The experienced bloom specialists at Janet's Flowers channel their floral-design expertise into colorful arrangements, utilizing a wide variety of flowers to compose floral opuses appropriate for events ranging from anniversaries to funerals. Bestsellers and seasonal bouquets gather stems topped with tulips, irises, roses, and other complementing flora into elegant handfuls, a perfect beginning to a first date or a second attempt to graduate middle school. Fill homes with the pastel shades of spring with a Lavender Mist arrangement ($40–$60) or an angelic bunch of Casablanca lilies ($50–$70). In addition to premade bouquets designed for holidays and special occasions, florists craft custom orders ($55–$75), allowing clients to celebrate a new birth with a Welcome Baby Boy arrangement ($45–$65) filled with blue irises or a functioning train set made entirely out of baby's breath.
Brimming behind a curved glass exterior, painstakingly crafted bisque pieces perch on sleek black squares while original drawings and paintings cascade across the light-strewn walls of The Chartreuse Muse. Inside, local artists showcase their pièces de résistance and helm classes in the dynamic space's art school. Sessions for all ages and levels tackle a bevy of media, such as clay, charcoal, and acrylic paints, and inspire students to draw, paint, or create mixed-media collages of their tax-return documents.
Bouquets bursting with Ecuadorian roses and purple azaleas tug at olfactory heartstrings as Flower Studio owner and expert designer Jorge Ortega nips, clips, and arranges flowers to spruce up homes or celebrate special occasions. The studio’s gift shop delights planners and brides-to-be with its stock of cakes, bouquets, and professional snapshots courtesy of an in-house photographer. Hand-selected bunches of daisies and chrysanthemums send hearts aflutter on holidays and anniversaries, and colorful arrangements of man-eating flytraps commemorate Boss Appreciation Day. Plush white furniture lines the studio’s interior, where a complimentary dessert bar pacifies taste buds jealous of their fellow sensory receptors.
For Fresh Ideas owner Derik Bakker, flowers are more than just petals and stems. “They stir something,” he explains. “It’s not a ream of paper or a T-shirt. It’s something far more personal.” That stirring is why, three times a week, Bakker’s team pilots a refrigerated truck more than 100 miles to pluck the freshest farm-grown coastal buds. Directly sourcing flowers allows Fresh Ideas to keep prices down and also increases its flexibility when filling orders. Bakker can provide hundreds of flowers in bulk to clients 50 miles away while still handcrafting small floral arrangements for locals.
The unique nature of Bakker’s business also allows for a more personal interaction with clients. Unlike larger companies that are forced to interrelate with impersonal 1-800 numbers, Fresh Ideas staffs floral specialists who go over colors with clients, offering suggestions. They can even special order out-of-season flowers from as far away as South America or the secret NASA greenhouses on the moon.
This attentiveness has made the company a popular arrangement source for area restaurants and markets, and anyone who sets foot on the grounds can see that Bakker's passion runs deep. He and his 17-year-old daughter––coincidentally named Sarah Rose––have spent the last year planting seeds by hand in their own onsite sunflower garden. He tells those who ask that they grew the blooms "the old-fashioned way"—the same way he's grown his business.
Any veteran of the first-person shooter genre of video games knows that half the fun lies not only in blasting away at opponents, but also in customizing your loadout, memorizing level layout, and ultimately mastering team tactics. The creators of World Extreme aim to bring this experience to life, packing their 10,000-square-foot arena with dense urban-style terrain. They arm players with their custom radio-frequency-style weaponry, in the shape of M4s, MP5s, or AK-47s. They program each weapon to simulate specific circumstances, from free-for-all battles to team bomb-setting exercises. Unlike at most laser-tag arenas, when a well-placed shot knocks a player out of the game, they must scour the field for a respawn box to reenter play, adding extra stakes to the contest.
McGrath Moving and Storage handles both residential moves around the block and business-related moves around the globe. In six decades of doing so, the company has coordinated moves for the city of Modesto, the state of California, and the U.S. government. It’s also maintained an affiliation with Wheaton World Wide Moving, a company that specializes in moving large, delicate, and antique items, such as pianos or belugas with osteoporosis. Prior to moving day, McGrath’s professionals are available to beef up the packing process, and their military-approved storage facility keeps belongings safe for short- or long-term periods.