Founded by Ken Euston in 1971, Euston Hardware's old-fashioned legacy continues under the helm of Ken's son. Kevin, who has since grown the shops into three locations, keeps the shelves packed with more than 65,000 items for homes, landscaping, and automobiles. Experts chat with customers to help them to tackle projects from changing a car's oil to painting their house solid green so it can be replaced with a CGI castle. Home-improvement tools, which include items for the kitchen and bath, keep domiciles functioning at their best. The friendly staff can also guide green thumbs to lawn and garden supplies or help them select the right locks and outdoor equipment to keep their tools from escaping and impersonating the local robocop.
The knowledgeable nursery and landscape staff at Full Features Nursery transforms mere lawns and gardens into living works of art with a bountiful assortment of plants, trees, shrubs, and other assorted greenery. A team of outdoor architects beautifies homesteads with speedy delivery and installation of bulk mulch ($40/cu. yd.), decorative rock ($84+/cu. yd.), and self-sustaining steam geysers. The expansive 20-acre, three-greenhouse nursery nurtures a host of plant life, such as annual cell packs ($1.99/four-pack cell) and sun, shade, and native perennials ($7.99+). In addition to peppering gardens with smaller plants, patrons can work to balance their biosphere’s carbon trade deficit with the secure deposit of a tree available in deciduous, evergreen, ornamental, or fruit flavors ($55+).
In 1988, potter Michael Smith invited a small group of peers to his home to share ideas and further explore the art of clay manipulation. After just a few meetings, the group quickly grew to include around 70 craftspeople, who started meeting at the Kansas City Art Institute instead of inside Smith's giant conch shell. These regular get-togethers laid the groundwork for the initial incarnation of KC Clay Guild, a place where artists could socialize, buy materials in bulk, and learn from one another.
Now, the volunteer-run co-op is even larger. It occupies its own facility and has vastly expanded the number of services it provides. Amidst the changes, KC Clay Guild has remained true to its initial goals, guided by a mission statement to support the clay community. Artists of all skill levels enroll in classes that cover an array of techniques, such as wheel throwing, hand building, and slip casting. Members take part in regular meetings, open-studio time, and monthly shows, and visiting artists stop by to lead workshops and repair their ceramic automobiles. The guild even offers a scholarship to high-school seniors and hosts birthday parties, team-building exercises, and family-fun nights for casual potters.
The professional pilots at Timberview Helicopters ferry passengers high into the clouds aboard a sky-scraping whirlybird during flight tours through Destin, Kansas City, and Key West. Having chartered flights for National Geographic and the Travel Channel, these pilots expertly navigate planes toward sweeping, picturesque views, allowing sightseers to steal glances of Fort Walton Beach, downtown Kansas City, and Key West's ocean views from a perspective normally reserved for birds and astronauts with binoculars. Additionally, their high-definition videos grant guests a lasting commemoration of their in-flight experience. When they're not chartering tours, they teach budding pilots the gravity-defying tricks of their trade through pilot training and lug precious shipments from port to port with their cargo-lifting services.
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Kitchen Thyme's cookery experts stock stylish kitchen accessories, top-of-the-line cooking tools and bakeware, and gourmet foods. A range of extra-virgin olive oils ($12–$20) are available on tap for visitors to sample or rub into their ears, and zesty pepper jellies ($8–$9) delight taste buds in flavors including cherry, blackberry, and mango. The clear glass salt box with lid ($10) and Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract ($22.50) both make thoughtful gifts for epicurean pals, and budget-conscious food fans can opt to apply the deal's value toward larger purchases, such as the Epicurean cutting board ($69.50), the Viking professional coffeemaker ($299), or the Vita Craft 13" chef's pan with lid ($135). Kitchen Thyme also stocks a sweeping selection of cookbooks and other artisanal foodstuffs.