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.
Since 1910, Hallmark has stocked its shelves with a wide variety of greeting cards, gifts, and thoughtful keepsakes. Patrons can write a formal request for better candy from neighbors with Halloween greeting cards ($0.99+ each) or record a personalized greeting card to document a baby's first words in English or made-up baby language. Keepsake ornaments ($9.95+) inspired by the memorable Peanuts comic strip feature Snoopy, Lucy, and Charlie Brown decked out in Halloween costumes, and a variety of scrapbook kits and photo albums help to preserve memories without having to pickle the brain. A large selection of wrapping paper, ribbons, and bags encloses gifts in layers of festivity.
Aiming to reinvent the ambiance of an old-fashioned sewing outlet, the family-owned-and-operated Eden Creative Sewing Center is the craft-based center for all sewing, quilting, or garment-construction needs. A certified dealer of Pfaff and Bernina embroidery machines, Eden Creative Sewing Center keeps customers abreast of the latest stitching technology while permitting patrons to trade their used machines toward the newest models. Thimble-thumbed staffers readily assist customers in navigating the store’s extensive array of fabrics, cottons, and additional supplies. A brigade of expert sewers instruct Eden Creative Sewing Center’s classes and workshops, which cover such skill sets as pattern fitting, embroidery, quilting, and stitching.
Since 2006, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at The Bike Shop has paired products ranging from bikes to apparel with expert maintenance services. Customers can peruse the store’s inventory of bicycles from notable names, such as Ridley, Giant, and Scott, and then don a Lazer helmet before peddling their purchase out into the world amid the blares of their own bugle calls. When wear and tear threaten to sideline a set of wheels, a team of repairmen, led by owner and certified bicycle mechanic Adam Trost, stands ready to nurse bikes back to health with services, such as tune-ups, fittings, and custom wheel builds.
On the corner of Buffalo and Main Street, Ten Thousand Wines inhabits a quaint brick building that welcomes visitors to its microwinery and tasting room. As a winery free from ties to a particular vineyard, Ten Thousand Wines' staff can source its grapes from vines all around the world—including Antarctica—a practice that inspired the winery's name. The vintners hand make each variety in small batches and carry more than 40 wines in their retail store. At a tasting bar, open Tuesday–Saturday, curious sippers perch around a quarter-circle bar to sniff and swirl their wines, such as Nooks & Crannies, a cranberry-chianti blend, or the delicate Delaware, made from New York grapes. The shop's resident oenophiles share their passion with guests in 90-minute wine-making classes, bolstered by a wealth of wine kits and raw grape juices. In an article from the Buffalo News, owner Mike Ditonto cites what he sees as the appeal of home winemaking: nostalgia for grandparents' wine cellars and new methods of family bonding more comfortable than supergluing yourself to a favorite relative.