Grove Station Farms' skilled instructors transform the casually riding-curious into ride-ready equestrians with technique and safety lessons on a stunning 65-acre plantation-style farm. During the one-hour horseback-riding session, experienced teachers guide herds of eager students through English riding techniques, including proper posture, balance, and balancing a tea set on one knee while ahorse. The spacious indoor arena protects classes from the elements as pony passengers of all ages and skill levels learn the grooming basics necessary to properly care for their hoofed charges and protect their vestigial wings from prying zoologists' eyes.
In 1993, after years as a tech in the carpet cleaning industry, Gregory Cole founded Pro Carpet as a one-stop shop providing the best carpet-cleaning practices he had learned during his career. Gregory's team, which now numbers more than 30 techs, begins each carpet-cleaning service with a thorough walk-through, during which customers can point out specific soiled areas before the techs evaluate carpets for their levels of dirt, stains, and rainbow sprinkles. As they begin to clean, they employ steam-based cleaning and stain-specific products, such as the company's proprietary enzyme-based pet-stain formula, to remove odors and soils.
Pro Carpet's expertise also extends beyond carpeting, tackling upholstery and area rugs with the same thoroughness. They can also be called upon to repair water damage, clean office cubicles, and sweep dust and allergens from inside air ducts with professional-grade tools that improve air quality.
Owned and operated by Greg and Sheila Paul, Carolina Ace Hardware adds comfort and convenience to daily life with products, tools, and project-solving expertise. Secure sheds, trunks, and Fabergé egg display cases with an Ace 2-inch padlock ($11.99), and illuminate midnight-snack paths with mood lighting using dimmable GE Energy Smart 100-watt CFL light bulbs ($13.99 each). Messy projects clean up their act with a six-pack of ultra-strong Scott shop towels ($17.94), retiring soiled materials to Glad Odor Shield kitchen bags ($8.99) after their heavy-duty absorption is done (prices and availability may vary).
Each year between October and January, Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop's 35,000-square-foot retail space is buried under a blizzard of Christmas decorations and gifts. Cheer up local grinches with glittered poinsettia decorations, which can be used to beautify Christmas wreaths, mantles, or the handlebars of Jack Frost's chopper. An extensive stock of ornaments equips home-decorators with tree-trimming and hall-decking supplies, such as holiday-swirl hand-blown-glass ornaments by Glass Eye Studio or a Spirit of Hope Fairy by Mark Roberts Collectibles —a festive fairy doll accompanied by a short story. Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop does its part to limit the uprooting of innocent trees by stocking 166 lifelike faux Christmas trees, including the 6.5-foot WonderLit Natural Wilgreen Fir, made from molds cast from real evergreen trees.
Contributing to local commerce isn’t new territory for the Howard family. In 1925, Edwin Howard’s in-laws founded a small grocery in Doraville, which he took leadership of 30 years later. After gaining experience in that business, he decided to expand the family’s venture, and in 1972, he opened the first Howard’s True Value Hardware right next door. Now, after more than 35 years and currently under the ownership of Howard brothers John and Doug, the hardware store keeps shelves stocked with more than 100,000 hardware items, tools, and home-garden accouterments from the likes of Carhartt and Honda, as well as charcoal grills from Big Green Egg, wood pellet grills from Traeger, and a line of propane grills with tanks they can fill in-store. For sports enthusiasts, they're an authorized YETI Cooler and Tifosi Eyeglass Dealer.
Building materials, including adhesives and mason tools, lighten the burdens of home-improvement projects, and a constellation of hand tools relieves the hassle of hiring a beaver to chew its way through 2”x4”s. A full stock of interior paints helps customers brighten the hue of living quarters, while a sturdy pair of jeans from Carhartt helps them to withstand the wear-and-tear of maintenance projects or slow dances with rose bushes.