Beyond the striped awning of Fern Street Gourmet lays a deli case, shelves of bottles, and a host of cardboard boxes and wooden crates. The culinary connoisseurs behind the counter want you to know where their goods come from, from fine Spanish wines at budget prices or hard-to-find European candies. Shoppers can browse hundreds of cheeses, meats, beers, and party snacks on their own or turn to staff, who can assemble towering custom gift baskets and point them toward the perfect hostess gift to say "Welcome to your new home" or "Sorry I ate that entire cheese platter last time."
Helmed by surgeon Dr. Arun Chowla, Nova Vein Clinic's staff clears skin surfaces of unwanted veins with sclerotherapy and Vein Gogh treatments. During sclerotherapy sessions, a tiny needle injects Asclera or Polidocanol solution into spider veins up to 1-milimeter wide or varicose veins up to 3-milimeters wide, driving away blood and irritating the vein's interior so it collapses more quickly than a Jenga tower of folding chairs. The procedure lasts 15–45 minutes, depending on the size, severity, and sassiness of the offending vessel. While the almost-painless treatment requires no anesthesia, temporary redness and bruising could result, and may require compression and elevation for 24 hours after treatment.
Rick’s Wine and Gourmet is a locally owned neighborhood shop stocked with fine cheeses, charcuterie, olive oils, pastas, and more. Though this Groupon can only be used toward gourmet foods, shoppers can still grab Zen Wine cookies ($7.99), an all-natural snack specially crafted to pair with certain wines. The Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine blueberry jam ($6.99) allows breakfast eaters to brighten boring pieces of wheat toast without having to burn the Treaty of Versailles into them. Rick’s also stocks more than 50 artisanal cheeses, such as sharp Maytag Blue cheese ($14.99), an ideal complement for snacking on porchetta Italian herb-roasted pork loin ($19.99 per pound).
Certified surgeon Dr. Anouche M. Roberts of Liquid Facelift Centers combines surgical expertise with a passion for aesthetic medicine. Her expert knowledge of the face aids her as she wards off signs of aging with liquid facelifts and laser treatments using a laser new to the industry. A restrained aesthetic style, attention to detail, and knack for all things artistic round out Dr. Roberts’ qualifications and explain her affinity for cross-stitching all of her patients’ post-op prescriptions rather than writing them. Having performed more than 5,000 injectable procedures using the micro-cannula injection technique, Dr. Roberts has mastered performing pain-free, precise injections with little to no bruising.
Owners and sisters Kim and Alyssa Theodore have turned their mutual love of sweets into a shop that mingles retro perennials (salted caramels for $0.65 each, dark-chocolate peanut-butter cups for $2.75) with globally flavored seasonal specialties (truffle fudge bites with caramel and Hawaiian sea salt, $2.50 each or $16.95 for a set)—all made by independent local and national artisans. Their blog will keep you up on the current confections, including classics such as the signature sampler ($12.95/ half pound) of buttercreams, caramels, nuts, turtles, barks, and marshmallows, as well as gourmet goodies like bars of Vosges ($7.50) and Lillie Belle ($3.75) bars (you can even get them bacon-flavored). As moms stock up on Parisienne hot chocolate ($16.95/pound) for future unwinding, their rugrats can delight in more than 40 flavors of Jelly Belly jellybeans ($9.96/pound). Brides-to-be and party hosts can get chocolate milkies (M&Ms, essentially) in 25 custom colors. And if it can be covered in chocolate (raisins, toffees, gummi bears, or liquid shells filled with liquor), you'll find a heavy glass jar filled with it on one of The Sugar Cube's shelves. If it all sounds so good, stop by for Kim and Alyssa's free weekly tastings and figure out what you want.
At some point, most children run a lemonade stand; Cary Nalls, however, broke into the business world with a produce stand. In the early 1960s, young Cary and his grandparents had a garden that grew more goodies than they could eat. So Cary convinced them to set up a stand, which quickly expanded to a tent, which eventually turned into a permanent structure. By age 15, when most kids are pouring all their time into being popular or getting taller, Cary had himself a bustling business.
Today, family members runs things at Nalls Produce. Despite its success over the years, the store still identifies itself as a roadside market. Trucks arrive multiple times per week loaded with fresh produce, keeping the shelves stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables. In the fall, Nalls transforms into a pumpkin patch, where children explore tubes and tunnels made of straw; in the winter, the property becomes a Christmas-tree lot. The store remains just as connected to the community now as it was in the '60s, too; it works with local schools, charities, and organizations on numerous projects.