The siren call of allCanes' massive collection of Miami Hurricanes clothing, memorabilia, and accessories entices not only fans to wander its spaces, but also pro athletes of the past and present. Since converting from a sporting goods store to a Hurricanes-only shop in the mid 80's, football greats have brought family and friends to outfit them in green and orange. NFL players, such as Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey, walked between racks of gear where greats including Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and Jessie Armstead once signed autographs.
While big name players may draw crowds, it's allCanes' stock that wins the day. From the front door to the back wall, every inch of wall, shelf, and rack space teems with Hurricanes apparel from brands such as Nike and My U. Hurricanes baseball caps line racks set in between panoramic shots of the stadium and beanies, while racks hold popular fan t-shirts, such as "The U Invented Swagger." In all, around 1,000 UM-related items call the shop home during football season.
When a first-time visitor steps into Sale Rack, she rolls up her sleeves, beelines to the well-organized racks, and rummages through a trove of eclectic designer dresses, jeans, and shirts marked down 60%–80% off retail prices. This ritual—what the recycled-clothing-boutique owner calls "a modern day treasure hunt"—may take a bit more patience than the average store experience, but the bounty can be glorious: vintage Louis Vuitton bags, Citizens of Humanity denim, Miu Miu blouses, a never-been-worn Marc Jacobs dress, and anti-gravity space wear by NASA. Though labels often bear big names, staff members scrutinize every item to ensure its fresh, bold style and prime condition. The resulting apparel, accessories, and home-décor items have wowed even professional eyes, grabbing a Boutique of the Week title from College Fashionista and mentions on Miami Fashion Blog and DailyCandy.
Founded in 1912, Gardner's Market brought fine foods, gourmet groceries, and the services of skilled chefs to the public for over a century. While the grocer's store recently changed ownership, the mission and much of the market's renowned staff has endured. Executive Pastry Chef Luis Dorado still creates the same sinfully delicious sweet treats that have graced the cases during his 19-year tenure, whipping up everything from flourless chocolate tortes to crème brûlée. Other culinary artists spend their days crafting hot carrot bisque, Maryland mini crab cakes, and tres leches cake, cooked fresh and packed to go. They also whip up hot lunches, which vary in price from day to day due to the incorporation of market-price seafood and garnishes of freshly minted dollar bills. In the meat department, the team serves up certified angus beef, hormone-free chicken, naturally-raised lamb, and more.
A true family business, Ella Bella Rozio's Institute of Fashion combines the talents of founder and 25-year fashion-industry veteran Rocio Sanchez with her daughter Gabriella Tello's fresh take on trends and her son Fernando Tello's marketing savvy. While Fernando handles business matters, the mother-daughter duo helm the school and its workshops, leading fledgling designers through courses in fashion history, window display, and wardrobe planning.
Students find inspiration for their own creations in the custom-made gowns of Rozio Couture. Though the designers focus much of their energy on bridal and red-carpet wear, they also nod to the needs of everyday fashion with creations such as the ella 1 dress, a simple black tube that attaches to swooping skirts, dramatic ruffles, or elegant flotation devices.
Bottega La Dolce Vita stocks its shelves and fridges with fine pastas, sauces, pestos, cheeses, and deli meats from all regions of Italy. Like a wormhole to the Mona Lisa's kitchen cupboard, the mouthwatering spread of imported fare brings a tiny piece of the Old World to America, loading pantries with silky chocolates, creamy pecorino Toscano, and all-natural pork salami. Among the store's charming cloth-clad tables, owners Franco Di Blasi and Joan Bavaresco guide visitors through a culinary tour of Italy, allowing them to sample fine cheeses as they peruse the selection of cookies, olive oils, and homemade pestos and sauces.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.