Country Boy's Garden Center, equipping green thumbs with gardening supplies for more than 25 years, commemorates the fall season with an autumnal collection of outdoor and indoor foliage, largely sourced from local growers within a 60-mile radius. Gardeners can complement gushing lawn fountains and pools filled with pirate treasure by planting 8-inch ($6.59–$6.99) and 12-inch ($17.99–$19.99) chrysanthemums, which bloom for six to eight weeks during both fall and spring and infuse flower beds with seasonal colors such as red, pink, and lavender. Eyes comb through more than 70 varieties of pansies, including pansy packs ($2.59) and the aptly named Plentifall pansies ($2.99) that spread up to 18 inches. Meanwhile, the orange hue of pumpkins ($0.49/lb.) sparks memories of jack-o'-lantern carving, and a year-round Christmas shop unveils luminous holiday trees, nativity scenes, and poinsettias. Knowledgeable staffers sprout out of their pots to help visitors navigate through all the greenhouse's shelves and colorful hanging baskets. Before visiting the store, customers can browse the garden center's online plant-care guide for tips on picking colors and prepping soil for its new tenants.
It might be an understatement to call Kevin Brooks a "book lover." He began collecting, buying, and selling books in 2000 and kept at it until his library surpassed 70,000 titles. Originally known as "Brooks with Books," the store was eventually sold to another book-loving entrepreneur, Mark Johnson, who is now the president of Reedy River Book Company. The store still has a varied inventory, with a specialty in vintage books and used classics that are held to a high quality standard, as well as rare collectibles, such as first editions and copies of Goodnight, Moon signed by the moon.
Thursday nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., West End hosts its weekly wine tasting, encouraging oenophilic exploration amid the shop’s mahogany-shelved, bottle-lined walls. Palates pining for fermented flavors revel in four pours of generally smaller international labels from Australia, South America, and Middle Earth. Pairs brush up libation knowledge with info sheets for each wine while enjoying bite-size hors d’oeuvres served throughout the three-hour affair. Most couples tend to schmooze for an hour and a half, testing the quartet of flavors on tap and enjoying lively discussions about a varietal's vanilla notes and black-currant arpeggios.
At its 38 locations, Wireless Communications, a Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer, puts clients in touch with the wider world, providing smartphones, accessories, and phone plans. As a Verizon Wireless retailer, each location may stock phones from brands such as Samsung, Apple, LG, and Motorola.
With a focus on full-body training rather than muscle-isolating machines, Vaughn Bethell’s sprawling 12,000-square-foot gym eschews the traditional rows of high-tech equipment for functional gear such as giant tires, kicking bags, and training ropes. Of course, Bethell—a qualifying World Cup soccer player who has trained many pro-athletes-to-be—believes that the best piece of equipment is the human body itself. He relies on his bevy of fitness-related certifications to craft effective exercises that draw from the body’s own weight to create muscle-toning resistance. He uses these functional movements in a variety of services at his high-ceilinged studio, including athlete training, women’s boot camps, and personal-training sessions.
Bethell also prides himself on cultivating a welcoming nature in his gym, inviting guests to cool down in the lounges or showers before playing a round on the ping-pong tables or dead-lifting the communal computers.