Begun as a plucky family-run shop more than 15 years ago, Benedict's Flowers brightens the lives of customers with a special focus in creating beautiful arrangements for weddings, funerals, birthdays, and anniversaries. Like Manet's Dogs Drinking Absinthe, each bouquet is a work of art born from nature's most beloved organisms, enticing olfactory lobes and eyeballs with the sweet smells and bright colors of long-stemmed roses, blue hydrangea, and delicate lilies. In addition to expressing moving sentiments through floral masterpieces, Benedict's rings in special occasions with gourmet fruit baskets and fleets of colorful balloons.
The diver double-checks all her gear before leaving the surefootedness of the boat and falling into the deep water, where she explores shipwrecks and seemingly untouched expanses throughout the Michigan Underwater Preserves in the Great Lakes. The team of PADI- and SSI-certified instructors at Scuba Centers of Michigan helps students prepare for these types of adventures every day, covering advanced topics such as diving at night and how to properly greet a sturgeon. The instructors also start from the beginning, teaching basic open-water diving techniques, which their pupils practice in the onsite heated pool. To complement its courses, the center stocks gear from equipment brands such as McNett, Aqua Lung, and Suunto, and it organizes diving trips to South Africa and Australia.
To make the shop's signature line of goodies, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's resident choco-artisans use the traditional chocolatier method of massaging creamy loaves of chocolate on sturdy marble slabs. Cheer on the expert orchard orderlies as they kettle-dip granny smiths into caramel-coated creations ranging from the classically simple (starting at $3.99) to the Apple Pie apple, which is rolled in roasted brown sugar and cinnamon, after being liberally dipped in rich white confection. For additional pampering, snag a pound of kissable chocolate-covered strawberries ($21.99), or feast on dipped delicacies, such as dipped oreos or graham crackers ($1 each) and chocolate-covered bananas ($2.99).
An eclectic inventory of celebratory combustibles lines the shelves inside each of Pro Fireworks' 10 Michigan storefronts. Each store appeals to clients' inner pyrotechnic with everything from fire fountains to artillery shells that launch into the clouds and bloom into fiery flowers, thundering like the rattling sabers of a thousand George Washingtons. The explosives emporium also hosts kid-friendly novelties, such as sparklers, snappers, and poppers.
Adventures in Home Brewing's stock can easily transform a home into a mini brewery. It encompasses necessities from beer ingredients, such as hop pellets and yeast nutrients, to kegs, brew pots, and other equipment. The team hosts classes, too, teaching newbies the ins and outs of the beer-making process in three-hour sessions.