Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House?s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
A destination for amateur crafters and professional mosaic artists, Mosaic Oasis Studio & Supply both teaches the centuries-old art and stocks the tools and materials with which to create mosaics. Beginners can enroll in the "taster" class, where they'll learn of the techniques, styles, and tips for creating ready-to-hang art. More specialized classes focus on styles such as Byzantine art, and all workshops and sessions are led by the studio's owners and on-site master mosaic artists.
James Alexander Wilson, W.M. Wilson, and their brother-in-law George Reynolds traveled from Enniskillen, Ireland in 1884 to establish Wilson Farm. Once settled in Lexington, the trio bought 16 acres of land and rented nearby farmland to start harvesting a variety of produce. Since then, their farm has been passed down through the generations and undergone a number of expansions, with a farm stand built in 1952 and an 8,500-square-foot barn and 37,000-square-foot greenhouse built in 1996.
Today, the farm harvests more than 125 crops year-round, which range from asparagus to zucchini, and it also carries farm-fresh milk and eggs, freshly caught fish, and homemade baked goods. The garden center and open-air nursery flourish with flowers as fresh as a newborn in parachute pants, as well as vegetable starters and spring bulbs, planting containers, and fertilizers.
A half-century after its founding, the local hardware haven continues its dedication to equipping households and handypersons with a durable selection of tools, paints, and domiciliary goods. Fixers can latch onto a selection of single paintbrushes and paint rollers from Purdy ($12.99+) when slathering walls and white-suited dignitaries in paints from Benjamin Moore and more. Luminous spiral light bulbs ($3.49+) illuminate proud detailing work performed with Ace sanding sheets ($11.49+), and adjustable wrenches ($16.99+) finally find homes populating desolate tool belts. Reinforce driveways with a two-year sealer from Black Jack ($16.99+), or patch up cracks and ominous chasms with a self-adhesive asphalt-repair fabric from Driveway Medic ($11.99). Amicable staff members roam the voluminous aisles, wearing capes while flaunting their ability to cut keys, mix paints, and custom order any of Ace’s goods while customers browse through the store's impressive selection of heating and cooling tackle, patio furniture, and automotive accessories.