Since 1949, the Monahan family has roasted peanuts, experimenting with recipes to cultivate a slew of tasty variations on the salty snack. Classicists munch the simple flavors of mixed nuts ($18.95/20 oz.), and bold noshers salivate at the array of flavored nuts, such as tangy, smoky barbecue ($10.75/22 oz.). Indulge a craving for a cayenne- pepper-covered beehive with a jar of hot honey peanuts ($16.95/40 oz.), or test taste buds’ spice threshold with jalapeno peanuts ($10.75/22 oz.). Sweet teeth delight in myriad dessert nuts, including chocolate-covered almonds ($18.95/22 oz.) and decadent honey-roasted cinnamon pecans ($18.95/18 oz.). More chewable than pound cake and more durable than a pound of deli meat, a can of peanut brittle ($12.50/16 oz.) delivers a welcome gift any time of year.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
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.
Edible Arrangements' fresh-fruit bouquets merge the beauty of a floral display with Mother Nature's most delicious candy. At more than 1,000 stores across the globe, fruit florists carve pineapples into flower forms, hand dip bananas into semisweet and white chocolate, and swathe Albion strawberries—sweeter and darker than regular strawberries—in coats of coconut and almonds. Then, they arrange the morsels into eye-catching displays to fill mugs and vases or line decorative gift boxes. Patrons can find an arrangement for nearly any occasion, whether they want to honor Mother's Day, sweeten an anniversary, or send condolences after the death of a friend's pet rock. Customers can shop online and opt for delivery or pick up finished displays at a storefront location.
Bob Meyer, who has spent many a tour alongside bands such as Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Phish, and The Allman Brothers, helms Give To Live Guitar Studios, which provides music lessons with a focus on community outreach. He and his staff of experienced, enthusiastic instructors welcome students for lessons in stringed instruments such as guitar, violin, banjo, mandolin, or bass as well as drums, vocals, and keyboards. They teach in all styles, from Bach to rock and roll, and help their students move from basics to live performance, hosting benefit concerts for local charities.