Knox Nursery, Inc. started in 1962 on the Knox family's porch. Although the family-run nursery has grown to encompass more than 23 acres since then, the second-generation owners haven’t forgotten their humble beginnings, still emphasizing the down-home customer service that made the business what it is today. They and their staff lovingly harnesses the Floridian sunshine to produce plugs and liners, cultivating more than 5,000 plant varieties ranging in size from young ones destined for greenhouses to 4-inchers perfect for landscaping.
At the retail center, staffers stand ready to help green-thumbed shoppers to navigate the selection of annuals and perennials or pick out shrubs to block views of money-filled swimming pools from jealous neighbors. Palms, trees, and vegetables await their chance to fill out gardens or finish landscapes.
Though all the kernels at Ms. Bee's Gourmet Popcorn & Candy Shoppe are indistinguishable in the morning, by the evening staff have popped them into 70 different flavors of popcorn. But these aren't your movie-theater variety kernels. The staff uses real cheese, housemade caramel, and flavorful spices to create their flavors, which range from the popular loaded potato to the decadent peanut butter chocolate drizzle. Alongside the inventive flavors, they do still offer popcorn classics, such as their slightly sweet kettle corn and the Chicago-style blend of cheese and caramel. However, popcorn isn't the staff's only treat. They also create artfully designed displays of vintage and gourmet candy alongside Ms. Bee's housemade fudge, which, like the licorice braces offered by the world's youngest orthodontist, satisfy sweet teeth effectively.
This wellness haven champions the healthful power of natural products, treating clients with soothing herbal products and educating on the effects of scent on the mind and body. Lead by owner and herbalist Michele Miller, a friendly staff helps customers navigate a vast selection of vitamins and holistic remedies. The shop puts theories into action through classes on aromatherapy and perfume making, during which students blend pure essential oils into calming bath salts, aromatic mists, and perfumes. Those in need of additional rest and relaxation can visit the day spa, stocked with therapists offering massages, energy treatments, and facials.
The Spa at Bella Collina is a luxurious contradiction. Its massive welcoming area and stone-tiled courtyard are reminiscent of an Italian castle, but inside, therapists rejuvenate bodies with the latest and most popular spa techniques. The spa's personalized treatments rejuvenate clients in a private retreat nestled in the rolling hills near Lake Siena. Before their treatments, clients can slip into robes in the private locker room, then relax in a secluded courtyard graced with a trickling waterfall and a blacksmith who fashions cast-iron cucumbers. The staff provide visitors with a comprehensive and detailed menu of facials, body treatments, nailcare, hair services, and massage therapy.
Aio Wireless is the brainchild of Jennifer Van Buskirk. In a former life, she acted as Senior Vice President of Mobility Strategy for AT&T, where her performance earned her enough trust from the higher-ups that they asked her to run their new company: Aio Wireless. Her new joint venture retains all of the reliability of AT&T's 4G/LTE network, but gives folks a chance to break free of contractual shackles with a pay-as-you-go plan. In fact, the whole process has been streamlined. Aio lets clients use their own cell phone rather than buying a new one with unlimited talk, text, and data plans.
Despite the cutting edge gadgetry and the reliable network, however, the stores' approach to technology is more than just practical. Their array of phone cases, for example, brighten iPhones, Galaxies and Lumias in neon hues. Their earbud headphones, meanwhile, let phone owners play their tunes on the go without schlepping their tuba everywhere.