Growing up, C.V. Hunt spent more time around Christmas trees than the typical kid; during the summers, he'd make extra money helping out on Christmas tree farms, including one owned by his uncle. In 1980, he decided to open his own farm, naming it Hunt Tree Company. On 500 acres, he grows fraser firs, douglas firs, and other evergreens, some of which stand up to 12 feet tall.
Shaner Avenue Nursery owners and staff have extensive training in horticulture and forestry, which helps them keep an inventory of trees, shrubs, and perennials thriving. Fill gardens with rhododendrons ($35.97), a few of nearly a dozen varieties of junipers ($7.97+), or a member of the hydrangea family, which includes nine siblings in white, pink, and blue ($7.97+). Those who revel in eating everything they bury in the ground can plant raspberry shrubs ($5.97+), a red haven peach tree ($39.97), or bushes that grow fresh cobbler.
Oasis Hot Tub Gardens instantly transports visitors on mini vacations to other parts of the globe. Each private area—some indoor and some outdoor—takes on a theme of an exotic oasis, from the Isle Royale to a beautiful garden in Japan to the wild hot tubs that grow in the world's secluded forests. Those all become the backdrops for hours of relaxation within hot waters, which stay at a comfortable 102 degrees during the Fall and Winter and 96–100 degrees in Spring and Summer. Should customers need anything, say a change in tub temperature, all they need to do is make a request over the room's intercom—never having to leave their tiny slice of paradise. The private suites house other comforts too, namely stereos, dressing areas, and showers.
At Mark's Mattress Direct, friendly sales folk guide shoppers through no-pressure perusals of the show room's bounty, confident that the store's commitment to same-day delivery and factory-direct, cost-saving techniques speak for themselves. With an arsenal of bedding from trusted brands such as Corsicana and Englander, the inventory caters to the needs of every customer, from the entry-level Burnaby innerspring mattress for the casual napper, to the luxurious Bella pillow top for the more experienced marathon sleeper. Pallets of gel memory foam conform to tired bodies, giving them renewed strength and well-being each morning, while Michigan-made Clare mattresses deliver restful nights of sleep while contributing to the regional economy.
Fruit Basket Flowerland’s 20 acres of nursery space contain beautiful hanging baskets, annuals, and perennials. The nursery has seen those perennials bloom dozens of times since it opened back in 1949, and today the business has blossomed out to three locations. Home gardeners can peruse a huge selection of soil, fertilizer, and plants, or sign up for instructive gardening classes, which teach participants to care for their plants and to exterminate weeds without running afoul of weeds-rights activists. Fruit Basket Flowerland also houses a vast selection of patio furniture and three lines of Weber grills.
The friendly folks behind Y-Knot Embroidery stitch and screenprint names, logos, or favorite phrases onto a range of accessories and clothes for individuals, businesses, teams, and volunteer groups. The staff can personalize any accessory or article of attire—which can include brightly colored tees, hats, coats, and work-worthy button-ups—in their entire inventory. They can spiff up a polo shirt with an embroidered monogram, or distract potential thieves hoping to steal your beach bag with a screen-printed math problem.
To give back to their community, the staffers promote cancer awareness, stocking items such as Kid’s Cancer Storys, which benefits Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Institute.