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With more than 25 years of experience, Box Brothers offers a panoply of packing supplies and accouterments along with brand-name and custom shipping services. Box Brothers stocks more than 100 different sizes of boxes, including standard 1.5-cubic-foot book- or record-carton boxes ($1.49 each, $1.29 each in a bundle of 25) and sweater-sheltering wardrobe boxes ($12.99, $11.99 each in a bundle of five). Box Brothers’ cardboard cowboys will help find the right receptacle for hand-woven wares, and they can also make or cut custom-size boxes for oddly shaped items such as spare harpoons and handcrafted kitchen sinks.

2321 Filbert St
Oakland,
CA
US

While pacing in the light of a pristine glass foyer, a team member from Sparkling Cleaning Service speaks proudly about a recently serviced home. "Mary and her husband," he explains, "they were elderly, and not in the best position to clean their windows. We removed all the dirt, the water spots, and after we finished, Mary calls me and says, 'I can see!'" That's not to say that Mary had been living with false blindness, but as she elatedly explained to an employee, she'd never seen her windows so clean.

This type of phone call is what owners Fernando Moreno and his wife, Sandra Gomez, wanted from their business from the beginning: to have strong personal relationships with clients—relationships built on thorough and fair service. The couple earned their business stripes as daycare owners, but decided to start Sparkling Cleaning Service in order to provide even more working opportunities for others––relatives included.

A family owned and operated business, one day the team of relatives sat down and sorted out the details of the company's vision. They decided to offer gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning. They decided that they would use eco-friendly products. The family also decided that the prices should be based on square footage rather than number of windows––because it's more fair. "It's not as easy these days to trust someone to do a service. We want the customers to see that we can be trusted."

On Location
Oakland,
CA
US

Drill bits twist, measuring tape unfurls, and saws chomp through two-by-fours in ACE Hardware, where shelves dangle with scores of tools and other home-improvement essentials. Wall pigment by Ace Paint and Benjamin Moore beams across the color spectrum as faucet parts and cabinet hardware retool aging abodes and jury-rigged time machines. Large appliances, such as Honeywell space heaters, Perfect Aire air conditioners, and Cadet thermostats, keep indoor air at a comfortable temperature. Outside, bags of seed and compost join charcoal grills to brighten backyard celebrations as rolling hand trucks heft heavy lumber purchases or prefab doghouses for socialite canines. Tools, electrical tape, and other handyman essentials round out each location's array of fixative and creative supplies.

6733 Foothill Blvd
Oakland,
CA
US

While humans congregate in kitchens and dining rooms, rodents prefer a house's less populated areas, such as attics and crawlspaces. That's where Attic Star's cleaning crew heads to assess the damage left behind by unwelcome critters. The crew will remove any contamination, and disinfect surfaces to rid attics of bacteria and unpleasant odors. If rodents have sullied insulation or air vents, Attic Star's personnel will carefully remove the tainted pieces before replacing and rodent-proofing each part. In fact, Attic Star offers rodent-proofing for entire houses, which saves homeowners the hassle of moving into a giant mousetrap.

8001 Edgewater Dr. Office #02
Oakland,
CA
US

The faculty at Technical Institute for Indoor Gardening share knowledge of sustainable soil and hydroponic gardening practices through instruction and commissioned projects. Two gardeners with more than 50 years of combined experience teamed with 3rd Street Hydroponics to create classes and workshops ranging from pest control and composting to greenhouse construction. Teachers aim to reduce carbon footprints through their curriculum, and share their knowledge with the public via an ever-changing program of events, such as free hydroponic gardening fairs. The Institute also heads construction and development of the Oakland Organic Gardens, which aims to enable urban gardening while employing only renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, water, and a golden retriever's love.

681 4th St
Oakland,
CA
US

Professional Garage Doors handles installations, maintenance, and repairs for commercial and residential entryways. Understanding that style is just as important as function when it comes to curb appeal, the technicians keep homes and autos secure with custom garage doors styled to accentuate the beauty of any home. Additionally, they also install and repair manual and automatic openers, mend and test persnickety torsion springs, align bent and rusted tracks, replace awry panels, and quiet clangorous doors.

435 Buena Vista Avenue
Alameda,
CA
US