At Shoplet.com, recycling isn't just a way to dispose of paper—it's where paper comes from. Recycled paper, recycled office furniture, and other eco-friendly products make up a major segment of the online megastore's more than 400,000-item inventory. The rest of its stock ranges from printers to cleaning supplies to break-room gear such as coffee brewers and sassy baristas to push the buttons. For added convenience, clients can manage their transactions online and track their orders in real time as they travel from the warehouse to their office's doorstep.
When Pepi Di Giacomo and Luca Di Pietro—natives of Abruzzo, Italy—immigrated to Manhattan and couldn't find a decent cup of espresso, the duo decided to begin brewing their own. Di Giacomo and Di Pietro drew upon their professional backgrounds in the hospitality, coffee, and wine industries and founded Tarallucci e Vino as a way to spread their love of Old-World cuisine. The small empire of specialty eateries now includes three locations across New York, each with a different focus. The café seizes upon the founders' original craving for quality espresso, and it commits to getting every single detail correct by refusing to cut any corners. Every single pastry—from the pear turnovers to the cheese danishes—is made in-house, and the staff dedicates three full days to making each batch of croissants, imbuing them with the perfect flaky texture. In addition to serving cheese platters, savory crostini, and a selection of Italian sandwiches that New York magazine lauded as "excellent," the café stays true to its roots by brewing espressos and cappuccinos. Drinks in hand, customers are encouraged to sit, scream at sudoku puzzles, and enjoy their quick meal or snack at one of the small tables scattered throughout the café and the outdoor patio.
Locals may have noticed that Lazzoni has grown into a family of 20-plus stores, but the company’s roots actually reach back more than 50 years and thousands of miles away. The first store was in Turkey, where they produced joinery pieces for windows and doors. They eventually got into the business of modular kitchen design, which evolved into the production of made-from-scratch and exclusive furniture for every room of the home.
Today, the brand has settled into a decidedly modern style. With a team of international designers from Turkey, Italy, and the United States, Lazzoni showcases original furniture made from Italian leathers, Austrian hardware, and Turkish textiles. The collection is marked by streamlined silhouettes, bold colors, and other contemporary touches: Andel armchairs shaped from clear polycarbonate get a pop of color from a seat cushion in one of 10 hues, and the simplistic Florence bed can be dressed in an elegant textile to match your favorite tuxedo pajamas.
Clients unsure of where to start with Lazzoni’s extensive inventory can request personal design services. Designers use blueprints or measurements from an in-home consultation to create a computerized 3D rendering in which homeowners can preview different pieces of furniture. The Lazzoni team also does staging for customers looking to sell their home or those who have recently kicked a furniture allergy.
Housing Works provides advocacy, job training, healthcare and housing support for low-income and homeless people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Housing Works Thrift Shops and Buy the Bag help fund this effort by selling new and used donated goods. Shoppers can explore shelves upon shelves of donated items in search of a new designer shirt, a vintage necklace, or a set of hand-painted bowls.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work: handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a mahogany regal glass-door cabinet ($372), or in a hefty, finely trimmed narrow bookcase with drawer ($197). Or, display a new moving picture box on a bobbin leg console table ($116). Furniture comes in a myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables and chairs. Prices and selection may vary due to rotating inventory, but pieces are always fully assembled and ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
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