Spruce Meadow Farm is owned and operated by Al and Karla Deacon, who lovingly tend to the 40 horses that reside inside a complex of three riding rings?including an indoor ring?and two barns. For the past 20 years, the couple has been assisting and administering year-round lessons for riders of all ages, guiding trainees toward stronger bonds with their equine counterparts. Their lessons detail proper mounting, grooming, and tacking techniques, and culminate with safe cool-down exercises rather than unsafe attempts at horseback surfing. Al and Karla also assist equine enthusiasts through walker-led pony rides and ferry services geared toward off-site rides. Gift certificates are also available, to give the gift of riding to friends and loved ones.
Owner Crista Botticello was only 19 when she opened Ooo La La’s doors to the East Aurora community, but her fashion-forward tastes suggest an intimate acquaintance with trends in America and abroad. That unique sensibility is reflected in her boutique’s selection of casual apparel and formalwear, which includes dresses, jackets, jewelry, and handbags designed by emerging locals or renowned artisans from New York and Los Angeles. Nestled in an idyllic brick storefront, the spacious store often hosts special events, such as fashion shows that benefit local charities or show off the cummerbund’s underappreciated versatility.
At Designing Dish, brushes flit quietly across the surfaces of ready-made ceramic bowls, piggy banks, and mugs. Art-deco blocks of color, portraits of loved ones, and the fingerprints of youngsters leap from the newly colorful pieces, dappled with color from the studio’s range of paints and glazes. A kiln uses powerful heat to make the works of art more colorful and solid so that they can be passed down through generations like a razor for shaving off all the hair from a family curse. In addition to ceramics, the instructors offer lessons in glass fusing, metal stamping, and copper enameling.
Since 2006, the friendly and knowledgeable staff at The Bike Shop has paired products ranging from bikes to apparel with expert maintenance services. Customers can peruse the store’s inventory of bicycles from notable names, such as Ridley, Giant, and Scott, and then don a Lazer helmet before peddling their purchase out into the world amid the blares of their own bugle calls. When wear and tear threaten to sideline a set of wheels, a team of repairmen, led by owner and certified bicycle mechanic Adam Trost, stands ready to nurse bikes back to health with services, such as tune-ups, fittings, and custom wheel builds.
Sterling Bedding hand selects a diverse collection of mattresses and other bedtime essentials to fill its network of North American show rooms. Through appointment-only shopping, patrons can get a one-on-one tour of traditional, pillow-top, and memory-foam mattresses organized conveniently by price point, as well as a selection of fashionable bed frames and bedroom furniture. By setting up shop in warehouses and forgoing the high rents associated with flashy retail spaces or shops set inside limousines, Sterling is able to keep operating costs low and set competitive prices that allow the savings to trickle down to the customer.
Tres Chic Pet Boutique provides two ways for dogs to look better than ever. The pet spa, Le Spaw Grooming, sees to dogs' hygienic needs, scrubbing and brushing pooches big and small. The dog boutique dresses newly washed fur in cute bandanas, costumes, and smart business-casual outfits. The boutique also carries nutritious treats, such as rawhides and cookies, and plenty of entertaining toys.