In the mild climes of the Willamette Valley, gentle slopes and low elevation nurture the 35 acres of wine grapes that produce Ankeny Vineyard's collection of pinot noir, pinot gris, and other signature wines. Vineyard owner Joe Olexa planted his first grapes in 1982, and with the help of winemaker Andy Thomas, the varietals have stood the test of time to become perennial award-winners at the Oregon State Fair and beyond. Visitors converse on the winery's patio over glasses of pinot noir and mélange blanc, surveying the scenic Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge and its droves of migratory waterfowl. An onsite outdoor, wood-burning pizza oven allows for wines to balance with the flavors of melted cheese on weekends during the summer months, which will have to suffice until cheese agrees to be bottled.
Serving gadget enthusiasts since 1978, Hear No Evil can equip any home or vehicle with the latest stereos, TVs, speakers, and sound- and vision-enhancing devices. The massive showroom boasts gizmos from brands such as Samsung, Krell, Alpine, and JL Audio. Enthusiastic employees help customers with challenges such as purchasing audiovisual electronics, figuring out which stereo system to buy, or cloning a doppelgänger to help them watch every episode of The X Files. Versatile electronic experts draw from a wide range of knowledge to program and design custom sound systems for vehicles, businesses, and living spaces.
A small group of artists walks past racks of tassels, fringes, and beads, dragging fingers gently across the myriad textures of more than 2,000 bolts of fabric. The Instock Fabrics show room wraps and rolls a rainbow of textiles and accessories that beg to be converted into slipcovers, drapes, or a friend for a lonely kite that keeps trashing the house. Tags from popular brands, such as Covington, Waverly, and Braemore, dapple the aisles, and a gallery for custom orders parades more than 20,000 additional fabrics, distinct trims, and pieces of hardware. After perusing swatches for a bedspread or a pillowcase, patrons can suss out the tablecloth situation or utilize a set of precut curtains as a vine-style swing to perfect their Tarzan bellow.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Elsinore Gallery owners Steve and Barbara Narkaus preserve all varieties of memento within more than 200 types of frames. Alongside stock and custom frames of wood, metal, and lacquer, hundreds of matting options give dimension to encased diplomas, family portraits, or parking tickets. Frames in sizes 24"x30" or 24"x36" preserve larger items, such as a movie poster or a member of the rebel forces frozen in carbonite. The husband-and-wife pair also stocks the shop's gallery with the works of local artists, including Barbara's own golf-theme artwork, which grants everlasting views of the scenic golf courses in the Pacific Northwest.
Slab Handcrafted Soap Company's dedicated soapsmiths blend and cut soaps by hand. With extreme care and consciousness of the suds-making process, these artisans forge blocks from a blend of palm, coconut, and olive oils, and exotic butters—ingredients that cohere into smooth, rich bars. These slabs not only clean skin, but also moisturize it—unlike commercial soaps, which are made with a milling process that extracts the natural moisturizing glycerin, they contain a high glycerin content. The all-natural soaps can last one person 4–5 weeks through regular use and only slight nibblings.