In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
The Boston Globe Ski & Snowboard Expo is the place for mountain-surfers to catch the latest in snowboarding and skiing technology and nab deals of up to 70% off winter sports inventory from East Coast Alpine and Eastern Boarder. Vendors from the world's most gorgeous ski resorts will be there providing lift tickets, vacation packages, and season passes at prices that have been slashed and gouged by ski poles. Browse the seemingly endless lineup of exhibitors, including mountain resorts such as Wyoming's Jackson Hole, winter baselayer clothing from WSI Sports, and lift-ticket buying service Liftopia.com. You'll also have the opportunity to meet skiing legends Glen Plake, gold medalist Hannah Kearney, and two-time gold medalist Seth Wescott.
Family-owned Flood Square Hardware offers a plethora of home-improving products and helpful services to ease minds and shorten lengthy to-do lists. Clear pipes of rent-dodging hairballs with Liquid-Plumr (one quart for $4.99), or grime-fight on the go with a wheeled trash barrel ($19.99). For giving walls fresh attire, Flood Square Hardware stocks Benjamin Moore paints. Handy rentals such as the Rug Doctor carpet cleaner provide ease of mind and peace of plush ($26.99 for 24 hours), scrubbing away dirt, dust, and embarrassingly cheap wine stains. Or opt for simple services such as a double-sided key copy ($2.85) to self-actualize lonely hide-a-keys. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable enough to help you plan out any project and find anything in the store, even if it’s lost hope.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' expert fruit florists arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, grapes, and juicy Albion strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Staffers can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or their own special peanut-butter-and-chocolate blend. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize gift baskets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
H. Teller Archibald opened the doors of the first Fannie May in 1920, delighting the passing palates of Chicago’s LaSalle Street with exquisite chocolates that continue to tickle taste buds today. Though nearly a century has passed, Fannie May’s alchemists still rely on the same recipes as the first store, refusing to budge on quality even when faced with shortages during war times and the never-ending Gregory Middle School food fight of 1997. Renowned for sweetness and attention to detail, the chocolatiers’ treats stand as an institution of inventive eats, from the gooey pecan and caramel of their Pixies to the sunny, toasted-coconut-encased dark chocolate of their Trinidads.