Gift Chalet cheers up homesick Viking-Americans with an array of home, kitchen, and clothing products that stir memories of the homeland's snowy winters, hammer-wielding thunder gods, and majestic fjords. Honor the ancestors with a knit hat flying the Norwegian flag ($8.50) or a T-shirt proclaiming one's hatred of lutefisk ($18). The best-selling almond cake pan and recipe gives Danish dessert fans all the tools they need to bake a traditional treat and present it as a housewarming gift to the next home they pillage ($10). Otherwise, add a sense of fun to a gray cubicle with a Finns Have More Steam mousepad ($5) or ward off cowardly ballpoint-pen thieves with a Lommedalen troll Viking figurine brandishing a Swedish shield ($40). Gift Chalet also supplies all the necessary Christmas accouterments for an Ultima Thule–themed Yuletide, including Lucia candleholders ($40) and accessories. Fans of international footwear can apply their Groupon toward a pair of Dansko clogs ($110-$120).
Since 2000, Landscape Depot has transformed the landscape of Greater Boston backyard by backyard, supplying everything from fertile mulch and soil to stone pathways and fountains. Technicians help install walls, veneers, and stairs from both natural and engineered stone, and trucks haul yards of mulch straight to homes. The staff also holds regular do-it-yourself seminars, reviewing various projects so homeowners don't have to rely on the shoddy advice of garden gnomes.
The repair specialists behind Mr. Appliance understand that clients should feel comfortable letting repairmen into their homes. That’s why before every job, homeowners receive a confirmation email with a picture of the uniformed, background-checked technician assigned to address their appliance needs. Upon arrival, the serviceman assesses each job by interviewing troubled appliances and recording the results on an iPad. Homeowners then get to see a detailed quote so they understand the work that needs to be done. Experienced with all brands, the technicians begin by securing the work area, putting on shoe covers, and laying down mats before repairing appliances that range from refrigerators to washing machines.
Beyond in-home service, they also supply clients with resources such as online repair manuals and use-and-care tips. They also adhere to an S.O.S—service on your schedule—policy, letting clients secure appointments through online booking.
The horticultural experts at Perreault Nursery delight gardeners with a bountiful harvest of blossoms, shrubs, mulch, and outdoor ornamentation. The garden gurus accompany each rose bush or Japanese maple with helpful advice on how to care for the plant before sending it off to college. In addition to its blossoming blooms—grown in Perreault’s own greenhouse—and a plethora of trees and shrubs, the garden depot outfits yards with mulch and stone, custom planters, and ornamental pottery or statuary, including fountains and bird baths. After picking out their new plants, visitors can drop by the nursery’s butterfly house, where hundreds of butterflies flutter amongst babbling brooks, flowers, and benches. Or, for clients who would rather use a trowel to comb their hair instead of raking mulch with it, the professionals offer landscaping services to transform yards into lush oases with creeks, pathways, and beautifully designed flower beds.
At locations throughout the northeast, ScrubaDub Auto Wash Centers' computerized wash tunnels and detailing pros spiff up cars with advanced technology and minimal environmental impact. The robotic wash systems and photoelectric sensors not only clean finishes with a gentle, soft-cloth technique, but they can target white walls, wheels, and chrome with site-specific formulas. The eco-savvy automated systems also consume less water than home washing and recycle the water used to clean the wheels and undercarriage. Biodegradable SuperGlo soap keeps the run-off free of harmful compounds before it is funneled down the proper treatment channels, where it can't pollute neighborhood storm drains or be used to test the resiliency of carnival goldfish.
The centers' innovative equipment and Earth-friendly practices have earned them the title of Best Car Wash from CityVoter for three years running. Some locations also boast separate interior cleaning bays to address filthy dashboards and seats.