For more than a century, Ring's End has put quality home improvement products in the hands of homeowners and contractors. A Stanley FatMax level ($30.99) ensures all paintings and ouija boards are hung correctly, and a gallon of Benjamin Moore Regal Classic paint ($40.19) creates a vibrant new hue on staid interior walls. Fiberon composite decking ($2.95+/ft.) helps to craft sturdy, colorful backyard-grilling platforms and arrives backed by a 20-year limited warranty. Handymen and women can keep tools easily accessible, organized, and ready to travel with a Veto Pro Pac tool bag ($144.99), which holds more than 100 hand tools and includes six zippered pockets to hide worksite snacks from Bob Vila.
Framed, which was named runner-up for Best Frame Shop in 2010 by readers of the New Haven Advocate, uses careful custom-framing techniques to produce well-balanced rectangles for all occasions. Overseen by 15-year framing veterans Liz Hellwig and Rocco Compitello, the staff at Framed meets with prospective project doers, ironing out the two-dimensional details for projects large and small. These canvas wranglers practice conservation framing, a technique that keeps pieces true to their original condition through the use of specialized glass and acid-free mat boards. Likewise, to ensure quality and a pleasant lack of presidential apparitions, all custom projects are constructed on-site, in the store's comprehensive workshop. Though framing rates vary from project to project, an average 18"x24" piece—including black wood frame, standard glass, and dry mounting—starts at approximately $66.
For more than 40 years, the culinary experts at Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond have supplied supermarkets and restaurants with gourmet-quality ingredients, cookware, and equipment. They've even designed supermarkets and commercial kitchens. Eventually, members of the public took notice and, spatulas raised threateningly above their heads, demanded access to the 10,000-square-foot show rooms.
Today, both professionals and avid home chefs browse the emporium, daydreams of pasta and baked goods dancing in their heads as they meander through rows of cutlery, bakeware, and small kitchen appliances.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Brimming with a full line of USDA-certified, human-grade treats for pets, The Cheshire Cat & Dog, Too LLC feeds domesticated darlings with scrumptious pet cuisine made with natural, quality ingredients. Selections for cats and dogs include offerings from Wellness, which incorporates human-grade proteins while avoiding meat by-products, preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors, as well as Taste of the Wild dog foods, which supplements roasted meats with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. A variety of raw and canned options for canines and felines ensure dietary variety while providing additional sources of healthy proteins.
The window dressers at Connecticut Shade and Blind have embellished bare panes with custom blinds, shades, and sumptuous draperies for more than a quarter century. Interior rooms exposed to overly enthusiastic sunbeams or binocular-bearing blue jays cover vulnerable windows with light filtering double-cell shades ($546 for a 36"x54" panel). The futuristic blinds are energy efficient, helping to defend against winter drafts and roasting summer suns. Wood blinds ($549 for a 36"x54" panel) or faux wood blinds ($413 for a 36"x54" panel) add texture and a touch of the outdoors to stylish interiors. A variety of fabrics in woven blends or ethereal sheers dress window interiors as curtains or human exteriors as stylish togas. Any accrued shipping costs are included in this Groupon.