Juicy tidbits 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 in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop 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 opt to 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 as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Charleston Flower Market’s team of florists and consultants channels more than 15 years of experience to craft personalized arrangements. Whether customers seek extravagant blooms for a lavish wedding or a simple I’m-sorry-I-forgot-your-name bouquet for a second date, flower experts provide clients with the same level of personalized attention needed to produce the perfect assembly of foliage.
Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
When it came time to design The Coastal Cupboard’s demo kitchen, owner Brad Pitner shied away from industrial-grade appliances, opting instead for the kind of layout you’d find in your average home kitchen. That decision reflects the Cupboard’s mission to make gourmet cooking accessible to all.
To that end, Mr. Pitner and his staff of gourmands stock a vast selection of cooking gadgets, bakeware, and cutlery by top-tier brands such as Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, and Kuhn Rikon. Staff members are happy to walk customers through each product’s function and share their own favorite gadgets and dish towels with sentimental value. They also stock gourmet foods such as small-batch wines, baking mixes, sauces, and rubs.
Customers have a chance to see those tools and ingredients in action during the store’s weekly cooking classes. Most are led by in-house chef Stephen Harman, who tailors his class offerings to suit the interests of customers. “He’s ridiculously talented—he’s just fearless,” says owner Brad Pitner of the inveterate chef. That fearlessness has motivated Chef Harman to master dishes from paella to pad thai. But his true passion is for Lowcountry farm-to-table items. “He’s obsessed with local agriculture,” says Mr. Pitner. “If he can get it local, he’ll get it local.”
Merinos Home Furnishings Warehouse lays out more than 500,000 square feet of expansive, sprawling showrooms full of home goods to decorate every room of the house. Lend a regal welcome mat to bedrooms with the round Persian-style rugs ($129) or reflect large beams of sunlight onto a nosy neighbor’s eyes thanks to the 30"x60" Creative Co-Op mirror ($169.99). Meanwhile, the Masterpiece golf accent table acts as a fine caddie for magazines, its surface buttressed by three putter and iron legs ($108).
Mattress Source's knowledgeable staff pairs customers with one of a wide selection of firm and flexible beds that augment deeper slumbers. Sealy luxury firm mattresses ($449.99+) allays stressful nights by supplying supple support, manufacturers' warranties, and a cache of warm kittens to rest at the end of each bed. Silk woven jersey knit surrounds a layer of memory foam on the Stearns & Foster x-firm mattress, which gently pillows joint pain and absorbs excess body heat ($1,219.99+). At 26 Charlotte-area showrooms, shoppers can take inventory of each mattress' aptitude in hypnosis or chat with affable staff members about desired levels of firmness.