or duct-taping broken branches back onto trees.
During visits, travelers can enjoy Allegany County attractions—including fishing, hunting, and horseback riding—read books on the stone patio, or meander through the rock garden bordering Hilltop's pond, reciting poetry or reading the contents of cereal boxes aloud. Before departing, travelers can stop by the gnome-themed gift shop, which allows customers to take a bit of forest magic back home.
To the Spicola family, wine isn't simply something sipped on at dinner or during a party. Rather, it's the family heritage, which forms a bridge between generations. Today, Dominic Spicola runs the Winery of Ellicottville with his son-in-law, but years ago, he worked alongside his father, Francesco, an Italian immigrant schooled in his home country's winemaking tradition. Together, the duo crushed and pressed annual harvests into barrels of wine, making sure their relatives had enough to fill glasses at dinner and water balloons at family picnics throughout the year.
Today, Dominic and his son-in-law mesh this Old World wisdom with New World techniques to craft chardonnays and merlots, reds and whites. They sell their bottles from an unassuming shop on Monroe Street, where sky-blue walls, family pictures, and shelved knickknacks surround a sun-splashed bar.
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Erma “Mama” D’Avolio arrived at Ellis Island in 1935 from Collarmele, Italy, with an armful of children and a headful of recipes that soon gained her notoriety throughout Little Italy. Though an excellent cook who honed her skills over decades in the family restaurant, Erma swore that her delicious dishes had but one secret: the highest quality olive oil she could find. Inspired by her example, her grandson Danny Gagliardo opened D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars to honor her and offer the best varietals from around the world. The store sources its extra-virgin olive oils from California-based Veronica Foods, whose husband-wife duo has spent decades roaming the globe to find the most interesting oils.
Elsewhere in the store, balsamic vinegars come ready to drizzle over desserts, flavored salts offer zesty alternatives to bland white crystals, and ready-to-eat appetizers cut down on party prep better spent hilariously coating the foyer floor in olive oil. While shopping, guests can avail themselves of the helpful staff for suggested pairings to help experimental cooks create the perfect dish.
In the winter of 1995, a few New Yorkers on a skiing trip to Vail were so inspired by the area's bounty of craft breweries that they decided to return home and start their own, Ellicottville Brewing Company. Nearly two decades later, the brewery's two locations in Ellicottville and Fredonia have built up a diverse repertoire of 25 beers produced by master craft brewers via an authentic Hungarian brewing system. These range from crisp lagers and dark ales brewed year-round to experimental, hop-heavy, and small-batch varieties produced according to the season or the whims of the local czar.
EBC even lifts the veil on its brewing operations with regular tours that demonstrate the standard brewing process and include tastings.
EBC also pairs its brews with a menu of East Coast American and English pub grub. Chesapeake Bay crab cakes and chili-steamed mussels pave the way for heartier entrees, such as Texas-style dry-rubbed beef brisket, ale-braised lamb, and wild-mushroom risotto.