Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dipped fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful baskets, bouquets, and gourmet boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's Fruit Experts drizzle strawberries, daisy pineapples, apples, bananas and oranges in semi-sweet and white chocolate. These are supported by undipped but still-delectable fruits such as honeydew, cocount, mango, kiwi, grapes, watermelons, and cantaloupe. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative- and sweetener-free treats into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Arrangements come in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts, which can also be supplemented with cards, plus bears, and mylar balloons. Alternatively, customers can opt for the cheery, red-lidded gourmet chocolate fruit 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 rolled in crushed almonds.
When assembling their collection of living-room, dining-room, and bedroom furniture, the curators of Warehouse Showrooms turn to independent local factories and Amish craftsmen. They stock their sprawling store with quality pieces made from sustainably lumbered American wood, including solid cherry, oak, and pine. Many of their furnishings can be customized to suit clients' tastes, with various options for wood, finish, and hardware.
It's not the size, shape, or age of a home that creates its aura: it's the furniture. And at Z Modern Furniture, there are rooms and rooms of formal tables, funky couches, and chic bed frames that can set the tone of a new house. The stock contains everything from contemporary beds with clean lines to midcentury-style cabinets in muted browns and grays. They supplement their furniture with statement pieces, such as geometric-patterned area rugs and light fixtures that are equal parts fashion and function. They even offer prebuilt fireplaces, which add as much elegance and warmth to a room as a cardboard cutout of a smiling Dame Judi Dench.
Since 1945, this family-owned landscaping business and garden center has helped locals transform their yards into lush landscapes and bountiful gardens. The company's secret to longevity is enlisting a staff of passionate expert gardeners and cloning them to populate future generations. Among its members, the landscaping team shares almost 200 years of collective experience, with foremen holding between 12 and 20 years apiece. Company president James Campbell began cultivating his love of all things flora on a farm crew at age 14. In college, he studied ornamental horticulture and then spent four decades working at Campbell & Ferrara, ascending from crew member to foreman to president.
You might get lost in the meandering paths of the indoor-outdoor garden center with 8 acres of trees, shrubs, and seasonal flowers. Thankfully, horticulturists and garden experts roam the grounds, ready to offer you directions and advice. To deter pests, for example, they'll tell you to plant a border of marigolds or a handful of sacrificial Skittles. Hand them a picture of your yard, and they'll predict which plants and flowers will likely thrive there. They also make DIY-ing easy by arranging over 1,000 trees and shrubs into user-friendly categories such as privacy screening, Virginia natives, and four-season. For customers who prefer an expert's help, landscapers offer degrees of assistance, ranging from installing customer-selected plants to completely redesigning yards with putting greens, outdoor kitchens, or waterfalls.