"Aunt Annie's Fruit Stand in Hillsdale, NJ." There was a time when any piece of mail marked with this destination would find its way to Demarest Farms. In the early 1900s, Annie Demarest set up a roadside stand to sell the fruit that her brother, Lincoln, had begun growing in orchards on their family's farm. The orchards were a new addition to land originally purchased in 1886 by the Demarest family, who had been farming American soil since the 17th century. Demarest Farms started out with mostly cattle and chickens, but Lincoln's orchards soon became famous, attracting visitors from around the region for juicy peaches, strawberries, apples, and other fruits.
The fruits helped Demarest Farms blossom into what it is today: a farm with a large onsite market offering just-picked produce and complimentary fresh air. In the 1970s, Lincoln's grandson, Peter, introduced pick-your-own adventures, which are still popular with visitors today. After trekking out into the orchards or pumpkin patches to pluck fruit so fresh the paint might still be wet, guests return to the market, where they can visit the ice-cream parlor, delicatessen, or country bakery. The market has a few modern features as well, including a salad bar and a shop with seasonal and gourmet foods.
Nature's Pavilion has inspired healthful hankerings since 1961 with a cornucopia of nutritious organic and vegan foodstuffs as well as natural health and body care products. Stock up on by-the-pound breakfast fodder such as the organic raisin-bran cereal ($0.79/oz.) for a heart-healthy breakfast undisturbed by nosy toucans. Herbivores and omnivores have ample access to ground-grown goodies such as Eden canned organic black beans ($2.59) and Woodstock Farms whole pod edamame ($9.99), as well as earth-derived vegan delicacies such as Dr. Praeger's italian veggie burger ($5.09) and carrots made from real carrots. Customers who prefer their meals meaty yet ethical quell hunger with Organic Valley boneless chicken breasts ($12.99/lb.) and Boves of Vermont organic meatballs ($9.99/lb.).
Something wicked lurks within the abandoned peach orchard at Depiero's Country Farm. But to discover which petrifying presences lie in wait, intrepid guests must walk through Night-mares Haunted Attraction's unsettlingly named Twisted Maniac Trail. Scares spring from behind every turn, sometimes in the form of special effects, other times in the form of actors donning horrifying getups. At certain points, those scenes may depict intense, blood-soaked frights not recommended for children 10 and under. If the outdoor trail ever gets too freaky, participants of any age can be escorted out quickly by shouting "safety", just like the protagonist does at the anti-climactic conclusion to Friday the 13th.
A&A Fine Foods, which first opened its doors in 1992, helps customers line their pantry shelves or banquet tables with gourmet comestibles the likes of meat, bread, cookies, olive oil, cheese, and pasta. Behind gleaming display cases of hormone-free chicken and Boar's Head meats, A&A's butchers prepare homemade italian sausage and slice marbled cuts of grass-fed beef with the steady hands of a brain surgeon playing Jenga. The deli's staff can accommodate lunchtime cravings or catering requests by ladling bowls of house-made soups out of its percolating cauldrons and crafting hearty sandwiches or wraps with such ingredients as grilled eggplant and imported provolone.
Fragrant roses and fine wine can be key elements of a romantic evening, and both can be found at Wine & Roses, a family-owned boutique in business since 1987. In addition to a full florist's shop and liquor store, patrons can find gourmet foods, gift baskets, stuffed animals, and balloons. Delivery is available throughout Bergen County.
The professional photographers at Target Portrait Studios capture paramount moments in premier lighting with high-tech digital cameras and a choice of vivid background images. After clients discuss pose preferences with their portraitist, subjects take the stage for approximately 10 minutes of flashing bulbs, bright smiles, and focused lenses. Clients are welcome to bring props and shadow puppets from home, and after choosing a background, they can further customize each image with one of the studio's props, if desired.
The board-certified ophthalmologists at Corneal Associates of New Jersey perform CustomVue Wavefront LASIK surgery designed to enhance vision and reduce dependency on glasses and contacts. After administering drops to numb peepers and mimicking a variety of whale calls to soothe nerves, ocular specialists use an enhanced excimer laser to reshape eyeballs' outer surface. Customized wavefront technology treats patients based on their eyes' individual topography. Clients stay awake for the less than 30-minute procedure, as laser beams spend 6-7 minutes working to restore visual clarity and allow clients to once again read the tiny diaries of their Polly Pocket dolls. After the surgery, an ocular shield must be worn during the first night while eyes heal. In FDA tests, 100% of LASIK patients were able to pass a driving test without wearing corrective lenses, and 98% had 20/20 vision.