Cinda B. Factory Outlet Sale

If you haven’t heard the name Cinda B., you’ve probably seen her bags floating around town. Locally made, these handbags, totes, luggage sets, and tech accessories are taking over by storm. Cinda Boomershine started the company in 2004 and began producing durable, fashionable, and colorful handbags. November 6-8, the cinda b factory in Fort Wayne will be hosting a Factory Outlet Sale.

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Just in time to stock up on gifts for the holidays, the sale will take place on Thursday, November 6 from 2-7 pm, Friday November 7, from 9 am – 6 pm, and Saturday November 8, from 9 am – 12 pm. Get all of your favorite designs and patterns at great discounted prices.

And, as an added bonus, come at special times of the sale to meet Cinda B. herself. Swing by Thursday from 5-7 pm or Friday from 9-11 am to get a chance to talk with the woman behind the work.

Cinda says she finds inspiration for her work in all aspects of her life, and as a busy woman herself, Cinda knows just what women-on-the-go are looking for in a bag. Her bags come in a variety of over hundreds of color and pattern combinations, so there is something for everyone.

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These bags are great for any occasion and make great gifts for Christmas, wedding showers, baby showers, birthdays, and more! Come the first days of the sale for the best selection and then come back later in the weekend for even further discounted prices.

While you are in town, go ahead and make it a day of shopping. Glenbrook Square Mall is just down the street. Stop at one of the many restaurants in the area for a quick refresher, and then shop until you drop!

Holley Taylor

About

Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Stoner’s Funstore Offers Fun for Any Occasion!

With Halloween just around the corner, come check out Stoner’s Funstore for your last-minute costume, accessories, and any other dress-up needs!

Named after the owner Dick Stoner, a nationally-renowned magician, Stoner’s has been in downtown Fort Wayne since 1949, but I visited this store for the first time just a few weeks ago with a friend.  We had a blast browsing the wide array of elaborate, creepy and comical costumes!

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Who WOULDN’T want to dress up as the King of Pop?

My favorites were the Medieval costumes, because I have a fetish for Medieval culture.  I appreciated the costumes because they looked more authentic than cheesy.  I liked the Michael Jackson outfit, too, complete with a white, sequined glove.

Customers can purchase costumes or rent them online.  The website is comprehensive and well-organized, but I recommend popping into the store and meeting the owners, who are very personable and passionate about helping people have fun with dressing up.

Need a mask or wig?  You’ll definitely find what you’re looking for at Stoner’s, whether it’s something flirty or scary, ghoulish or animal, childish or adult-themed.  The store also sells a lot of face paint and makeup in the fall in preparation for Fort Wayne’s annual Fright Night Zombie Walk.

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Masks for the not-so-faint-of-heart!

There’s more to Stoner’s than just dress-up items, though.

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There are kid-friendly toys, like rod puppets, and quirky gifts for superhero aficionados. And who can forget Mr. Stoner’s magic store?

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Not into dressing up for Halloween? That’s ok. Grab a superhero bowl for your favorite Halloween candy!

This really is a fun place for all ages, so make Stoner’s a stop in your Halloween shopping, and be sure to come back for more at Christmas time!

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Come visit Stoner’s Funstore online here or downtown at 712 Harrison St.

260-426-1100

Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

Bookstores in Fort Wayne have a unique charm

There is no better way to spend a rainy day than to escape into the pages of a book filled with adventure and drama. Fort Wayne is home to a number of different bookstores, all with their own flavor and a slightly different vibe.

We of course have our share of the national chain, Barnes and Noble. This is a great place to go if you are looking for somewhere familiar. They also have a great selection of newer books among other fun toys. Check out their wall of unique journals and pick one up to start writing your own novel. Or stop in for some back to school supplies that will be the envy of the class.

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Hyde Brothers Bookstore

Another great option is Half Price Books. HPB carries books of varying degrees of use; some you would swear are brand new and some have been well read and quite cherished. Recently, though, they have started carrying brand new bestsellers as well, something that costumers said they wanted from this consumer-focused bookstore. Plus, check out their blog for author recommended reads or lists of seasonal must-reads in all genres.

Still, I prefer to shop local when I can, and there local bookstores have a special kind of charm all their own. Most of independent stores in town deal in gently used – or read and loved – books. One of the favorite local places is Hyde Brothers books at the Wells St. Corridor. It’s easy to kill a day just browsing here; books line every wall from floor to ceiling. This sounds overwhelming, but it is well organized and the owners know their way around their books. Walking into the store the smell of books engulfs you. If you look hard enough, you’re guaranteed to find a rare book or two, and certainly something extraordinarily unique.

A bit less chaotic is The Bookmark. In addition to used and new books, they buy and sell textbooks. See what the college kids are reading for class and pick up some of the titles for yourself! The Bookmark has a wide variety of different genres, so there is something for everyone. Make sure to pick up a mug, journal, or planner while you are there too!

No matter what you are looking for in a bookstore experience, Fort Wayne has you covered. While you are in town, make sure to check out some of the great local restaurants and shop around at some of our local stores or big malls.

Holley Taylor

About

Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Schmucker’s Produce Farm: a Touch of Amish Quality

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The Schmucker’s sign marks the way.

 

You’ll find Schmucker’s Produce Farm just outside Fort Wayne on 12815 Doty Road. And they are open year round – except in the winter, when they are closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (They also don’t open on Sundays any time of the year.)

