Though Ace Hardware, first established in 1924, has evolved from its humble roots into a global network of more than 4,600 storefronts, the franchise manages to maintain a neighborhood vibe. Of course, it helps that local business people run each independently owned store. Area residents Jason Melcher and John Niederaue man the counters of Brandon Ace Hardware, where they offer a full inventory of tools and appliances from manufacturers such as Black & Decker, Craftsman, Scotts, and Weber. It’s no wonder do-it-yourselfers flock to the store for home-project essentials, whether they’re refurbishing a bathroom, maintaining a small backyard garden, or exorcising stuffed animals. In addition to dealing at-home equipment, the Brandon store also offers a variety of more specialized services, including small-engine repair, paint-color matching, and glass cutting.
Browse through the blossoming botanicals at Country Garden for a floral arrangement snipped to order for any occasion. Perk up an uninspired cheerleader with a Teleflora be-happy bouquet of yellow roses and daisies in a smiley-face mug ($39.95) or give an awkward teen something to fumble around with before prom with corsages and boutonnieres in various colors and sizes. Star-crossed lovers and legally bound marital partners can exchange a romantic arrangement of a dozen premium red roses ($69.95) or give the gift that gives until it's consumed with a gourmet fruit basket ($79.95).
Owners Amy Donelan and Sharon Rons keep their quaint shop stocked with an ever-changing abundance of quality home goods and room fillers to liven up even the dankest of dwellings and homeliest of hobbit holes. Shoppers can peruse interior upgrades such as artwork, silk florals, and original lamps (starting at $29.99), as well as exterior upgrades to their body-temples in the form of scarves ($29.95), purses ($50+), jewelry ($29.95+), and lotions ($10.99–$12.99). One-up the neighbor's makeshift Kool-Aid stand with Tea Forte's iced tea brewing pitchers ($29.99), a revolutionary new method for brewing whole-leaf teas into freshly flavored seasonal sips overflowing with antioxidants. Otherwise, stock up on Jaunty 100% wool rugs to politely shield the home from unwanted barefoot baggage. Hanging a picture frame (starting at $24.99) around the suspicious rectangular hole in the wall will make it look intentional, while a few well-placed candles ($4.50+) and potpourri ($19.99 for 14 ounces plus refresher oil) will mask the smell of poltergeist B.O. Likewise, accumulating a collection of wind chimes can wreak a subtle vengeance on any newspaper-swiping neighbors. At John Adam Collection, the home improvement possibilities are as endless as most American soap operas.
An unwavering devotion to freshness permeates Tomacelli's kitchen, where pizza chefs adorn their daily made dough with house-made sauce, all-natural cheese, and more than 50 market-fresh toppings. Millions of possible build-your-own combinations complement 23 creations brainstormed by a husband-and-wife team, from a ham-and-pineapple-studded hawaiian pie to the seafood supreme's maritime medley of fresh ingredients. Not content to recline on the edible laurels of their circular masterworks, the Tomacelli's kitchen team rounds out the menu with piping-hot pasta dishes and fresh salads.
The experienced designers at Young & Richards Flowers and Gifts provide personalized care to cater to their clients' every romantic, congratulatory, sympathetic, apologetic, or seasonally affective whim. Whether the occasion be birthday, baby, or anniversary related, Young & Richards will passionately provide you with the proper petals pronto. In addition to classically vibrant floral arrangements such as the sunny Daisy Daze ($39.99), the Day-Greeter's color-burst of orange roses, Gebera mini-daisies, and blue Belladonna delphinium ($44.99), and Sunflower Fields ($55), Young & Richards offers lovely pre-plucked blooming plants, fruity and fulfilling gourmet baskets, and more.