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.
Firearms from top manufacturers??such as Ruger or Smith & Wesson??line the shelves of Palmetto State Armory. Along with rifles, handguns, and BB guns, Palmetto sports a constantly expanding stock of additional gear, from ammunition and reloading supplies to accessories such as holsters and magazines. Besides supplying equipment, most of Palmetto's locations double as air-conditioned shooting ranges.
Instead of tobacco, tar, and other staining properties, e-cigarettes are filled with flavored liquids. The team at Marz Vapor handcrafts all its customized "eJuices," which emit nicotine mist, rather than plumes of thick smoke. The liquids can be assembled into hundreds of tasty combinations, which visitors can sample at Marz Vapor's in-store bar. Once they settle on their favorite blend, customers can load up on the retailer's e-cig gear, such as customized vaporizers, batteries, and tanks.
Balsamic vinegar, specialty oils, and 100% extra-virgin olive oils arrive at Palmetto Olive Oil Co. from nearly every corner of the globe, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Australia, and Chile. This way, the shop maintains a fresh supply year-round, even when Europe's experiencing winter or Australia slips into another dimension.
Palmetto's staffers know the finer details of every product, and they happily point visitors in the right direction. They even dole out samples, and then suggest how to use the vinegars and oils in various recipes. For example, they might suggest a chili-infused chipotle olive oil to use as a steak marinade or perhaps a white-truffle olive oil to turn common bowls of popcorn into gourmet meals. Their balsamic vinegars also make for some unique pairings, such as a pure maple balsamic vinegar that adds a twist to pancakes. And once patrons have tried enough choices, the crew bottles the oil and vinegar directly onsite.
With a background in both chiropractic and day spa environments, licensed massage therapist Lacey Fore spends her days helping clients overcome pain, fatigue, and stress. Her Swedish and deep-tissue massage techniques benefit everything from chronic pain to range of motion. She incorporates aromatherapy, hot stones, hot towels, and lava shells to further relax muscles during sessions.
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Modeled after an Old World wine cellar, WineStyles's shelves are lined with rare bottles accrued by its staff of in-house experts hailing from quality vineyards across the globe. The shop's bounty includes handcrafted gift boxes and baskets and merchandise, such as guidebooks for translating secret codes etched in cork. If a specific bottle is missing from the selection, the quaff gurus place an order that often arrives within 24 hours. Along with retailing wine and imbibing gear, WineStyles's crew grants guests the opportunity to sample new pours at frequent events and two-hour tastings three nights a week. For dedicated aficionados, the chief wine taster chooses two bottles to send to wine-club members along with tasting notes that detail their origins, a winery description, and suggested food pairings.