Knoxville, Tennessee-based Fit Sweets is obsessed with cupcakes, sweet homemade cupcakes. After a year's worth of experimenting with recipes that combine the tastiness of a cupcake with the nutrition of a protein bar, Fit Sweets was launched in October 2012. Prioritizing both deliciousness and healthiness, the nutrition-motivated bakers prepare low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free cupcakes sweetened with Stevia. To top it all off, each cupcake is laden with 18 grams of protein. Vanilla and chocolate butter cream are just two of the bakery's flavors, which staff prepares in dozens.
With summer on its last legs, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up some spray paint for $3.49 or a utility knife for $4.99. Illuminate your bathroom with a 4-pack of Ace light bulbs ($1.79), the better to see by as you caulk ($2.29) your sink. If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine (rental prices vary). If you need help finding anything, Ace's knowledgeable staff is available to help get you in and out and on to your next project.
Launched in 2000 as a humble 20'x20' shop, Frontier Firearms has grown into an 11,000-square-foot facility that encompasses two 25-yard, five-bay indoor shooting ranges. Each gallery enhances visitors' comfort with technological touches, such as sound dampening and granulated-rubber-bullet traps that capture rounds mostly intact, thus minimizing particle dispersion into the air. By removing these potential distractions, the ranges let marksmen focus on following the Mancom Touch Plus Active Target Shooting system. Used by law-enforcement agencies such as the FBI, this computerized system can make targets turn, rush toward, and flee from the shooter. Frontier Firearm's team includes instructors who claim NRA and state certifications, which they apply to supervising the ranges and leading handgun classes that range from a ladies-only course to advanced defensive tactics and how to look tough in a saloon.
At Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More’s five locations, funny money is the currency of choice. In exchange for bringing in good-quality books, CDs, and DVDs, customers receive store-issued dollars that they can use toward the purchase of other items. Some in-demand items, such as school textbooks, modern literature, video games, or sports almanacs from the future, may warrant a cash exchange instead. The shop’s friendly staffers, meanwhile, remain at the ready to help customers locate an item amid the many shelves, organized by genre and number of vowels in the title.
Packard’s Games and Movies fuels friendly competition and hours of virtual entertainment with an eclectic abundance of gently used media. Gamers can fire up current consoles with a collection of used games, such as Halo 3 ($9.99) and Fable II ($7.99), which carry the ghosts of past triumphs to challenge their new owners. Those yearning for pixels of the past can dive into a rich selection of retro games ($2.99+) for vintage systems including Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Guide virtual superheroes as they jump across flames and elude persistent tax collectors with controllers for the Playstation 2 ($9.99+), Super Nintendo ($9.99+) or the Nintendo 64 ($12.99–$19.99). Stacks of previewed DVDs ($4.99) and Blu-rays ($8.99+) provide ample fodder for future movie nights. Each store has a slightly different selection, so call ahead for specific inquiries or simply browse through the cartridge- and disc-packed aisles in person.
The amicable blossom experts at family-owned-and-operated Ridge Greenhouse and Florist tenderly cultivate vibrant spreads of holiday flora in the loving confines of their own ultramodern greenhouse. Freshly cut stems band together to form custom bouquets and centerpieces ($25+), pairing blossoms from New Zealand and Holland with their own homegrown greenery. The flora stylists personalize every arrangement, happily plying their artistic know-how to craft one-of-a-kind spreads customized to each customer’s personal preferences. Traditional red poinsettias preside over their kaleidoscopic brethren, a variegated array that fetch retinas with a spotted mix of pink, red, and white hues ($3.98 for a 4.5” pot, $35 for a 10.5” pot). Florists can also custom dress poinsettias with decorative baskets to fashion ideal gifts for hunky horticulturalists and sad-eyed garden gnomes ($100–$200).