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.
California Backyard's five stores help homeowners turn outdoor spaces into full-fledged living areas with a variety of products, including barbecue grills, patio furniture, and hot tubs. California Backyard also provides its patrons with access to a team of service technicians skilled in the installation and repair of many of its products. Come the holidays, each store dedicates space to a Christmas trim-a-home center, where patrons can stock up on décor and pamphlets on healthy eating for Santa.
Handyman Contractor recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, citing more than 30,000 satisfied customers. When appointments roll around, fully licensed and insured technicians descend on homes, restoring function to all household fixtures. While repairing drywall, a skilled staffer can install a cabinet or effortlessly burp a fussy drain. Crews fix malfunctioning electrics, repair tile, mend fences, and even tackle big-scale projects, such as kitchen renovation or removing a mattress tag without government reprisal.
Since 1972, Exotic Plants has encouraged locals to improve their interior air and go green with potted plants. The business stocks a range of low-maintenance plants that thrive indoors, including palms, succulents, cacti, and evergreen chia heads. Since other plants, such as orchids and bonsais, can require a bit more effort, the store holds plant-care workshops and even makes house and office calls to keep plants well maintained. The staff helps indecisive owners select plants during design consultations, and the store offers a selection of plants and blooms for short-term event rental. As Exotic Plants also carries bright pots and natural fertilizer made with Icelandic sea kelp, customers can grab everything they need to help their leafy, spiky, and persnickety friends flourish.
In Polar Bear Auto Care's warehouse-size shop, ASE-certified techs slip under hoods to fix or install air-conditioning and heating systems. Those systems are nearly identical to the factory units, as many of the systems they install are made by the same manufacturers. On their walls hang hundreds of parts, with more stored onsite, including new heater cores as well as compressor mounts for car models from the years 1965 to 1999. This lets them work on all kinds of vehicles, from brand-new cars and tractors to RVs and vintage UFOs. They back up their services with a two-year or 24,000-mile warranty, which extends to electrical repairs as well as the maintenance of steering, exhaust, and brake systems.
Sleep Number carefully matches snoozers with accessories and beds using a slew of personalized features, 3-D imaging technology, and simple sleep tests. Sleep Number beds boast Dual Air technology, allowing sleepers to adjust the firmness on each side of the mattress for personalized support. Heads can sink into the all-natural Lyocell Down pillow ($89.99) or test the down alternative pillow's ($44.99) range of firmnesses and antimicrobial fabrics. Stain-resistant materials cloak the No Shift body pillow ($44.99) which traces bodily contours to anchor sleepers in one place and no more than four space-time dimensions. Ten different colors accent the Pima cotton sheet set ($97.49 for queen), which latches around mattress corners using SmartFit and Logic Label technologies for simpler bed making.