You have to watch for the turn to Doty road carefully – it’s not quite visible, yet you really know when you’ve missed it. The tall corn seems to separate behind you and wave. But there are signs – a big one on Doty Road, and a large one right outside the parking lot to Schmucker’s Produce Farm. The high, white greenhouses also clue you in.

A lot has changed at Schmuckers since I last visited the place. The store itself is sided in log-look siding. Entrance is through one door – exit through three other doors. Inside, the floors are a concrete laminate, polished to a high sheen. White lace valances flutter over big windows, and the feeling of being in a small supermarket takes over. Maybe it’s the rattling noise of shopping carts, rolling around the aisles.

Inside Schmuckers, you’ll find a little bit of everything, from seed packets to fresh fruit, popcorn and taco seasoning. In the aisles closest to the front of the store, there are rows of packaged seasonings. Celery salt, taco seasoning, onion powder, oat bran, and many other dried seasonings are set up in neatly-labeled bags, about a ½ quart each. Bags of dried noodles also fill these shelves, along with cans of instant gravy – simply heat and serve. In one alcove is the seed stand, loaded with small brown envelopes of just about any garden veggie you want – lettuce, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, and radishes, just to name a few. At $.69 per packet, that’s not too bad.

A refrigerated cooler holds paper-wrapped rounds of butter and different cheeses. White Colby and low-fat hot pepper cheese were just two of the several flavors on the shelves.

The area that hasn’t changed too much is the place where wooden bins hold corn cobs. Bags for your corn are hung from the ceiling – grab your own and choose from one of several varieties of corn that fill the wooden bins. Watermelons also are piled on nearby tables, while 50-lb. sacks of onions rest on a pallet on the floor.

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Pick your own sweet corn ears here, at Schmuckers.

Maybe the best scent at Schmuckers is the fruit. The deep, sweet scent of plums radiates from white handled bags, smelling like a piece of summer and wild freshness. Bags of apples, pears, nectarines and peaches are also available – you can buy apples in half peck, whole peck, or half bushel bags. Varieties available the day I visited were Golden Delicious, Paula Red and Gala.

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Fresh apples – don’t they look good?

Another sensory sensation is the pepper section – Schmuckers has non-spicy, sweet green jalapeños and fiery hot banana peppers, jalapeños and habaneras. Simply stand in front of the bins for a minute – you’ll feel a wave of heat. The colors are so vibrant, too – red, yellow and green, healthy and plump.

As you head towards one of the several check-out counters, you’ll walk through aisles of dried beans, lentils, flavorings (like black raspberry, vanilla and coconut) and candy. Bags of popping corn, envelopes of “Amish Country Microwave Popcorn,” and candy are also for sale. (The peanut butter malt balls looked quite tasty.)

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Lentils, beans and other dried mixes are ready for your kitchen. And they’re non-GMO, too!

Rows of potted mums are outside, in deep purple, vibrant yellow, and a mixture of many colors. A few metal-look benches are scattered between giant pots of flowers, and people are just waiting for another parking place to open up. The paved lot is smooth and easy to use – fairly wide. On the day I visited, people of all ages were loading cars, getting kids ready to go, and walking into the produce shop in a busy hustle. As we left, an Amish buggy trotted past, everyone dressed warmly in knit caps and coats – it was only around 50 degrees.

If you want to sample some of Fort Wayne’s Amish culture, just drive out of town for a short distance and you’ll be right in the heart of it. The Amish staff at Schmuckers is friendly, and they appreciate “English” (their term for non-Amish) customers.

Louisa

About

Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Fort Wayne is your place for girlfriend getaways

When was the last time you really let your hair down with some girlfriends? Chances are, it wasn’t recent enough. Why not let loose with a change of scenery? Fort Wayne has plenty to offer women of all ages for girlfriend getaways. Here are a few of my recommendations, in no particular order:

  • Have drinks at Club Soda. There is a reason this restaurant/bar is a favorite of Harrison Ford. Try one of their signature martinis, and you won’t be disappointed.

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    Find a one-of-a-kind treasure at Opal & Ruby.

  • Wine a bit. There are two wineries with 30 miles of Fort Wayne. Country Heritage, just north of Fort Wayne, urges you to enjoy up to five free tastings, and then savor your selection (or one of their amazing wine slushies!) under their gazebo, or as you sit and rock awhile on their front porch. Two EE’s tasting room combines simple elegance with a full view of the production room. Guests can overlook the vineyard as they peruse their wine selections, and freely enjoy the 40-acre grounds.
  • Get artsy. Wine & Canvas combines art with  Their studio on the southwest side of town is bright and cheerful–the walls are adorned with sample paintings from previous sessions. You’ll be provided with a canvas, supplies and instructions needed to make your own masterpiece. A beverage bar is available that serves wine, beer, soda, and water. A small selection of snacks is available, as well. There’s also a private room for parties.
  • Indulge. If you haven’t heard of DeBrand’s you’re missing out. This world renowned purveyor of chocolate is based right here in Fort Wayne. Come in for a piece or two and savor the fine confections.
  • Engage in some retail therapy. Forget big box stores–you should check out what makes Fort Wayne unique. It’s the independently owned retailers that really stick out. We recommend Opal & Ruby Gift Emporium to find a souvenir or gift. Inside the store you’ll find some gems as hand-made jewelry, pillows, picture frames candles, cookies, and bags. A great deal of the products are locally sourced from such vendors.

Here’s to creating some memories!

About

Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.