At Vermont Teddy Bear's factory in Shelburne, Vermont, workers happily sew together cuddly teddy bears of all sizes and for all occasions, from the 6-foot Giant Hunka Love bears for significant others to adorable tiny cubs for kids. Each plush, handmade gift arrives dressed in outfits designed for almost any holiday, from a bear decked out in Santa gear for Christmas to a bear dressed in a pilgrim outfit for Thanksgiving.
What happens when you mix a background in chemistry with a wine-making heritage and decades of industry experience? You end up with Gary Akrop, a vintner who really knows his stuff. For Gary, wine was once a simple hobby. But it eventually grew into a full-blown passion, leading him to establish Ledge Rock Hill Winery in the Adirondack Mountains in 2011.
There, he mixes scientific wisdom with decades of industry knowhow to produce limited batches of his handcrafted wine. Reds are the winery's specialty, each one made with grapes crushed onsite. And much like magic genies, each one is stored in oak barrels for months and even years at a time. Such precise barrel aging is part of a process that, when combined with quality fruit and expert skills, helps Gary and Ledge Rock produce wines of exceptional character. Whether sweet or dry wines are your favorite, a variety of the winery's best choices is always available for sampling in the warm, woodsy tasting room.
Though he’s catered for Oprah and won Steven Tyler over with his meatballs, Lou Marzelli can still take the time to fill a family table. Dishes of lasagna, chicken parmesan, and penne in housemade marinara come to fruition out of recipes handed down through the Marzellis’ Italian-native family every day in their New York–style deli. A gleaming deli case brims with Boar's Head meats and cheeses ready to be sliced and stuffed into hearty wedge sandwiches. whereas pizzas proudly hold toppings such as genoa salami, fresh basil, or the crumbled remains of lesser pies. Breakfast selections are served all day alongside locally roasted espresso drinks, and 36 flavors of housemade gelato and sorbetto—such as stracciatella, strawberry, and tiramisu—put a sweet finish on Italian helpings.
The Beauchesne family, founders of Beau's All Natural Brewing Co., know that music and beer go well together. However, that doesn't simply mean that they enjoy sipping beer while listening to music. They've actually based their hands-on brewing process around the strong work ethic of DIY musicians. Several employees even play in the brewery's resident band, Audio.
The brewery's beer is as unique as its music-centered personality. "The beer, made with certified organic malt and local spring water, is just as refreshing as its quirky branding,? said Ottawa Magazine in its 101 Tastes To Try Before You Die list. Lug?Tread lagered ale, belgian dubbel, and vanilla porter are among its award-winning brews. Ever involved with the community, Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. frequently organizes dinners, music nights, and other events at local spots.