Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company?founded in 1910?grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula?s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.
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.
Brandon Tallau and Samantha Tagliarino founded OffBeat Emporium to give new character to vintage furniture pieces that would otherwise be taking up space in a landfill. Tallau and Tagliarino along with their crew of artists, restore furniture and home accessories back to the original quality or transform it into an offbeat piece with bold colors and patterns.
Blasdell Nursery’s staff has flexed green thumbs and stocked shelves with a huge selection of lush greenery, fountains, and other garden accessories for more than 40 years. Customers can spruce up bare front yards with doldrums-extirpating shrubs and trees ($21+) or bring color to drab lawns every year by adding perennials ($5.95) to flower beds. Customers can also build rock-solid retaining wall with Pennsylvania wall stone ($300/pallet) and give winged friends or outdoors-type business associates a watering hole with a birdbath with locking top ($51). On top of floral fare, Blasdell helps beautify gardens with other outdoor accessories, including statutes, decorative pots, and highly trained garden gnomes to battle squash-stealing hordes of trolls.
For more than 60 years, the antidirt squad at Coit has purged floor pelts of grime and stains. Armed with a truck-mounted system and nontoxic solution, the carpet connoisseurs give heed to stubborn spots, odiferous areas, stretches of heavy foot traffic and the slip 'n' slide practice run. In less than one hour, the carpeting in both rooms will be squeaky clean, with rugs drying in around 24 hours. Coit backs its services with a satisfaction guarantee, and the staff is fully trained and certified, ensuring homes are scrubbed by professionals rather than resentful teens working off parking tickets.
Specializing in restoring gently used retro furnishings and accessories, Reimagine spruces up sparsely furnished pads with an eclectic array of household goods. Aesthetically accessorize a room with reading chairs ($50–$75), table lamps ($45–75), pillow sets ($35), and other necessities in a wide variety of styles. Be sure to supplement your new room accouterments with matching dining equipment gleaned from Reimagine's array of retro glassware ($5 and up), dishes, bowls, and other kitchen staples. Reimagine also stocks a large selection of artwork, highlighting feats of painted strength produced by local artists. New items are brought in every week, so be sure to check back occasionally for new finds.