You don't have to travel to Spain or France to taste renowned wines?you simply have to show up at Talk of The Table. This wine-and-cheese boutique corrals more than 275 wines from various regions of the globe and displays them proudly on wooden shelves, in wine racks, and in the livers of wine racks. Twice a week, visitors can belly up to tastings inside the tasting room, savoring Sauvignon Blancs from around the world, Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley, and dry Rieslings from the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. The boutique pairs these wines with samples of 25 artisan cheeses including aged goat cheese and aged Parmesan.
With locations spread throughout the South, Paper Affair gives patrons easy access to a vast selection of imprintables. A knowledgeable team guides clients through colorful corridors of stationery by brands such as Bella Ink, Inviting Company, and Crane & Co., selecting the best announcements to serve as a tasteful alternative to trumpet fanfare, or baby shower stationary that runs the gamut from silly to sweet. To complement the range of paper goods, staffers also stock shelves with useful gifts such as coasters and guest towels, as well as custom napkins that let guests know exactly whom to thank for stuffing the turkey with fluffernutters.
Filled with whippersnappers soaring down slides and giggling as they hop on giant trampolines, Superior Play Systems' sprawling showrooms seem more like lively amusement parks than retail stores. As youngsters explore the professionally assembled play sets and basketball courts, staffers attend the parents, answering inquiries and guiding them through the store's extensive selection of safety-tested trampolines, and sports and recreation equipment. The store is home to a sweeping variety of imaginative play sets, made from durable materials like certified California redwood and cedar.
At Heavenly Gourmet Popcorn, savory flavors such as hot cheddar and butter partner with caramel, nuts, and name-brand candies to create more than 100 inventive varieties of popped treats. The epicurean alchemists' fearless experiments range from spicy Cajun morsels to kernels coated in apple-infused caramel. Classic sugary treats, including Butterfinger, Oreo, and Snickers, fly straight from their tin foil cocoons to nestle in tubs of gourmet bites, available in three-box gift sets, 2- to 3-gallon tins, or—for industrial customers—a freight car carrying fragile styrofoam peanuts.
Keeping feet comfortable is as simple as finding the right shoe. This is the central tenet of New Balance's philosophy. And that belief is backed up by experience—the company got its start in the early 1900s by selling arch supports to Boston police officers and restaurant servers who spent hours on their feet each day. New Balance eventually expanded into the realm of athletic footwear and apparel, but never lost sight of its mission to create shoes that provide the support necessary for maximum performance.
To ensure that customers find footwear that fits like a glove, New Balance employs dedicated specialists. The team members perform comprehensive assessments by examining the feet from every angle, collecting as many as 88 different measurements, and even analyzing the clients' natural gait. They then select the perfect shoe, whether the wearer seeks a basic cross-trainer or equipment for a specific sport, such as baseball or a full-contact spelling bee.
Beyond finding the right pair for virtually any feet, New Balance also dedicates itself to embracing environmentally and economically conscious practices. One out of every four shoes that the company produces is either made or assembled in the United States, a system that provides jobs for roughly 1,300 people. Additionally, all of their packaging is made using recycled paper products as well as eco-friendly, soy-based inks.
A healthy lifestyle can only happen with access to healthy food. And that was the impetus for Natural Foods Warehouse founder Alan Purcell to build his store: to give his community easy access to natural foods and wholesome vitamins. The shelves of the store’s four expansive locations are packed with specialty products, ranging from sugar-free drinks to vitamins and supplements from popular brands such as Garden of Life and New Chapter and Amazing Grass brand superfoods. Towering refrigerators house organic dairy and eggs, while a wine section is stocked with quaffable varietals. A knowledgeable staff guides patrons by the hand or by pig Latin–encoded messages over the stores' loudspeakers, broadcasting where to find diet-specific items, such as Crunchmaster gluten-free crackers.