Shopping carts loaded with dozens of different dry noodles from Japan, Korea, and China roll through the aisles at Hana Asian Market, where shelves hold spices from across Asia, homemade vegan and meat pot stickers, and bundles of sushi- and sashimi-grade fish. The market also regularly hosts sushi-making classes that demonstrate proper rolling techniques and give students all the necessary ingredients, sparing them the hassle of ransacking the aquarium in their office lobby.
The Kopper Popper's popcorn treats are handmade, with quality ingredients used to create quality eats. Taste the store's quarter-century-plus of morsel-making experience with Kopper Popper's more than 19 flavors of popcorn—one for each proton in potassium. The centerpiece of this crunchy pantheon is The Kopper Popper's signature caramel corn, made with premium brown sugar and real grade AA butter and kettle-cooked over the flicker of an open flame ($7.25 for large bag). The fruit mix, featuring seven flavors (banana, orange, strawberry, cherry, green apple, blue raspberry, and grape) of confetti-hued, candy-coated white popcorn ($7.75 for large bag), finds its happy home in the middle of a Venn diagram marked "flavor" and "color." Nut enthusiasts can revel in the Nutty Crunch, containing an all-star lineup of cashews, almonds, pecan halves, redskin peanuts, and jumbo popcorn coated in an extra-rich buttery caramel cloak ($12.95 for large bag). Those who prefer more fantastical flavorings can choose from a variety of The Kopper Popper's savory popcorn, including jalapeño, bacon & cheddar, nacho, and pizza ($7.25 for large bag of each). The indecisive seeker of taste hybrids can mix up to three flavors in a tin or bag for the cost of the most expensive variety.
Margaret and Phillip Nabors were ahead of the curve in championing natural and organic foods when they opened Mustard Seed Market & Café in 1981. To ensure the integrity of every item stocked on their shelves, the Nabors developed a list of golden standards—nine guidelines that range from a ban on high-fructose corn syrup to selling only cruelty-free cosmetics. This combination of rigor and passion has propelled Mustard Seed for more than 30 years, filling two locations with locally grown produce, fresh-baked vegan cookies, and naturally lean-but-tender beef from certified Piedmontese cattle, which are raised on an all-vegetarian diet free of steroids and antibiotics.
Today, the Nabors' children, Abraham and Gabe, have joined their parents in leading Mustard Seed's team of natural-foods experts—who include everyone from the customer-service associates to the stockers, ensuring that shoppers can find answers to their questions around every corner. The store also educates customers through classes and free lectures on topics such as California wines and what’s going to happen when they run out of letters to name the vitamins.
Carnage in the Corn at Maize Valley Market and Winery is a six-acre corn maze full of twists, turns, and frightful sensory escapades. A vast growth of corn sorghum, field corn, and forest paths create a seasonal labyrinth that will have your blood developing goose-bumps as you turn each corner in unknowing darkness. Carnage in the Corn employs no actors or gross-out techniques lifted from such horror films as Man, Blood, There's Blood, Man; the unknown nature of the maze and the darkness are all that it takes to strike terror in participants of this sprawling center of the spooky. The maze is designed for kids of all ages, within reason, as actual babies are likely to go feral if exposed to fresh air and cornstalks for more than a few minutes at a time.
When Frank Cangemi first opened Miles Famers Market in 1971, it was a seasonal, open-air market that only sold fresh fruits and vegetables. Frank would arrive at the Northern Ohio Food Terminal at 3 a.m. every day and proceed to hand select his stock of fresh produce, carefully choosing veggies without bruises and punting overly ripe cantaloupes. This hand selection and attention to detail is something he still does to this day, even though Miles Farmers Market has expanded to a 21,000-square-foot shopping space that also houses a deli, a butcher, and a bakery.
Its cheese department hosts more than 400 varieties of cheese, which complement varietals from a wine section that Wine Spectator hailed as “outstanding.” Its bistro not only makes up quick bites but also full dinners to go. Its staffers help foodies navigate the aisles and are on hand to offer tips that range from how to ripen an unfamiliar fruit to how to successfully wash food in the dishwasher.
Yet, even with all of this, it’s the dedication to having the best produce that really draws in shoppers. For more than 40 years, Miles has fostered partnerships with local produce growers such as Burnham, Spiegelberg, and Rittman Orchards, as well as Ohio Fruit Growers. These alliances allow for a vast selection of organic and local produce that may have been ripening on the vine or stalk seven hours before hitting store shelves.