At Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More’s five locations, funny money is the currency of choice. In exchange for bringing in good-quality books, CDs, and DVDs, customers receive store-issued dollars that they can use toward the purchase of other items. Some in-demand items, such as school textbooks, modern literature, video games, or sports almanacs from the future, may warrant a cash exchange instead. The shop’s friendly staffers, meanwhile, remain at the ready to help customers locate an item amid the many shelves, organized by genre and number of vowels in the title.
The amicable blossom experts at family-owned-and-operated Ridge Greenhouse and Florist tenderly cultivate vibrant spreads of holiday flora in the loving confines of their own ultramodern greenhouse. Freshly cut stems band together to form custom bouquets and centerpieces ($25+), pairing blossoms from New Zealand and Holland with their own homegrown greenery. The flora stylists personalize every arrangement, happily plying their artistic know-how to craft one-of-a-kind spreads customized to each customer’s personal preferences. Traditional red poinsettias preside over their kaleidoscopic brethren, a variegated array that fetch retinas with a spotted mix of pink, red, and white hues ($3.98 for a 4.5” pot, $35 for a 10.5” pot). Florists can also custom dress poinsettias with decorative baskets to fashion ideal gifts for hunky horticulturalists and sad-eyed garden gnomes ($100–$200).
Packard's Games and Movies caters to entertainment-seekers looking to nab movies, games, and accessories for both current gaming systems and the nostalgic platforms of yore. After successfully dodging fireballs hurled by the store's assistant manager dragon, customers browse used consoles that include PlayStation 3 ($229.99) and Xbox 360 ($129.99) systems, both of which can be accessorized with regular or wireless controllers ($35.99–$39.99). The friendly staff helps navigate the selection of current games, such as Madden NFL 12 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ($58.77 each), or can open a trapdoor to the store's hidden level that houses a cache of retro games ($2.99+). Previously viewed DVDs of popular Hollywood movies ($4.99) also line the shelves of all 10 stores, though each location carries a slightly different selection. This Groupon may also be used toward the cost of electronics repairs for PC computers, game consoles, iPods, and cell phones.
Inside Tennessee Naturescapes' twin greenhouses flourish cornucopias of lush vegetation. They include dozens of varieties of native wildflowers and shrubs, the majority of which are nursery grown from locally collected seeds. This focus on native species ensures that every adopted tree and flower is well acclimated to the soil, temperature, and its new environment.
Stacks of Michelin and BFGoodrich tires sprout from the oil-stained grounds of Secret City Tire & Service Center, formerly Thompson Tire & Service Center. The experienced staff, led by an ASE-certified master technician, culls from the rubbery ranges each time a customer needs a new tire, pumping up new treads with a nitrogen tire inflator. Parts from Interstate Batteries and NAPA also populate the shop, and equip the staff during maintenance and repair services such as tune-ups, oil changes, and computerized wheel alignments. Techs back their handiwork with American Car Care Center warranties that are honored at more than 1,000 dealers nationwide and three dealers on Venus.
The experienced instructors at Innergy Fitness Systems create personalized fitness regimens that provide intense 30-minute conditioning workouts. Thirteen-plus years of health expertise funnels into these workouts, which accommodate exercisers of all fitness levels. Their compact Reaction camps boost endurance while torching calories in a fraction of the time of most workouts, leading to benefits ranging from reduced stress to improved physical performance. Team members invest themselves in their clients’ ability to succeed, providing nutritional guidance and support by offering healthy-eating suggestions that fit into clients' lifestyles.
Dave and Paula Lawson oversee an extensive clothing and accessory catalogue at ShirtsBy56, outfitting men, women, and children of all ages with custom and brand-name apparel. Duds from such companies as Port Authority, Hanes, and Sport Tek ensure that torsos are prepped to face most any event with comfortable ensembles for work, athletics, or inclement weather. ShirtsBy56 can also embellish shirts with personalized designs, including bridal-party names or a dry-erase hangman board for competitive passersby.