It's no secret what Basket Case Gift Baskets Flowers & Balloons' staff specializes in: the business name says it all. They piece together brightly colored floral arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries, thank-yous, new babies, and weddings. To these bouquets, they add complementary balloons, stuffed animals, and sweets. They also fill custom gift baskets. What their business name doesn't show, though, is their dedication to the quick and artful completion of each order.
Scallops from Kachemak Bay. Hand-trimmed halibut from the Gulf of Alaska. Razor clams hand-dug from the beaches below Mount Redoubt. This sustainably caught seafood—along with Alaskan king crab, smoked salmon, and cod—forms the backbone of Tanner’s Fresh Fish Processing. Founders Jason and Rory Tanner process seafood fresh from the docks, vacuum-packing and flash-freezing and glazing it to prevent freezer burn before shipping it anywhere in Alaska, free of charge. Their team just as deftly custom-processes fish caught for sport, making using fillet knifes at home seem as ridiculous as drying off from a shower with the dog.
As one of Alaska’s premier web-based seafood companies, FishEx ships fresh and flash-frozen seafood throughout the U.S. The Alaska King Crab gift box packs three pounds of succulent crabmeat (1/2 lb. per leg) into a convenient holiday package that regales giftees with a savory flavor and texture, as well as health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Your gift box comes with a pint of seafood cioppino, a delectable stew of gill-breathers and their crustacean college roommates, sure to warm landlubbers and seasoned boatswain alike. You can also apply this Groupon's value towards a discount on any of FishEx’s extensive seafood offerings, including baskets filled with fresh scallops, casings stuffed with reindeer sausage, or sockeye salmon dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters.
The chefs at Ruby's Cafe pepper their menu with a delicious mish-mash of dishes starring the tastes of both Asia and America. Brimming with cabbage and mushrooms, Chinese specialties such as mu shu pork and shanghai spring rolls fortify meals with garden-grown vitamins as the works of featured artists chime in with appetizing splashes of color. Steaks range from a petite filet mignon drizzled with savory truffle oil to a hearty cowboy rib eye saddled with blue cheese and onion straws. Before plunging into lunch or dinner, palates can bask in pints of local beer, cups of Japanese sake, or dunk tanks of wine from around the world.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers' market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including flavored lemonade mixers.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. They also reach out to the community through fundraising opportunities.