Someone walking up to Cole Hardware for the first time might think they've stumbled upon a modern art gallery instead of a hardware store. Their front window displays everything from Pollock-esque paintings in gilded frames to chandeliers built from Christmas ornaments to a fine-dining table setting re-created with only tools. In fact, all of the eye-catching installations are created using exclusively Cole Hardware merchandise.
But the displays are also a testament to how the shop has set itself apart in other ways?for nearly 100 years, Cole Hardware has been known for exceptional customer service. What started out as a one-man operation with the motto, "There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met yet," has grown to a family of stores that also provides home repair services and commercial supplies. Their retail inventory is expansive and competitively priced thanks to backing from Ace Hardware, which has helped the company garner awards from SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Standard Plumbing Ace Hardware facilitates home-improvement projects and everyday repairs with an array of wares and a staff of knowledgeable handypeople. Embattled emperors can secure their castles by installing sturdy door locks ($9.99+), impede enemy avian messengers’ flight paths with window screens ($8.99+), or create a dry moat of venus flytraps with garden tools ($3.99+). New showerheads ($9.99+) can improve bathing enjoyment and relax vocal cords for water-accompanied arias, and smoke alarms ($8.99+) prevent disaster when dining-room campfires get too rowdy. With more than 50,000 items also available for special order, Standard Plumbing Ace Hardware can equip utility belts with all the supplies needed to tighten up a squeaky home or install a toilet in the living room.
Gourds. Cinnamon sticks. Chili peppers. They're not the elements of a traditional floral arrangement, but Andrei and Lisa Krylov like to surprise their clients. After 15 years, the husband-wife team behind Not Just Flowers have become experts in the unconventional. The staff designs flora creations for their clients' friends, office mates, or dinner party hosts. In addition to building traditional bouquets, the shop specializes in sophisticated arrangements of orchids and succulents.
The Krylovs add a distinctly European sensibility to their local materials—Andrei grew up in a field of Russian wildflowers, Lisa in England. Indeed, their clay-red storefront in the Castro wouldn't look out of place on the cobblestone street of an old European city, with the day's freshest blossoms crowding the door and spilling out onto the sidewalk. Some of their most striking work is done offsite, however. Having won two Bride's Choice awards from WeddingWire, the Krylovs specialize in towering arrangements for weddings and other big events.
**Groupon Celebrates Pride Month** Over the last 50 years, the gay-rights movement in America has overcome tremendous obstacles to become a powerful voice for inclusion and diversity. Even as it has grown, the movement—like Groupon—is local at heart, and we applaud the commitment to real change that improves everyday lives. At Groupon, we are happy to add our voices to those celebrating PRIDE, their achievements as a social movement and a continued march to equality for the LGBT community. Plus, we love a chance to dig that rainbow wig out of storage. This month—and throughout the year—we salute our merchants and customers who support PRIDE and all efforts that promote dignity, respect, and equal opportunity. We're highlighting these merchants' deals with a special badge to show Groupon's pride in working with people who share our values.