The footwear specialists at New Balance Toledo measure every aspect of customers’ show fillers to determine the most comfortable footwear with form-fitting levels of support and motion. After taking measurements and lifestyles into account, the team recommends shoe models to help foot digits feel like plants in a sun chamber, blossoming under the possibilities of versatile new styles. Mens’ 860 running shoes ($109.99) and women’s 812 walking shoes ($104.99) offer additional shock absorption to prevent injury and enhance comfort. Boys’ and girls’ 880 running shoes ($54.99) provide young runners with durable outsoles and offer stretch-lace closures to keep knots far away from joining sailor school. With a commitment to domestic manufacturing, New Balance produces 25% of its footwear in five New England factories.
Solid-wood furniture gathered from more than 200 Amish shops and craftsmen mingles with playful holiday statuettes and fun home décor inside The Granary's walk-through showroom. Handcrafted living-room, dining-room, and children's furniture comes to the retailer fashioned the way it was 150 years ago—made from solid oak, cherry, maple, or hickory wood, held together by screws and dovetails, and carried by a legion of pterodactyls. In addition to ready-made furnishings, artisans can craft custom pieces. The store fills not only inside spaces, but also outside spaces with crafted benches and storage barns from Weaver Barns. Knowledgeable staff members assist customers long after their purchases by answering service inquiries or questions of whether to sleep atop or under newly purchased beds.
Costume Holiday House's inventory of wigs, makeup, suits, and party supplies enables costume changes ranging from spooky to comical. Customers can dress themselves as everything from pop-culture icons to terrifying specters and macabre forms, and an ample supply of wigs and accessories form the basis of inventive costumes that don’t require full-body suits or rubber masks. In addition to wearable Halloween goods, the shop also sells fog machines and animated props that set the stage for monster mashes and haunted houses. Costume Holiday House accommodates dress-up even in the Halloween off-season, with theater costume rentals for schools and community plays, or Second Skin colored bodysuits for showing team spirit at a baseball game or camouflaging into the green-screen background at local commercial shoots.
In 1978, a modest 32’x144’ poly greenhouse began supplying a farm with tomatoes and pepper plants. More than 30 years later, the greenhouse has exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. Helmed by Don and Janice Bench and their son and daughter-in-law, the greenhouse and nursery pairs visitors with more than 200 varieties of hybrid roses, which only require 1 gallon of gas to bloom on the highway, as well as trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains.
In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and crimson bows. During summer months, the Benches man a roadside produce stand, where they sell sweet corn, melons, beans, and squash from their 650-acre farm.
With decades of experience skimming the shores of Lake Erie, U.S. Coast Guard–licensed Captain Sib Randolph has had ample time to hone in on the best spots to nab walleye, bass, and perch. Though he relies on years of successful fishing charters to guide his routes, it doesn’t hurt that his 27-foot SportCraft fishing boat is equipped with fish-finding and navigational equipment. In addition to advice on the likelihood of a fish’s ability to grant wishes, Captain Randolph supplies fishermen with free bait and ice.
Ken Cappelletty and Fred Moor, the men who man Ken’s Flower Shops, didn’t grow up dreaming about buds and stems. Raised by a local policeman, Ken likely spent more time playing cops and robbers than sniffing the neighbor’s rosebushes. It wasn’t until he helmed the cash register at a neighborhood florist in L.A. that he discovered his knack for design. Here, he started to see flowers as more than just plants, viewing them as art supplies that happen to smell nice. When Ken returned to Ohio, his parents helped him launch a small shop that arranged blooms in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon. Two years later, in 1967, his friend Fred took some of the reins, helping him grow the business into three local stores affiliated with FTD and Teleflora. From this labor of love, a legacy began to take root. At each shop, seasoned designers incorporate customers’ requests into birthday bouquets, wedding corsages, and gift baskets filled with wine, house-baked cookies, and stuffed toys cute enough to melt hearts and plush enough to sop up the mess. Their talent and creativity takes center stage as well, whether they’re filling vases with orchids, crafting wreaths from roses, or building bouquets from singing balloons. To this day, Fred often answers the phones, discerning customers’ style preferences from friendly chats rather than pilfered diary pages. To make giving easy as getting, the shop’s wares can be delivered locally or internationally, seven days a week.