The horticulturalists at Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse Co. tap into experience accrued during more than two decades in business to equip customers with homegrown greenery and helpful gardening advice. Operated by two generations of the Foertmeyer family, the greenhouse nurtures flowering plants culled from all corners of the world. Inside, hanging baskets dip pendulously from the ceiling, spilling forth green fronds, and planters contain budding flora and hide garden gnomes prone to ruining the perspective of landscape paintings.
X-ray technicians at the local hospital shook their heads at their motionless patient—a mummified bird that had appeared in a lot of Egyptian artifacts set to go up for auction. After the techs confirmed that the bird was genuine, Richard "Jeff" and Amelia Jeffers, owners of Garth's Auctions, couldn't wait to put the important piece of ancient history in their catalog. Amelia Jeffers remembers that in fact, the bird did poorly at auction, as not many people collect mummified Egyptian wildlife. Instead, collectors flock to Garth's Auctions for vintage Americana, local folk art, Oriental rugs, and even real estate.
Since its opening in 1954, Garth's Auctions has appraised and sold thousands of collectibles at auction, but took on newfound enthusiasm and energy in 2006, when the husband-and-wife auctioneer team took it upon themselves to make auctions accessible to everyone. Amelia notes that first-timers should not be intimidated by the auction format, as the price range for items varies widely and auction catalogs list everything from fine art to firearms and novelty toys. She remembers recently auctioning off an antique novelty vampire-slaying kit complete with a wooden stake, garlic flour, and holy water. A large team of certified appraisers also leads scheduled walk-in appraisal days at museums across the country, and are available to appraise antiques in-house or in the ancient ziggurats where they are discovered.
Garth's Auctions has also worked to expand their environmentally-friendly endeavors such as printing catalogs with Forest Stewardship Council–approved recycled paper and replacing old company cars with fuel-efficient hybrids. However, the Jefferses believe that their most important green contribution is their day-to-day collecting and repurposing of antiques that reduce demand for new items.
Mattress Mart's slumber experts stock their stores with major-brand sleep surfaces?such as Serta, iComfort, and Simmons Beauty Rest?in twin, full, queen, and king sizes. Customers can rest their backs on the firm billows of a Factory Select twin set or support larger-scale lumbar regions with a soft, flippable Newport Flush set.
A distributor of children's playground and sports equipment, Recreations Outlet has been fortifying playtime with safely constructed fun fixtures since 1990. The outlet houses an expansive show room brandishing apparatuses that parents can purchase and install at home, such as monkey towers, and fenced-in Springfree trampolines that keep kids in and competitive kangaroos out. In addition to its regular shopping hours, Recreations Outlet invites little ones to come test out the fun factor of its wares during open-play sessions or hosted birthday parties.
With each creamy bite, it becomes more evident that CherryBerry’s yogurt was made from all-natural ingredients: the strawberry contains tiny chunks of fruit, and the chocolate’s rich flavor could never have come from a powdered mix. Like a tag-team dance-off at the UN, the yogurt itself features four types of live and active cultures, all of which aid in digestion. Low-fat, fat-free, and gluten-free flavors abound, as do sorbet options with no dairy and Splenda-sweetened yogurts with no added sugar. More than 50 fruit, nut, and candy options overflow from bins and canisters at the topping bar, awaiting their chance to cascade down the snowy peaks of fro-yo.
Under the same roof as CherryBerry, but following the beat of their own chocolate-dipped drum, are the expert confectioners of Paradise Chocolate. At a separate counter, they hand-dip fruits and pretzels into vats of warm chocolate and set them out to cool alongside premium truffles. Distinctive varieties of bon-bons, peanut-butter delights, and english toffee congregate with apples draped in caramel and Valentine’s Day chocolates inside the 8-foot-long display case.