The Hills True Value family calls upon more than 38 years of home-improvement expertise to provide customers with the proper tools and services for residential projects and regular upkeep. While exploring the menagerie of homecare necessities, customers can become inspired to tackle lawn and garden projects or get started on indoor renovations for the kitchen and bathroom. Patrons may also enlist help from the knowledgeable staffers, who can perform common maintenance services such as sharpening chainsaws, cutting keys, or memory-wiping protocol droids.
Since 1947, Mid-City Supply Co.’s friendly staffers have helped avid home improvers to outfit their digs in premium products. Nowadays, the experienced showroom staff displays much smarter fixtures, from faucets that turn on with the tap of a hand to eco-friendly water heaters powered by domesticated dragons. Though technology has changed, the company keeps quality high, stocking name brands such as Delta, American Standard, Toto, Gerber, Brizo, and Elkay. Customers can check out items in person at one of six showrooms in two states. To give back to the communities that helped them to grow, the company regularly donates to United Way.
Seven-time winner of the South Bend Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Award, Mattress Warehouse stocks more than 1,000 name-brand mattresses, offering an array of innerspring, memory-foam, latex, and adjustable beds from manufacturers such as Serta, International Bedding, Sleep Logic, and Scandinavian. Sheep-counting customers can dive into recurring barnyard dreams resting atop twin mattress sets (starting at $199), Queen Memory Foam pillowtop sets (starting at $599), and Serta Perfect Day queen sets (starting at $1,499).
Juicy bites 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 and daisy pineapples with a trio of chocolate varieties. Once properly covered in chocolate, the preservative-free sweets are organized into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can opt to display 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 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 by making them guess what’s inside.
Rockie Rick left behind the apples, peaches, and cherries of the farm he grew up on to pursue a business degree. But as he worked at different jobs, he realized that he missed working outside and yearned to be his own boss. Seeing southwest Michigan’s wine industry flourish, he bought land and began growing grapes to sell to a winery. Next, he organized bus tours of area wineries, the success of which enabled Rockie to buy more land for a total of 30 acres. In 2011, he and his staff began making wine from their own grapes, crafting the small batches in oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks.
Rockie’s independent streak flourishes at Gravity Winery, from the modern indoor seating area with deep blues, crisp whites, and an industrial steel bar to a wine named after Rockie’s dog, Oliver, who’s known for greeting guests. “We tried to break the mold of what people think of when they go to a winery,” he says. “We figured … let’s be really different.”
Rockie’s favorite wine is an “awesome peppery cabernet France” called The Theory, which sports an image of Sir Isaac Newton on the bottle. During wine flights—Gravity Vineyard’s version of a tasting and the best way for guests to sample a variety of glasses—he pairs it with dark chocolate laden with almonds and sea salt that is made locally by Vineyards Gourmet. The flights feature four wines paired with cheese or chocolate, and guests can savor their chosen flavors inside or on the patios for hilltop views of the nearby lake or vineyard.
Though the knowledgeable staff can expertly pair each wine and easily converse with the staunchest of wine-lovers, Rockie and his staff eschew snobbery. “If you want to drink a big bowl of red cabernet with your fish, great. If that’s what you enjoy, that’s what you should do,” he says. “We don’t want anyone to be intimidated because they like a certain wine over another, or they don’t know the right word to describe it.”:m]]
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