Ken Cappelletty and Fred Moor, the men who man Ken’s Flower Shops, didn’t grow up dreaming about buds and stems. Raised by a local policeman, Ken likely spent more time playing cops and robbers than sniffing the neighbor’s rosebushes. It wasn’t until he helmed the cash register at a neighborhood florist in L.A. that he discovered his knack for design. Here, he started to see flowers as more than just plants, viewing them as art supplies that happen to smell nice. When Ken returned to Ohio, his parents helped him launch a small shop that arranged blooms in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon. Two years later, in 1967, his friend Fred took some of the reins, helping him grow the business into three local stores affiliated with FTD and Teleflora. From this labor of love, a legacy began to take root. At each shop, seasoned designers incorporate customers’ requests into birthday bouquets, wedding corsages, and gift baskets filled with wine, house-baked cookies, and stuffed toys cute enough to melt hearts and plush enough to sop up the mess. Their talent and creativity takes center stage as well, whether they’re filling vases with orchids, crafting wreaths from roses, or building bouquets from singing balloons. To this day, Fred often answers the phones, discerning customers’ style preferences from friendly chats rather than pilfered diary pages. To make giving easy as getting, the shop’s wares can be delivered locally or internationally, seven days a week.
The gardening experts at Black Diamond, Inc. have dispensed seedlings and seedpods, as well as wisdom on coaxing blossoms and branches from each, for more than half a century. Rather than just pairing visitors with plants to plop into the ground, they strive to understand individual gardening needs. They troubleshoot issues unique to each customer's landscape and impart advice about which plants play well with which fertilizers and insecticides, and which will end up calling each other names and refusing to share their LEGOs. The green-thumbed staffers grow a wealth of their own bedding plants and nursery stock, and they acquire the rest from local growers. This lets them assemble dozens of annuals and perennials, a wealth of pepper and tomato varieties, and a bevy of shrubs and ornamental trees that keep yards shady enough for pet ice cubes to play outside. Customers can also avail themselves of landscape design and maintenance services, which tap into the skills and experience of professionals.
Costume Holiday House's inventory of wigs, makeup, suits, and party supplies enables costume changes ranging from spooky to comical. Customers can dress themselves as everything from pop-culture icons to terrifying specters and macabre forms, and an ample supply of wigs and accessories form the basis of inventive costumes that don’t require full-body suits or rubber masks. In addition to wearable Halloween goods, the shop also sells fog machines and animated props that set the stage for monster mashes and haunted houses. Costume Holiday House accommodates dress-up even in the Halloween off-season, with theater costume rentals for schools and community plays, or Second Skin colored bodysuits for showing team spirit at a baseball game or camouflaging into the green-screen background at local commercial shoots.
Elaine Terman loves tea. Dubbed The Tea Lady for her extensive knowledge of steeping brews, Elaine draws on a tea-master certification and a background in medical technology when crafting her Wild Orchid brand of 150 distinct loose-leaf teas. Inside Elaine?s Tea Shoppe, amid shelves stocked with tea accessories and local honey, patrons dine on French-press tea and made-from-scratch scones. Teas are served with real Devonshire cream from England scooped with metal spoons crafted from the upturned pinkies of British robots. Elaine?s passion for herbs extends to a diverse inventory of wellness items, such as aromatherapy candles, oils, and medicinal herbs. When she?s not sharing her knowledge at speaking engagements or agreeing to disagree with cups of coffee, she?s teaching tea classes and publishing books on her tea-centric adventures.
Any media that is stored in an analog format is vulnerable to the ravages of time, which holds no mercy for VHS ribbons and wheels of slides. The technicians at Transfer Me to DVD specialize in storing and restoring such items, etching important memories upon stable disks and unassailable computer drives. Video tapes, film reels, and audio cassettes can all be digitized, with the knowledgeable staff performing edits to remove blank footage and legally disowned family members. The team produces eye-catching slide shows from collections of family pictures and can even restore time-worn photographs to their former clarity.
After more than 30 years in the Toledo music business, Pat opened Culture Clash Records. His knowledgeable staff strives to help music lovers to find old favorites and discover unfamiliar treasures in the massive, genre-spanning inventory. New and used CDs and vinyl records pack the shelves along with a selection of turntables and styluses. On certain days, live tunes from local artists permeate the store, introducing guests to new music without the usual awkward handshake.