Opening its doors in 1782, Elwood Adams Hardware honors its long hammer-peddling heritage by stocking general hardware, supplies, and hard-to-find tools. Shoppers can nab toolbox necessities such as a 100-piece screwdriver bit set ($16.99) or Nashua all-weather duct tape ($6.89), a must-have for hushing overly chatty androids. Knowledgeable staff of industry experts can help carpenters choose high-caliber lumber cutters, including a 12-inch high-tension hacksaw ($23.99), or cheerfully supply homeowners with a Weller 40-watt soldering iron ($20.99). Skip shopping bags by tossing purchases into a bucket wrapped with a LeatherCraft tools and parts caddy ($23.99), a handsome carryall that fits snugly over five-gallon buckets for easy toting or a romantic picnic in a construction pit.
The horticultural experts at Perreault Nursery delight gardeners with a bountiful harvest of blossoms, shrubs, mulch, and outdoor ornamentation. The garden gurus accompany each rose bush or Japanese maple with helpful advice on how to care for the plant before sending it off to college. In addition to its blossoming blooms—grown in Perreault’s own greenhouse—and a plethora of trees and shrubs, the garden depot outfits yards with mulch and stone, custom planters, and ornamental pottery or statuary, including fountains and bird baths. After picking out their new plants, visitors can drop by the nursery’s butterfly house, where hundreds of butterflies flutter amongst babbling brooks, flowers, and benches. Or, for clients who would rather use a trowel to comb their hair instead of raking mulch with it, the professionals offer landscaping services to transform yards into lush oases with creeks, pathways, and beautifully designed flower beds.
In the mid 1960s, Murray and Ida Rotman gave the family name to their growing furniture and carpeting business, confident that it would hold employees accountable and remind them to interact with customers as one community member to another. Throughout multiple expansions and a change from the "7 Stores on 5 Floors Under 1 Roof" slogan to "New England's Largest Furniture and Carpet Store," the Rotman family has stayed true to its promise of treating people with honesty and respect. According to Furniture Today, the National Home Furnishings Association named the company a Retailer of the Year in 2011, remarking on its "outstanding customer service and involvement in community services and activities." To that end, the Rotmans have helped raise $1 million for the local Walk for the Homeless, and cofounded a furniture-exchange program that allows customers to donate their gently used furniture to a family in need.
The award-winning business owes its success not only to a commitment to core values, but to an eye-popping assortment of furniture, mattresses, and televisions—all arranged in curated displays that inspire home-decorating ideas and make people believe they’re in a house built for a hundred families. The helpful staff measures and installs carpeting or flooring and fleshes out creative plans with the design-a-room service: a free in-home consultation with a computerized analysis. The store also stays ahead of the latest industry trends and innovations, offering, for example, pieces from Paula Deen’s furniture line and budget-friendly clearance deals in a space known as the Attic.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
With 17 different bagel flavors, 11 cream-cheese spreads, homemade soups, and premium deli meats, The Bagel Inn's bread breakers can craft myriad hunger-sating possibilities. Bakers first boil bread spheres before hearth-baking them in such flavors as cheddar cheese and apple cinnamon, and smearing on cheesy spreads mixed with hints of scallion and bacon or apricot and honey. A glance at the menu reveals soups, such as clam chowder ($4.67 for a bowl and bagel), and build-your-own sandwiches ($5.75) laden with preservative-free deli meats from Dietz and Watson. Alternatively, ensure party guests leave parties as satisfied as kittens stuffed into a sock drawer with a catered sandwich sampler laden with sandwiches, such as chicken salad, roasted turkey, or vegetarian-friendly toppings.