Antonio and Rosa DeRosa came from a long line of merchants who sold Italian staples such as pasta, olive oil, and wine in Montedecoro, Italy. The family was well known around Naples for these provisions, and when Antonio and Rosa immigrated to America in 1926, they stocked their business, DeRosa Imports, with these same Old World staples.
Today, grandson Anthony DeRosa runs the shop, where he upholds tradition by importing extra-virgin Sicilian olive oil, Italian espresso, and pastas ranging from rigatoni to gnocchi. Over time, the family has expanded their selection to include products from countries such as Croatia and Serbia. Artisanal pickles, sauces, and jams infused with rose hips or sour cherries line the shelves, along with bottles of wine to pair with dinner or pour on thirsty houseplants.
Perched above the awning, a sturdy cow statue welcomes guests to the red-brick realm of Piatak Meats, first opened in 1910 and serving Merrillville since 1959. Inside, bright-pink cuts of meat line glass cases alongside homestyle heat-and-serve entrees such as lasagna and meatloaf. Culled from animals raised without hormones or added preservatives, the meat is chopped fresh daily, and staff also cut humanely raised Amish chickens by hand. Piatak Meats' signature house-made sausages include the flagship polish sausage made with garlic, as well as hot and mild italian sausage with whole fennel.
Now spreading health from three locations, the staff members at Baums Natural Foods believe that individuals have a say in their longevity, energy levels, and overall wellbeing. To that end, they stock an abundance of natural vitamins and supplements geared toward fostering strength, preventing ailments, and bringing dormant superpowers to the surface. Focusing on the Foundational Four supplements––multivitamins/mineral complexes, fish oil, probiotics, and enzymes––the team works with patrons to carve a path toward smooth and efficient bodily systems. For an immediate booster, the Munster and St. John locations fill the refrigerators at their juice bars with kale, ginger, lemons, mangoes, beets, and garlic, prepped and ready to custom blend into healthy sips. All Baums Natural Foods locations also feature a wellness center where licensed aestheticians, acupuncturists, and other specialists promote holistic health with treatments such as ionic footbaths, body wraps, and reflexology.
Local delicatessens allow people to eat fresh cuts of meat without the need to hunt or to build a train and run over a herd of winged buffalo. Let someone else do the dirty work with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of beef, pork, chicken, and deli meats at Howard & Sons in Munster, IN.
Honey Baked Ham Co.'s specialist butchers boast more than 40 years of experience preparing glazed meats. The staff slices roasted hams weighing up to 16 pounds, each dry cured, hickory smoked, and oven baked to fend off hungry snowmen. A fine glaze of honey and spices covers each ham, which is cut spirally to keep its sections intact for horizontal slicing. To complement its sweetly seasoned protein namesake, Honey Baked Ham Co. also furnishes meat collectors with honey roast beef, pork, and turkey.
County Line Orchard embraces guests with outstretched branches that hold more than 20 varieties of apples and a pumpkin patch flush with the warm and welcoming colors of the autumn harvest. Friends and families can traverse an orange-tinted wonderland with unlimited access to harvest activities of all sorts, from Moo-Choo tractor rides to fruit-picking excursions in the orchard. Those who attempt to navigate the two 10-acre corn mazes are well advised to fill rucksacks with butter, as even steadfast explorers must occasionally use their teeth to hack a path through the profusion of twists and turns. Bellies not filled with raw corn can make room for the bakery’s famous homemade donuts (not included in this Groupon) or an apple snagged from one of five U-Pick fields to which Grouponers enjoy unfettered access. Pumpkins available for purchase make ideal jack-o'-lanterns or catapult fodder, though honey farmers beseech guests to aim all launches away from the orchard’s active beehives.