FruitFlowers’ unique edible bouquets delight eyes and stomachs in equal measure, arranging bright, daisy-shaped pineapple slices with cantaloupe centers and skewers of chocolate-dipped strawberries into reusable baskets and vases. Founders Susan Ellman and Ellen Davis began arranging slices of fresh fruit into floral shapes in 1984, working from their home kitchens. Since then, their artistic take on the fruit basket has become a popular way of both snacking and decorating, and their business has spread across the nation, much like the shadow cast by Godzilla as he crosses the ocean.
A refreshing reminiscence of apothecaries past, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy boasts face-to-face customer care. In the business for more than 22 years, Amin Amireh runs his shop and showers the community with the products and knowledge necessary for maintaining good health. While not valid for prescriptions, sniffle sufferers, headache harborers, and tablet jugglers can browse a complete line of over-the-counter medicines ($3–$15), as well as homeopathic remedies. A range of specially designed wellness products, such as Dr. Comfort shoes, assist customers with diabetes and other ailments, and general accessories, including handbags and wallets ($20–$65) complement bodily health with aesthetic homeostasis.
A&A Fine Foods, which first opened its doors in 1992, helps customers line their pantry shelves or banquet tables with gourmet comestibles the likes of meat, bread, cookies, olive oil, cheese, and pasta. Behind gleaming display cases of hormone-free chicken and Boar's Head meats, A&A's butchers prepare homemade italian sausage and slice marbled cuts of grass-fed beef with the steady hands of a brain surgeon playing Jenga. The deli's staff can accommodate lunchtime cravings or catering requests by ladling bowls of house-made soups out of its percolating cauldrons and crafting hearty sandwiches or wraps with such ingredients as grilled eggplant and imported provolone.
Customers at Caldwell Seafood Market & Cafe can take home morsels of fresh raw seafood handpicked daily from the Fulton Fish Market or sit down to sample the cafe’s menu of chef-prepared gourmet fare. At the market, adopt a fresh pound of plump pink shrimp, a heavy slab of Norwegian salmon, or a gaggle of glistening sea scallops to take home and cook for an evening feast. Prices for raw seafood vary daily depending on each variety’s market value and the number of engagement rings it swallowed before being caught. Then sidle up to the cafe to sample prepared fare such as grilled rainbow trout sprinkled in Cajun seasoning ($17.95) or the combo platter, on which a 4-ounce fillet bundled in breading beds down with three large fried shrimp, three jumbo sea scallops, and a teddy bear named Eddie ($19.95).
To commemorate myriad occasions, Fruit Basket King nestles fruit, nuts, chocolate, and baked goods in themed wicker baskets dressed up with ribbons and bows. The Baby Carriage package, complete with stuffed teddy bear, lemon straws, and almond tea cookies, commemorates the arrival of a bouncing baby boy or girl, and the New Home gift box celebrates baby's first mortgage with cookies, milk chocolate, and butter-toffee pretzels. Each basket is made to order and can be delivered with a handwritten gift card.
Fragrant roses and fine wine can be key elements of a romantic evening, and both can be found at Wine & Roses, a family-owned boutique in business since 1987. In addition to a full florist's shop and liquor store, patrons can find gourmet foods, gift baskets, stuffed animals, and balloons. Delivery is available throughout Bergen County.