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.
For more than four decades, Weed Man's licensed and trained lawn-beautifying experts have tended to local lawns with custom blends of fertilizer, environmentally sound pest-control solutions, and knowledge gleaned from both living and working in the community. Created exclusively for Weed Man, the slow-release granular fertilizer nurtures lawns over a period of several weeks, and seeding and aeration promote continued green growth. Advice that aims to assist with local lawn problems helps to inform patrons online, illuminating seasonal troubles, gardening trends, and the astrological signs of various plants.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
For more than 20 years Carolyn and Buddy Raasch have been coaxing plump pumpkins out of the soil of their 80-acre working farm and sharing the harvest with guests. Visitors can hop aboard the hayride and meander through the 50 acres of pumpkin patch, seeking out the perfect gourd for Jack-o-Lantern features or fitting atop a middle-school principal's head. Rabbits, goats, peacocks, and mules extend heads and paws for a good scratching at the petting farm, and speedy swine entertain onlookers during Uncle Lester's pig races. After slipping down giant slides and navigating a mind-bending bale maze, pint-size patrons can exercise fall-time creativity by crafting scarecrows and enrolling them in art school.