Ken Cappelletty and Fred Moor, the men who man Ken’s Flower Shops, didn’t grow up dreaming about buds and stems. Raised by a local policeman, Ken likely spent more time playing cops and robbers than sniffing the neighbor’s rosebushes. It wasn’t until he helmed the cash register at a neighborhood florist in L.A. that he discovered his knack for design. Here, he started to see flowers as more than just plants, viewing them as art supplies that happen to smell nice. When Ken returned to Ohio, his parents helped him launch a small shop that arranged blooms in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon. Two years later, in 1967, his friend Fred took some of the reins, helping him grow the business into three local stores affiliated with FTD and Teleflora. From this labor of love, a legacy began to take root. At each shop, seasoned designers incorporate customers’ requests into birthday bouquets, wedding corsages, and gift baskets filled with wine, house-baked cookies, and stuffed toys cute enough to melt hearts and plush enough to sop up the mess. Their talent and creativity takes center stage as well, whether they’re filling vases with orchids, crafting wreaths from roses, or building bouquets from singing balloons. To this day, Fred often answers the phones, discerning customers’ style preferences from friendly chats rather than pilfered diary pages. To make giving easy as getting, the shop’s wares can be delivered locally or internationally, seven days a week.
Carrying on the tradition of his father Labib Hajjar, a restaurateur who opened the original Poco Piatti location on Monroe Street, Elias Hajjar and his wife Joy have created a welcoming new space where locals can experience Mediterranean cuisine. Diners choose from Greek classics including moussaka, Italian-inspired dishes such as prosciutto crepes with basil and homemade sundried-tomato sauce, or Middle Eastern-style kabobs with swordfish or beef tenderloin. The owners have designed the interior to resemble a Spanish villa—the mural above the bar colorfully depicts rolling Mediterranean hills, and a stone oven churns out freshly baked pita bread or lights the miniature Olympic torches of waiters jogging by.
Since 1996, Labib has given back to the community as the co-chairperson of Share our Strength's Taste of the Nation Toledo, an annual food and wine event that, according to The Toledo Blade, raised more than $100,000 to help fight childhood hunger in 2011. Elias also follows in his father's community-minded footsteps by electing to source his ingredients from local suppliers.
The gardening experts at Black Diamond, Inc. have dispensed seedlings and seedpods, as well as wisdom on coaxing blossoms and branches from each, for more than half a century. Rather than just pairing visitors with plants to plop into the ground, they strive to understand individual gardening needs. They troubleshoot issues unique to each customer's landscape and impart advice about which plants play well with which fertilizers and insecticides, and which will end up calling each other names and refusing to share their LEGOs. The green-thumbed staffers grow a wealth of their own bedding plants and nursery stock, and they acquire the rest from local growers. This lets them assemble dozens of annuals and perennials, a wealth of pepper and tomato varieties, and a bevy of shrubs and ornamental trees that keep yards shady enough for pet ice cubes to play outside. Customers can also avail themselves of landscape design and maintenance services, which tap into the skills and experience of professionals.
Tan Pro USA has been compensating for the less-than-ideal latitudinal coordinates of Ohio since 1998. It was then that they opened their first tanning outpost furnished with 30 UV beds, and they have since expanded operations to 43 stores throughout the state. They stock each location with ample tanning units, rendering appointments an archaic formality equivalent to gifting a sheep to your defense lawyer. After customers stroll in, they can slide into an Ergoline 1100, which boasts four ultra-performance facial tanners and two high-pressure shoulder tanners. Staffers advise which lotions enhance traditional tanning results along with explaining the benefits of the UV-free VersaSpa spray-tan booths. Harnessing infrared heat, VersaSpa booths impart a glow to entire physiques or targeted trouble areas, such as the inside of the armpits.
Meig’s selection of on-trend clothes and accessories suits women of all ages who cultivate a young, carefree, modern-bohemian aesthetic. The store’s racks turn over frequently to reflect seasonal changes, but shoppers might find Wooden Ships knitted ruanas in bone white and emerald green, or breezy tie-dyed and print dresses from Gypsy 05. Designer denim by DL1961 flaunts daring prints that were featured in Vogue, and the store’s in-house cashmere line blends classic silhouettes with luxurious textures. The store’s selection of accessories sparkles and shines from inside vintage display cases or the nests of squatting magpies. Light-hearted accessories from Ornamental Things boast details such as gilded feathers and lightning bolts. Many of the accessories are culled from the staff’s international travels, such as fragrances from a small beachside perfumery in Mexico.
The culinary staff at Super Suppers strives to breathe life back into the American tradition of sitting down to a home-cooked meal. The handcrafted take ‘n’ bake items, which include entrees, sides, appetizers, and desserts, conveniently last in freezers for up to three months or until evicted to make room for hibernating snowmen. Ready-to-heat basil pork chops with caesar penne or bacon-wrapped chicken breasts with cream cheese save time on prep, and a variety of gluten-free, dairy-free, and heart-healthy items offer tasty meals that meet all sorts of dietary restrictions. Instructors also supply ingredients, gear, and know-how during Kids in the Kitchen and Taste of Super Suppers classes that teach participants how to create simple and tasty meals at home.