When she opened the first Redenta’s Garden location in 1992, Ruth Kinler made sure to hire only experienced gardeners. She believed then—and still does—that her employees should be as passionate about the ins and outs of gardening as they are about frolicking among the first buds of spring. Very little has changed in the ensuing two decades; the shop continues to specialize in 100% organic plants and delight area gardeners with its unique varietals. Among the fragrant aisles, one can expect to find rare annuals growing alongside native and water-wise plants, the latter celebrated for their disciplined sipping habits.
As organic gardeners themselves, the store’s staff educates customers on seasonal blooms and holds regular classes and events. Though class topics vary, they often include helpful instruction in areas such as organic vegetable gardening, cooking with herbs and vegetables, and safely removing one’s hand from a flytrap. Redenta’s Garden also assists homeowners with modern landscape design that aims for low-maintenance, eco-friendly solutions.:
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
The art connoisseurs at Creative Hands guide patrons of all ages through the artistic process with a cache of ready-to-paint plaster and ceramic items. Equipped with provided paints and glazes, budding Picassos can transform bare figurines, plates, bowls, and goblets into masterpieces as personalized as the Mona Lisa's thumbprint. Guests can tote away freshly decorated plaster pieces after a 30- to 45-minute glazing-and-drying process or enlist the warming powers of a kiln to seal in a ceramic creation's luster and then pick up the fired work of art a week later. Creative Hands' roomy studio fosters a suitable space for large groups or birthday parties and houses a ladies' night on the first Thursday of every month.
James McGuffey, owner of Alamo Door & Awning, built his business on a simple guarantee: he promises customer satisfaction with his newly installed or repaired garage doors, garage-door openers, and extendable awnings, or he doesn't charge for the service. To deliver on such a pledge, he maintains a team of top-notch technicians and a stock of most of the hardware needed for any job. He even sells the hardware piecemeal to those who want to attempt repairs on their own, providing helpful advice and tips for such do-it-yourself projects on his website.
Burgers seared over an open flame, then doused in house-made pepper sauce. Po boys constructed from white hoagies and neatly sliced turkey and ham. These handheld meals characterize the offerings at Uncle Bo's Hamburgers & Deli, where both cold and hot sandwiches stack all-natural ingredients between chewy bread.
A full one-third pound of meat beefs up each grilled burger, served with fries and available with toppings such as bacon, blue cheese, and chili. Deli sandwiches range from hearty reubens on rye to lighter turkey wraps with sprouts and tomatoes, as well as offerings that set sail on wheat bread or tucked inside of croissants. House-made soups warm bellies to prevent locals from walking around with hot potatoes in their sweatshirts' front pockets, although the eatery also slings spuds loaded with bacon, cheeses, and broccoli.
It’s a good thing James Bryant’s parents didn’t pay him more allowance. At 10, he found his $10 weekly payday unacceptable, so he started knocking on neighbors’ doors to see if they’d like him to mow their lawns. The business grew as he did, and, by the time he finished high school, he felt certain that landscaping was his true passion. Since officially founding Bryant Lawn and Sprinkler in 1995, James has continued to find fulfillment in creating natural works of art out of previously lackluster yards and gardens. He and his team do this by planting flowers, mulching gardens and installing eco-conscious sprinkler systems. They also design yard lighting so that, at night, freshly pruned shrubs stand out and moths can use shadow puppets to tell their brief life stories.