In 1955, Maybelle and George Landa began crafting makeshift bundles of pansies to sell alongside produce at their roadside stand. Before long, they were offering fresh-cut Christmas trees, cut flowers, and various houseplants, and the business bloomed into Boulevard Flower Gardens at Ruffin Mill. After decades of growth, the business was passed down to son Mark Landa and his wife Francine.
Today, Boulevard Flower Gardens resides on 6 acres that house a 33,000 square-foot greenhouse and hosts a wide variety of events. Computerized climate control creates optimal growing conditions for plants and a retractable A-frame roof hopes to lure a baseball franchise to hold spring training. The diverse staff includes certified horticulturalists, a full-service florist, and Wilbur the potbelly pig, a friendly mascot who's famous for his seasonal pumpkin carvings. When not tending to the nursery or the gift shop's selection of jellies, flags, and local wines, Mark Landa can be seen dispensing gardening wisdom on WRIC 8's morning news program.
Serenity Herbal Spa galvanizes appearances, fusing a tranquil environment with professional service to cultivate vivifying results. Beach-ready bods can also be smoothed to a glossy finish with a Brazilian wax, fashioning bikini lines and demonstrating the accuracy of Serenity's follicular assassins. A combination of techniques is employed as needy limbs receive celebrity-status attention during a 30-minute massage. The service augments circulation, eases muscle tension, and dilutes anxiety into the alcoholic equivalent of a wine cooler. Immerse restless frames into Serenity's hydrotherapy system and aromatherapy add-on, designed to exterminate bodily toxins and unwind spools of stress yarn as bathwater loaded with herbals and essential oils cascades across skin surfaces.
The friendly staffers at family-owned-and-operated Petals & Bows Florist happily tailor their bouquets to customers’ needs. Their purview incorporates seasonal arrays of fresh-cut blossoms, ranging from classic red roses to sprays of purple limonium, and can come paired with accessories such as festive bows or teddy bears. Prompt service ensures arrangements ready in time for special events, such as weddings, landmark birthdays, or commemorating a couple’s first kiss that didn’t include a lost tooth.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.
"Never, never, never give up," is the driving mantra for David Oreck, who flew combat missions with the US Army Air Forces in World War II and returned home to build a business empire from scratch. He set out to design a machine to lighten hotel employees' load, making a lightweight vacuum cleaner as opposed to the traditional bulky, burdensome commercial cleaners. Naturally, the domestic market began clamoring for his high-powered yet easy-to-handle devices, and soon Oreck vacuums could be found in homes throughout the country.
Today, the company continues its tradition of innovation, simplifying household tasks with Steam-Glide mops for hard floors, HEPA-filter upright vacuums, and stain-killing cleaning products. Oreck's commitment to clean sends it headlong into the future, with high-tech air filters that react to their environment with automatic sensory controls, filtering odors, allergens, and curse words.