Signature service: Home Delivery
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 50+ people
The town of Rockford first started getting news in the pages of the Rockford Register Star back in 1855. The business blossomed over time and today the paper publishes daily, landing on the door steps of more than 50,000 homes and businesses. Writers and editors also supply the companion website with a constant stream of content, all of which is available to members along with the daily delivery of the paper. The paper focuses on local happenings, covering a mix of current events, crime, local politics, and momentous domestic announcements, such as weddings and the discovery of a house that can talk.
Bath and Body Fusion's owner, Jen Lancaster, thinks everyone should be able to enjoy spa-caliber pampering in the comfort of their own homes. That's why she crafts therapeutic, natural ingredients into bath-and-body products that turn regular bathing sessions into a sensory experience. Dead Sea–salt scrubs, bath bombs, and freshly made face masks are a few specialties. Customers can customize products with blends of scents such as Egyptian sandalwood, peach blossom, or an assortment of designer fragrances.
Cultivating fair-trade artisanal relationships, Phoenix Traders imports clothing and accessories from around the world, including a cornucopian clothing selection ($15+ each) that lets wardrobe-enhancers step back into the pullover ponchos and synesthetic color swirls of the '60s and '70s. Warm up with handmade wool wear from South America or Nepal, or safely carry around an edition of How to Become President of the Moon in a retro purse ($15+). Customers can brighten the area around wrists and necks with fair-trade Nepali silver jewelry ($15+) or boost their carrying capabilities with a recycled silk bag.
A sustainable and community-supported farm collective, First Hand Harvest packs up bushels of broccoli, bok choi, and other organic earth candies for herbivores seeking a locally grown alternative to the supermarket shelf. Three individual family farms combine their crops to deliver a large variety of vegetable options, so customers can expect a soil-grown surplus of greens, reds, and yellows in each weekly half-bushel box. As vegetable assortments are local and seasonal, customers can embrace the thrilling uncertainty of not knowing whether their box will contain arugula, brussels sprouts, or animatronic cucumbers. Most boxes will also contain a healthy cooking green, such as swiss chard or kale, along with recipes and suggestions for culinary pairings.
Just A Second stocks its cozy cottage with carefully chosen antiques, flea-market treasures, and more. Window displays highlighting the seasonally shifting wares welcome shoppers into an emporium of vintage housewares, furniture, and accessories that can provide homes with a hint of class without having to hire an aristocratic ghost. Prepare for a feast by stocking up on elegant stainless-steel serving dishes from Japan and Denmark ($4.50+) or delicate coffee cups ($3+). Past items have included old-timey desk accessories, such as a 1970s-inspired letter holder ($3.50). On sunny days, the patio springs to life with an array of garden accessories, where guests can sip sun tea as they browse outdoor décor, potted herbs, and flower bouquets branching from collectible vases. Just A Second is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Village Green Home and Garden provides domicile decoration for indoor and outdoor needs, stocking its showrooms with patio furniture, gardening supplies, and plants. Choose from an array of annuals and perennials so dizzying that even bumblebees must pay cartographers for flowerbed maps. Pluck a potted plant ($1.99–$49.99) for use on porch steps, garden paths, or heads during archery practice, or select hanging baskets ($19.99–$49.99) to sway alluringly in sweet spring breezes. Village Green also carries more than 200 varieties of roses to charm princesses and tango dancers and a vast array of varietals for sun and shade, ensuring that every lawn and garden can be studded with colorful, fragrant blooms.