Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Sit 'n Sleep's friendly staff of sleep consultants take slumber seriously, spending months to learn the ins and outs of sleep health, mattress selection, and customer service. With their extensive expertise, these wink whisperers help snoozers find the perfect person-size pillow on which to repose or languidly mispronounce French poetry; choose from a panoply of twin, full, queen, king, and Cal king varietals. Guests can find restful vibes manifested in a bevy of mattress brands, from Sealy to Simmons, and types, from memory foam to latex.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Named South Bay's Best Cooking Store by the Torrance Daily Breeze three years in a row, Cookin' Stuff furnishes cooks with more than 20,000 everyday and hard-to-find cooking and bake ware items. Meal makers will enjoy sifting through the 11,000-square foot store filled with stainless steel mixing bowls, cookware, strainers and a number of gadgets under $30. Top product brands like Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Nordic Ware and Curious Chef grace the shelves of Cookin' Stuff and gossip about a mutual friend's bland tasting casserole. Chefs searching for tools ranging in the obscure can find solace in a store equipped with items like professional marinade injectors ($6.95) and asparagus tongs ($4.95)
Rainforest Flora traces its origins back to the 1960s, when UCLA economics student Paul Isley developed a fascination with the otherworldly aspects of the tillandsia plant. The soil-free plant so captivated him that he embarked on an adventure through Mexico and Guatemala to collect specimens. After Paul met his friend and business partner Jerry Robinson on a Caribbean diving expedition for Spanish galleons, Rainforest Flora's lush bromeliad nurseries began to become a reality. Today, thanks to the work and sacrifice of Isley, Robinson, and their former associate, Bill Harris, the business's two facilities in California self-sustainably produce millions of high-quality neoregelias, ferns, and tillandsias.
Tillandsias are otherwise known as "air plants"—so called because of their ability to thrive outside of soil and to consistently deliver textbook underarm lay-ups. Gardeners often attach these colorful fronds to vertical indoor and outdoor spaces or suspend them from wires, helping them grow with the shop's ample supply of epiphyte-friendly fertilizers, waterproof glue, and hangers. In addition to initiating curious gardeners into the world of exotic tillandsias and other bromeliads, Rainforest Flora equips green thumbs with colorful neoregelias and easy-to-grow ornamental staghorn ferns.