So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Most people have been there, though few are proud to admit it—mere days before a birthday party or bridal shower, with no gift to speak of. Abundant Flowers takes the stress out of such last-minute predicaments with a full range of themed flower bouquets and gourmet baskets. Showing someone how much you care shouldn't be a chore, and the company seems to intuitively grasp this. They offer a convenient delivery service and safe online ordering 24 hours a day, so you can stay up late selecting a bouquet for that roommate who's always begging you to just go to sleep.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' staff¬¬––known as fruit experts––arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning bouquets for all occasions. The experts customize their patrons' orders to suit any event, dipping fruits into semisweet or white chocolate to complete the arrangement. They select their chocolate-coated morsels from a range of fruits such as pineapples, granny smith apples, and juicy strawberries that—unlike fruit products sold by mummies—don't contain any preservatives. For birthdays and anniversaries, they personalize bouquets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
Alouette's ace jewelers fashion a wealth of adornments from a stock of Japanese seed beads, African bone beads, and numerous semiprecious and natural stones, such as onyx and tiger-eye. With staff creations and costume jewelry, Alouette embellishes necks, wrists, and gills for a plentitude of styles and occasions. The team also assembles custom rings or bracelets that conform to patrons' visions, and lead several jewelry-making classes to demystify the bead-stringing arts. To widen the crafting community, Alouette partners with Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Society, gathering students together during monthly sessions for demos and group assistance, helping patrons decide what to make after swiping the Hope diamond.
Determined to keep their students interested and engaged, the instructors of Wine and Palette hold classes at myriad locations throughout the city. Each class focuses on a different art piece, be it a painting of a stained-glass window, a multihued owl, or an autumn farm scene. Additionally, each artist brings their own outlook and skills to the class, helping students learn specific brush strokes and how to touch up their daily driver so it looks just like the sheriff’s squad car.
Little Sweets provides the unnocturnal with mattresses, cozy pillows, and friendship-strengthening bunk beds from brands such as Serta, Walker Edison, and Donco Kids. Mattress protectors ($39–$99) guard against natural wear and tear and sleep-mixed martial arts, and Sertapedic Ruby Lane twin-size mattresses ($99) comfortably cradle '50s sitcom couples on opposite sides of the room where they belong. Pillows ($99–$139) come in multiple sizes and styles, making it easy to add a layer of comfort to a bare bedroom or a crumbling Y2K shelter.