Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
After the Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes honored Jason Buresh's well-groomed yard with its Curb Appeal award, Buresh decided to capitalize on his landscaping talent. In January of 2000, he established Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care. Although Buresh earned a formal degree in applied science and agricultural marketing from Kirkwood Community College, his lawn-care education actually started in childhood, when he honed his knowledge of plants and landscape design on his family’s farm. Today, Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care creates lush, green lawns with aeration, dethatching, fertilizing, seeding, and mowing services. The company also installs greenery and retaining walls to beautify yards or keep out roving bands of lawn flamingos.
Altoona's cookie bouquets add a touch of sweetness to already special occasions by bundling 14 colorful, individually wrapped cookies into one scrumptious bundle. Each baked bunch arrives on the recipient's doorstep bursting with a rainbow of eye-catching hues, complete with a chic bow, basket, and a heartfelt note from its birth oven. Hands unwrap the candy-colored rounds to reveal the dessert staples in a single flavor such as sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, or ginger. For an additional cost (not covered by today's Groupon), buyers can further accessorize their cookie cluster with mylar balloons, stuffed animals, or clumps of broccoli to render them Santa-proof.
Since 2005, Frontline Lawn & Landscapes has been breathing new life into grass and gardens with a range of lawn-care and landscaping-design services. Its seasonal approach to gardening incorporates several different collections of weather-specific services, such as snow removal in the winter, mulching in the spring and fall, and fluffing grass for comfortable picnics in the summer. Frontline's team of resident designers oversees small- and large-scale projects from conception to completion, from planting a single bush to re-landscaping an entire bocce court.
Farm & City Supply's friendly staff dedicates itself to stocking empty garages and bathroom cabinets with name-brand tools, pet supplies, housewares, and farm equipment. Do-it-yourselfers can wrap their opposable thumbs around a vast array of hardware, such as a window shrink/seal kit to guard households against winter blasts or a new hammer to finally pound that unsightly tree stump back into the ground. Armor All cleaner ($3.59) brings out cars' shiny personalities and Purina-wild-bird chow ($18.95) keeps feathered-kitchen invaders at bay. A vast array of automotive supplies keep horseless carriages galloping smoothly. While perusing the aisles, patrons can feel free to consult Farm & City's staffers, who can locate items throughout the store using high-tech divining rods as well as answer any questions and dole out expert advice.
There's a reason why the sandwiches at Keller's Deli and Cafe have brought local customers and food critics back for seconds and thirds. Owner and head baker Cameron Keller studied artisan and sourdough baking at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, learning the ins and outs of classic European recipes. He begins his bordalais bread with a 100-year-old German sourdough starter to impart maximum flavor, and he tops the hot, chewy bread with deli meats. Of the house-brined corned-beef brisket, Cityview Food Dude Jim Duncan says, "No other corned beef in town compares for tenderness and flavor." And after biting into the thick slices of it on the reuben sandwich, the author of the Distilled Opinion food blog remarked, "I was amazed because I’d never had corned beef quite like this." Other sandwiches of note include the handcrafted meatloaf, which boasts ground beef and an apple-cider-vinegar tomato sauce. The outdoor patio is an ideal spot to read a book or construct a sun visor out of a baguette.