In true family style, brothers Nick and Kirby Kuklenski own and operate two “sister” Ace Hardware stores in Colorado Springs, keeping local homes beautiful with name-brand products and services. Lawns grow thick and colorful with Scotts fertilizers, plants, and seeds from the shops’ lawn departments, whereas computerized color matching in the paint aisles keeps outsides as vibrantly hued as flowers in a garden or a house fly strolling across an artist’s palette. Collections of DeWalt and Craftsman hand and power tools help homeowners assemble Weber grills, with staffers standing at the ready to build any piece bought at the store. Even autos can get in on Ace Hardware’s helpful services: keys are cut onsite, with Sidewinder keys including built-in chips that interact with car computers to ensure proper starts without feeding vehicles buckets of floppy disks.
Though the aroma of fresh-cut flowers has drifted from its doors for more than 60 years, Earles Loveland Floral & Gifts has not been quite the same since 1993, when United Floral Industry School graduate Elizabeth Parker took charge of operations. The time-honored flower and gift shop has blossomed under her guidance, experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity that recently culminated in its winning the Reporter-Herald’s Reader's Choice award for best local florist in 2011.
Parker went to school for floral wedding design, and it’s no secret that her field of study has become one of the shop’s strong suits. Along with her dedicated team of florists, she can turn any wedding venue into a lush garden of bridal bouquets, corsages, and elegant reception centerpieces. The shop's everyday bouquets hardly suffer from comparison, bundling together natural, seasonal flowers in arrangements available for pickup or delivery by a well-trained swarm of bees. Before whisking away a bouquet of grab 'n' go flowers, peruse Earles's eclectic selection of gifts and household accouterments, which includes flower-print tote bags, beaded jewelry, and gel candles.
Loveland Furniture and Décor's knowledgeable staffers cull a colossal collection of top-quality home furnishings and accessories, taking a casual approach while helping customers to search the huge stash of elegant living-room, bedroom, and dining-room accouterments. They can guide customers as they peruse the vast selection of pieces from renowned furniture-makers such as Thomasville, Broyhill, and Drexel. To further help patrons to personalize their abodes, staffers can swiftly place special orders to acquire items that are not in stock or have been accidentally vaporized by mad scientists masquerading as janitors. They also host an online design center where customers can assemble custom furniture right down to the fabric.
Loveland Furniture and Décor extends its dedication to top-notch customer service beyond its doors by making monthly donations to charities that benefit homeless children.
For more than 60 years, Kwal Paint's team has designed colors to complement almost any décor, continually refreshing the palette of more than 1,600 shades to reflect trends and advancements in interior decorating. To wit: EnviroKote paints are made from eco-friendly, raw materials and contain no VOC. Additionally, online virtual color-visualizing applications help homeowners realize the abode of their dreams. As ever, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide customers through common issues such as blistering or how to revamp garden gnomes stuck in last season's styles.
An orb of mauve tulips bursts from a tall, slender glass vase. A pink and green polka dot bow complements a spray of pale pink lilies and myrtle. Elegant and eye-catching, these sweet-smelling arrangements from Forever Flowers aim to enhance every conceivable occasion, from weddings to court arraignments. Once customers hone in on their ideal bouquet, the shop’s savvy florists can accent the seasonal blooms with balloons, stuffed animals, or chocolates. They also happily design custom arrangements according to your upcoming occasion or personal vision.
In the late 1960s, Lewis Grant sought out a plot of land in the Rocky Mountains foothills to grow his own vegetables and brought the wisdom he accrued during a career as a university professor and his son Andy to help with the humble undertaking. The duo took to tilling the land, and over the next few decades, Andy expanded his father’s plot to the 2,200 acres that currently make up the CSA-certified organic farm. Heading a farming community with more than 4,500 members, a dedicated staff of educators and farmers cultivate the farm’s pasture-raised livestock and more than 150 breeds of organic vegetables such as squash, herbs, and 34 varieties of corn and heirloom tomatoes. Every year, the staff gives visitors a hands-on education about the nitty gritty of farm operations and gives them the chance to defeat their cows in starting contests during a spring agricultural festival set against the mountain landscape.