Maumee Valley Growers, a growers association, includes more than 70 individual growers who work together to strengthen the local greenhouse industry. Though all the growers in the group offer local plants, they have distinct locations, product mixes, and specialties. Each year, Maumee Valley Growers puts on Christmas Shoppes at various locations, including Bench's Greenhouse & Nursery and Wardell's Garden Center.
Bench's, which started off as a modest 32?x144? poly greenhouse full of tomatoes and pepper plants in 1978, has since exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and elf catchers.
Wardell's started in 1987 as small greenhouse with some vegetable plants and a few hanging baskets. The owner put the plants out by the road with a sign and a coffee can to collect the money and ended up selling out. Now, what was once a 480-square-foot operation has turned into a more than 25,000-square-foot greenhouse area with a garden center that operates almost year round. During the Christmas season, patrons can sip hot spiced cider while browsing holiday decorations, artificial trees, wreaths, and scented candles. Wardell's three miniature horses, Moonbeam, Moondust, and Moonshadow, are also on hand to greet the customers and make them feel like giants.
Four generations of family have manned Kaplan's Furniture & Mattress Gallery since 1936, keeping its expansive showrooms stocked with name-brand pieces and designs from Klaussner Home Furnishings. Customers can count sheep or the ghosts of sheep past on mattress and box-spring sets ($149+) from Serta, Sealy, and Restonic memory foam. Serve spreads on a complete dinette set ($199), or curl up into the cushions of a Designers Mark, Ashley, Lane, or Southern Motion recliner ($199+). Klaussner’s wide selection of fabric choices allows customers to customize many products to match their personal interior-design style or the color of their favorite eye, with Klaussner sofas available in more than 100 fabrics. Kaplan's also has complete living room and bedroom packages available, as well as a wide selection of kid's furniture including loft, bunk, and trundle beds ($299+).
The factory-trained sleep experts at Mattress Matters strive to help customers get up on the right side of the bed with a wide range of mattress brands and types. Clients count fewer sheep than ever before on a Simmons Beautyrest queen set, whose motion-separating, pocketed coil springs and highly trained shepherds fill nights with uninterrupted REM cycles ($699+). Developed by NASA, the Tempur-Pedic bed conforms to every nook and cranny of the body, supporting perfect spinal alignment and comfort ($1,199+). Media mogul Donald Trump's line of luxury slumber vehicles boasts KoolComfort memory foam and a top-layer quilt to caress bodies and minds into dreamland ($849+), and the Sealy Posturpedic's orthopedically correct support aids in creating ache-free days and z-filled nights ($579+).
When Seymour and Esther Fischgrund founded Fish Furniture in 1925, the couple personally stained, painted, and housebroke each piece before sending it home with a customer. Today, Fish Furniture operates a bit more efficiently, but with the same attention to detail and quality. In the eight-plus decades since opening, the business has grown from 2 employees to 70. It features a pair of 40,000-square-foot show rooms, inside of which sit upholstery, bedroom sets, and office trimmings bearing solid-wood construction and the names of well-known manufacturers. Outside the show rooms, Fish's staff travels to homes to provide interior-design advice, and its courtesy touchups mend scuffs and scrapes in a more fashionable manner than haphazardly placed band-aids.
Levin Furniture has been passed down through generations of Levins since 1920, when Jessie Levin persuaded her husband to start a business to help their daughters' prospects. Since then, the business has grown, expanded, and gained a reputation for procuring and selling quality furniture. Levin Furniture's stock includes leather reclining sofas, beautifully carved dining tables, and sleigh beds from Daniel's Amish using hardwood materials from Ohio.