A sustainable and community-supported farm collective, First Hand Harvest packs up bushels of broccoli, bok choi, and other organic earth candies for herbivores seeking a locally grown alternative to the supermarket shelf. Three individual family farms combine their crops to deliver a large variety of vegetable options, so customers can expect a soil-grown surplus of greens, reds, and yellows in each weekly half-bushel box. As vegetable assortments are local and seasonal, customers can embrace the thrilling uncertainty of not knowing whether their box will contain arugula, brussels sprouts, or animatronic cucumbers. Most boxes will also contain a healthy cooking green, such as swiss chard or kale, along with recipes and suggestions for culinary pairings.
Cultivating fair-trade artisanal relationships, Phoenix Traders imports clothing and accessories from around the world, including a cornucopian clothing selection ($15+ each) that lets wardrobe-enhancers step back into the pullover ponchos and synesthetic color swirls of the '60s and '70s. Warm up with handmade wool wear from South America or Nepal, or safely carry around an edition of How to Become President of the Moon in a retro purse ($15+). Customers can brighten the area around wrists and necks with fair-trade Nepali silver jewelry ($15+) or boost their carrying capabilities with a recycled silk bag.
Thirty years of practice has given the chefs at Irish Rose Saloon a refined sensibility, which they use to craft accessible pub food that pairs flawlessly with the bar's selection of craft beer on tap. The chefs travel to Chicago markets each week to find the freshest seafood, meats, and produce. Once they've dreamed up inventive daily specials, the options are displayed on a chalkboard menu that hangs on the restaurant's exposed brick wall, featuring entrees like duck meatloaf, jamaican pork, and sustainable fish such as Lake Superior whitefish and shrimp that always bring fabric bags to the grocery store.
These specials join the regular favorites on the lunch and dinner menus, including housemade veggie burgers, linguine with housemade italian sausage, and chicken breast baked in a wood oven. Patrons can team their selections with dozens of draft beers, such as regular and seasonal suds from New Holland and Flying Dog breweries.
Melanie Aitken handcrafts small batches of truffles, brittle, and other dainties with expertise honed over 30 years as an acclaimed confectioner for parties and weddings. Clusters of cashews and caramel emulate turtles as they are dipped by hand into white- and milk-chocolate shells, and fragrant almonds flavor traditional dutch bonquet pastries, re-created based on a recipe from Melanie's grandmother. Lava-salted caramel strains to encase magmatic caramel drops within a sill of milk or white chocolate, and a sprinkling of black-lava salt hints at the eruption of flavor contained within. Melanie’s Country Confections delivers locally, and an online storefront facilitates orders throughout the country.
Offering more than 30 healthy handheld eats prepared with super-fresh produce and high-quality ingredients, Roly Poly’s menu has something to fit any discerning taste. Lunch on tongue-torpedoing sandwiches rolled in tortillas, hot-pressed panini-like sandwiches, soups, and fresh salads. Sandwiches, such as a cold Cobb chicken salad roll, chicken Caesar roll, or hot-pressed pesto chicken, are served in 6” or 12” varieties (usually $3.95/$6.25). The hot-pressed Spinach Popper with light cream cheese, baby spinach, plum tomatoes, onion, sliced jalepenos, with a side of salsa ($3.95/$6.25) soothes any veggie lover's grumbling food sack.
Founded more than 30 years ago by Gail Kelce, Kelce and Company has grown from a one-woman business to a 35-person-strong staff dedicated to rendering outstanding residential and commercial cleaning services. During carpet-refreshing sessions, teams of insured cleaners operate a powerful truck-mounted steam-cleaning system to abrogate dirt and stains. Area rug cleaning is another coefficient in the business’s service equation, and it includes both pickup and drop off. Elsewhere, the company’s spectrum spans from the large-scale whole-house cleaning to the inconceivably small-scale scrub-downs of subatomic particles. On top of traditional domicile work, Kelce and Company also specializes in a range of restoration services, from vandalism removal to emergency water, fire, and flood cleanup.