Originally opened in 1981 by Greg and Veronica Burghardt, the RockAWay Garden Center is now tended to by the couple's sons, Greg Jr. and Brian, who draw on their childhood gardening experience and a pair of Rutgers University degrees in plant science and landscape design to nurture the verdant nursery. The nursery blooms with Florida-friendly vegetable plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs, and arms gardeners with a full line of Dr. Earth organic soils and fertilizers. During the Yuletide season, a tree lot teems with Fraser, Douglas, and Concolor firs from the family's upstate New York farm. RockAWay's team of landscaping specialists installs professional arrangements for home yards, customizing designs to best complement a customer's style or collection of He-Man garden statues. True to its mission of promoting local gardening, the center partners with Seabreeze Elementary School to lead students in nurturing herbs, vegetables, and plants in their school's greenhouse.
"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.
Since 1977, American Well & Irrigation has deployed licensed well and sprinkler specialists to both commercial and residential properties. Their expertise includes well repair, sprinkler-system repair, and sprinkler-system installations. Those interested in the latter can select from brands such as Rain Bird, Hunter, Myers, and Sta-Rite, of which American Well & Irrigation is an authorized dealer.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries, daisy pineapples, and tomatoes getting in touch with their fruit roots in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Under the watchful and creative eyes of husband-and-wife team Sean and Claire Ladd, 1-800 Flowers Jacksonville's talented staff arranges fresh flowers from around the world into beautiful bouquets suited to any occasion or setting. The florists work closely with patrons to bundle bouquets to exact specifications. Shipments of flowers arrive at least twice each week at the store's two locations in the talons of ginormous eagles, and new arrangements are nestled alongside gifts such as gourmet baskets, live plants, and silk arrangements.