In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Sit 'n Sleep's friendly staff of sleep consultants take slumber seriously, spending months to learn the ins and outs of sleep health, mattress selection, and customer service. With their extensive expertise, these wink whisperers help snoozers find the perfect person-size pillow on which to repose or languidly mispronounce French poetry; choose from a panoply of twin, full, queen, king, and Cal king varietals. Guests can find restful vibes manifested in a bevy of mattress brands, from Sealy to Simmons, and types, from memory foam to latex.
At Embassy Cigars, knowledgeable stogie scholars pair visitors with selections from the more than 200 high-quality cigar brands. Sink into a plush chair in the lounge, eye a flat-screen TV, and sip complimentary coffee as you puff a Cohiba Red Dot Crystal Tubos Corona ($18.95) or breathe in the powerful aromas of an Ashton Classic Magnum ($11). The roster of sophisticated smokables continues with Montecristo #2 ($16.95) and Macanudo Hyde Park Café ($9.95), which both provide excellent means for practicing smoke rings or showing off by blowing smoke Möbius strips. Embassy Cigars also stocks humidors, cigar cutters, lighters, and other accessories that aid in making plumes.
Sterling Bedding hand selects a diverse collection of mattresses and other bedtime essentials to fill its network of North American show rooms. Through appointment-only shopping, patrons can get a one-on-one tour of traditional, pillow-top, and memory-foam mattresses organized conveniently by price point, as well as a selection of fashionable bed frames and bedroom furniture. By setting up shop in warehouses and forgoing the high rents associated with flashy retail spaces or shops set inside limousines, Sterling is able to keep operating costs low and set competitive prices that allow the savings to trickle down to the customer.