More Than Just a Liquor Store-Brown Derby International Wine Center

Searching for that perfect gift for a wedding or housewarming???  One of the best kept secrets in Springfield lies at 2023 S. Glenstone Avenue. Brown Derby International Wine Center boasts an excellent deli, gift shop and thousands of different bottles of alcohol including this gem from Ozark Mountain Daredevils. 

One of many offerings in the liquor department

The Derby Deli ( offers small plates, sandwiches, soup and salads along with a wine bar payable by the glass.  I have personally sampled the Tarragon Chicken Salad sandwich and the Asian Chicken Wrap.  Both are fresh, delicious and served with a side, enough for two.  The deli is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm and if the food doesn’t call to you, the eclectic collection of books, tableware, and various other offerings will.  Another note about the deli is that they serve locally made desserts and use locally made bread for their sandwiches when they are able. Tables are scattered around the deli area including a communal table, and an overflow area is also available towards the back end of the store.  Brown Derby also offers event catering and bartending services.

Deli seating area

Scattered throughout the north and east side of the store are shelves packed with an extensive array  of elegant and useful objects that will impress any difficult to buy for family member or friend.  Personally, I would choose from the variety of coffee table books or the novelty liquor choices. 

One of many book options

Usually buying alcohol for me is a hasty, “I know what I want” proposition.  I rarely stray from domestic beer and can easily find what I want in any store.  The International Wine Center invitingly draws you in to wander around, browse the offerings, eat, drink, and probably spend more than you were planning to.  Even if you abstain from drinking alcohol, check out the atmosphere in the deli and browse the gift areas.  You may surprise yourself by coming back to the International Wine Center again and again.

A small sample of gift ideas

Sunday Drives: February 2021

Disclaimer:  Some areas of the Ozarks require masks, some do not.  Please keep a mask available and please wear it if requested.

What a month!!!  Nothing but ice then snow here in the Ozarks so far this past two and a half weeks!  Luckily, the ice melted off before the snow began to fall on Valentine’s Day, locking down the already pandemic weary population hereabouts with about 6” of snow.  I was able to make it out of my driveway and to work each day though not always able to make it back into my garage without help.

It’s been a cold 2 weeks in the Ozarks!

So when the opportunity to take a drive presented itself, I dangled the carrot of ice cream in front of my husband and made the hour and a half drive north to Eldon, just past Lake of the Ozarks, home of the Ice Cream Factory.  We both work hard every day and have to remind ourselves that taking time to do something that doesn’t involve remodeling our houses, chopping wood, or working for money is still important.

The Ice Cream Factory Eldon Missouri

Of course, in February, the drive up 73 to 54 is less than spectacular.  Snow covered the ground and the wind blew my little Kia Optima around the highway, but Tim enjoyed the chance to check out the scenery while I drove-a rare treat for him as he generally has to be in the driver’s seat.  Since this was my idea, he was more than happy to let me take the reins and guide us through what little traffic we encountered and the hilly terrain of the Lake of the Ozarks region.

We stopped at Donut Palace in Camdenton for a quick bite before moving toward Eldon, our final destination.  I had the sausage and egg croissant while Tim devoured a chocolate covered Bavarian cream donut declaring it delicious.  A good friend of mine also likes their biscuits and gravy.  We also made a stop at a little drive thru/eat in diner with the quaint name of Eldon Drive In.  Tim figured some real food before eating more sugar might be a good idea.  The locals certainly seem to frequent the place and the deep fried mushrooms were as good as any I’ve had elsewhere.

On to the Ice Cream Factory!

A small town success story, this locally owned factory sells its product in various grocery store chains around Lake of the Ozarks and beyond.  The Eldon location has a small dine in area as well as a drive thru. I had to try the Gooey Butter Cake in a waffle bowl and it was a delicious as anything I could ask for.  Tim had a vanilla sundae with chocolate syrup but, unfortunately the cooler the ice cream had been stored in had not kept the ice cream as rock hard as usual.  He ended up with a soft serve consistency sundae, which while still good, was not as delicious as my Gooey Butter Cake.  I am tempted to get a pint at our local Harter House and see if it tastes better.  When we are in the area again, we will definitely be back to try another flavor or the sampler which gives you the option of choosing smaller portions of 4 different flavors.

Though one of us was a little disappointed with the ice cream treat the overall experience was one we desperately needed.  Marriage takes work, time and sacrifice.  Tim had planned to work on Sunday but I convinced him we needed the break and he capitulated.  I treated him to everything he wanted and even drove him around so it was almost like he was King for a day.  We talked, laughed, and he badgered me on how to frame my shots for this article.  We got to reconnect and see something different.  It was a win-win.  So get out there my friends, alone, with your significant other, with friends or family-time moves ever so quickly.

Check out the Facebook page How to do the Ozarks and Instagram htdto2020 for more pictures and places to visit!

C-Street City Market Opening


On April 22 2017, the C-Street City Market had their annual opening with merchants selling an eclectic mix of handcrafts, plant starts, and early vegetables.  Located on Historic Commercial Street in Springfield Missouri, C Street has been gradually making a comeback from rundown, empty buildings to bustling shopping district.  C Street has their own Facebook page at: Historic C-Street, C-Street City Market as well as a mailing list through email

After stopping at Big Momma’s Coffee for a café au lait to ward off the cold wind, I stopped by the main stand to buy some wooden chips with my debit card to use as currency.  Most of the booths have the ability to slide your card, but I like the chips.  They are different and I can keep myself under control better when I have $10-20 in chips rather than swiping my card on everyone’s phone all morning.  EBT cards can also be used to trade for the wooden chip currency, a nice feature for those who need it.

Lacey Mitchell’s stand is selling reusable bags, wood carriers, and aprons made from feed sacks.  She’s got a good mix of different types of bags, all of which are sturdy and sell for about $10.  What a great way to reuse those darn plastic dog food bags.  Her Facebook page is: Mitchell’s Dutchess of Pork totes.  She operates out of Oldfield and is at C Street on Saturdays.

Paul Spangenberg and his family have a mix of wood toys and crafts as well as an Etsy page.  Visit Nightcire toys on to take a look at his different products.  He also sells unfinished models so you can paint them as you like or make a project of it with the kids.

Smiling Sun Gardens had an excellent selection of native wildflowers and herb starts including medicinal herbs.  If you are at all interested in bringing bees and butterflies to your yard, you need to visit this gentleman.  His website is and he will be at C Street next Saturday.  He let me know he may not always be available to set up every weekend so give him a shout out on his website to find out where he will be when you are ready to plant.

Another interesting exhibitor was a woman who made fused glass jewelry.  Her Etsy website is The chromatic rabbit @  Look her up, the jewelry was awesome and Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  Hint hint, kids.

All in all it was a good visit.  I like supporting local business much more than supporting big box stores.  If the prices are right, I’d rather spend my money with them.  Other stores are open down on Commercial Street and they are worth a look as well, especially if you are looking for something unusual and fun.  Chabom Tea and Spice, Hakaar’s Bazaar, and Artivities are just a few.  Signing up for the twice monthly C- Street newsletter lets’ you in on what new stores are coming in and what’s going on with the nightlife as well.  Shop on my friends.