In 1981, B&B Pet Stop paired pet owners with furry friends and items to care for them from a 600-square-foot location. Since then, the store has expanded to 24 times its original size—B&B now fills every nook and cranny of a massive 14,400-square-foot store. But one thing hasn’t changed; it’s still run by Bill Trufant and his sisters Sally and Mary. The trio’s pet emporium stocks everything from Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals cat and dog food and Nylabone chew toys to cages and vitamins for birds.
The Trufants and their dedicated staff don’t just equip pet owners with supplies; they also supply the pets themselves, hosting so many critters that children take field trips to the shop the way they might visit a zoo. More than 2,600 gallons of salt water aquariums include a live coral system and a reef display, creating a home for saltwater swimmers, such as pygmy angelfish and crabs. Nearby, red-tail sharks, firemouth cichlids, and other creatures frolic in more than 6,000 gallons of fresh water. The shop also sells more than 800 reptiles and more than 12,000 small animals each year, as well as a fleet of birds. For particularly dedicated caregivers, a selection of rarer, more high-maintenance animals is available, including hedgehogs, which demand a homemade cake thrice a day.
B&B Pet Stop’s dedication to animals extends to community-outreach initiatives. For instance, you have the option to round up your purchase price, donating the change to monthly rotating charities, including Animal Rescue Foundation and the Mobile Arts Council. This idea has raised nearly $100,000 in just five years.
Mattress Direct culls a variety of mattresses in textures ranging from firm to plush from brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Serta. Serta's iComfort, for example, evenly distributes support across the body with microsupport gel capsules nestled in its memory foam; a specialized material prevents overheating and the resulting unpleasant lava-chase nightmares. Mattress Direct's stock of bed frames, bed linens, and pillows allow patrons to assemble complete bedroom sets in one trip, and an express delivery service prevents the hassle of renting a moving truck or outfitting each leg of a new bed with a rollerblade.
Since 1973, Master Cleaners has tidied garments using time-tested laundering techniques and the latest water-free cleansers. Staffers greet soiled outfits with a thorough sudsing, folding sheets into neat squares and erasing spots from shirts and jeans. The shop also cleans bulky items such as bedspreads and sleeping bags, returning them at a convenient drive-thru window. Dry cleaning removes set-in stains from delicate items such as business suits and silk dresses. To make garments look as sharp as possible, an expert tailor will close holes, replace loose buttons, or add googly eyes for a nominal fee.
AmeriThin Inc’s physicians welcome clients into their offices to customize effective pound-shedding regimens and combat stubborn pounds with an arsenal of tools and the tutelage of a healthcare professional. Physicians prescribe a regimen that includes medical aids, behavioral changes, nutritional advice, and fitness plans designed to create a comprehensive plan for boosting health and losing weight. AmeriThin’s methods aim to leave patients more energetic and with fewer cravings, helping them to emerge from each session ready to arm-wrestle impertinent park statues.
Southern Art & Framing offers much more than its name implies—aside from custom-framing projects and ready-to-hang art, the store also boasts an eclectic gift shop stocked with goods made by local and national artisans. Shoppers can peruse a selection that includes everything from handbags and scented candles to barbecue tools and home decor designed for fans of popular college sports teams. Local artists also host onsite art classes, teaching skills such as impressionist painting and converting your boring sedan into an exciting police cruiser.
• Two reserved-seating football tickets to see the University of South Alabama vs. Lamar University at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on September 10 (a $30 value) • Four upper-bowl tickets to see one men's basketball game of your choice during the upcoming 2011–2012 season at the Mitchell Center (a $20 value)