Special Occasion Chocolates has been handcrafting gourmet gifts for more than 13 years, carefully blending flavor, aesthetics, and charming candor into each scrumptious morsel. Redefine the concept of the word “vegetable” with a bag of chocolate-covered potato chips, or surprise well-behaved taste buds with a bag of white-chocolate or peanut-butter pretzel bites (ranging from $4.75 for a 1/4 lb. bag to $17.95 for 1 lb.). Fruit fans can enjoy nature’s candy ensconced in an edible outfit with a dozen chocolate-dipped strawberries or peanut-butter banana gems ($26.95/dozen), or just remix the classics with chocolate-dipped Oreos, long pretzels, and brownies ($1.75 each).
Since 1954, Ray's Pharmacy has provided customers with prescription medicine, vaccinations, and trademark service at each location. Their team of expert pharmacists specializes in compounding, which is the practice of formulating customized medicines based on each client’s unique physiology. The full-service pharmacy not only fills prescriptions, but also provides free health information, a variety of immunizations, and home delivery for all medications.
Depending on the location, customers can stop by the gift store to pick up items such as scented candles, greeting cards, and Western–style apparel. An appointment-only gun department also outfits gun racks with high-quality shooters from makers such as Glock, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. Additionally, the Mansfield location houses a Suzy Q’s Soda Fountain & Grill, hearkening back to the days when customers could enjoy delicious soda and banana splits at their local drugstore and quarters still had Chester A. Arthur’s face on them.
Owners Jolie and Ryan Stepp line Bedford Farmers' Market's shelves with fresh, locally grown produce and groceries as well as batches of their own homemade sauces and jams. Jars of mild and medium salsas ($4.99) teem with zesty tomatoes, and the atomic salsa's blend of fiery peppers infuses the condiment with more heat than the sun's romantic chemistry with the moon. Customers can season nachos with dollops of homemade guacamole ($5.99) or sup on a half-dozen of the market's renowned, hand-crafted tamales ($5.99). Cartons of 20 free-range eggs ($4.99) come from free-range chickens, which are raised humanely and unencumbered by unreasonably strict curfews.
Rich Rogers’s favorite part of family meals was always after plates had been cleaned, when his Italian clan would kick back around the table and tell stories for hours on end. His grandfather, Peter Scardello, was a big part of that. Peter relayed to Rich the importance of a great meal, particularly the way it can knit family and friends together. So when Rich and Karen Rogers opened Scardello, it was only fitting that the artisan cheese shop be named after Peter. Today, Rich is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, cooking feasts for friends and family that often end with nibbles of cheese. It’s his way of keeping guests around the table long enough to swap stories, like his family did all those years ago. Scardello’s selection includes about 150 cheeses hailing from Europe and America, some from right in Texas. Though not all are farmstead cheeses, they’re all artisanal—that means handcrafted by humans, not made by machine or produced by accidentally leaving cattle in the hot sun. The cheeses rotate seasonally, but don’t worry if you don’t see the same goat cheese you grabbed last time. The shop’s happy to track your purchases, so you’ll know immediately whether your favorite’s in stock, and the staff will happily slice you a sample of any cheese in the case. That might make it a little bit easier when it comes time to order and they cut as hefty or petite a wedge as you like, straight from the wheel.
Scardello’s employees can also help customers match the perfect accompaniment with cheese, whether that means craft beer or wine, bread or crackers, or locally crafted goodies from Dude, Sweet Chocolate. For those who’d rather do it themselves, there are various classes available. These might involve anything from exploring the basics of cheesemaking to addressing the question of whether beer or wine goes better with certain cheeses—an age-old debate that brings most dairy-farm-family reunions to a heated end.