Founded by John McCue in 1933, McCue Garden Center has passed down through three generations of tree tenders and plant whisperers. Now, 79 years later, the family's center has blossomed to include two locations: the garden center in Woburn, and McCue's Flower Outlet in Billerica. Along with a knowledgeable staff, the McCue family helps visitors at each of the locations select healthy flowers, shrubs, and trees from the nursery or organic soils and fertilizer from the store, and oversees an adjoining florist shop, which churns out colorful arrangements and lovely long-stemmed roses daily. They update the store's ample inventory to suit the seasons, with selections such as statuary, flowers, and vegetable plants in the summer and fresh balsam Christmas trees, wreaths, and poinsettia-shaped snow cones in the winter. In addition to celebrating the earth's constant revolution with a rotating array of seasonally appropriate plants, they host a wealth of holiday festivities, from October's corn maze to spring's Easter-egg hunt.
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.
Alan J. Gardner opened his Salem factory in 1933, winning over generations of loyal customers with custom-made and odd-sized mattresses in a wide range of styles. Massachusetts-made pallets support sleepers with hand tufted construction and fluffy cotton fillings catered specifically to each client's specifications. The company's direct manufacturer-to-customer supply chain erases the influence of bothersome middlemen or arrogant, cigar-chomping mattress barons. Sleepers select from a variety of comfy cushion styles, such as latex, plush top, tufted, or pocket coils, with options for all-natural materials such as Joma wool and layers of thick cotton-knit fabric.
Mahoney's Garden Center beckons green-thumbs and novices alike to its sprawling facilities, which burst with a plethora of plants, blooms, and gardening accoutrements. Although merchandise varies by store, shoppers may score finds such as a knock-out rose shrub ($29.98), zinnia perennials ($4.98) or an 8-inch hanging ivy ($16.98), complete with a Rhodes Scholar application. The 6-inch hibiscus ($12.98) lends its vibrantly hued blooms to front porches or a modest giant's windowsill. Perch deserving bouquets in the 12-inch embossed teal ceramic planter ($44.99) or display 10- and 11-inch hanging baskets ($12.50) that double as hideaways for spare doghouse keys. Customers can also narrow their searches for outdoor patio furniture at the Winchester and Falmouth locations.