Over the course of three generations of family ownership, Blind & Sons has grown up in the community that it serves. John W. Blind began the company in 1937, offering only coal furnaces and gas-conversion burners. The business was around for the invention of forced-air furnaces in 1957 and has since kept expanding. They began cleaning ducts and installing whole-home humidifiers in 1996 and broadened their plumbing services in 2001. Three years later, their electrical experts started performing jobs such as installing new outlets and generators.
Today, Joe Bilotta and John Hartmann continue the Blind-family legacy. Their highly trained technicians have answered a quarter of a million service calls and are available 24 hours a day. They charge no overtime fees for emergency repairs or for a demonstration of how to duct tape a vent to make it whistle "Flight of the Bumblebee." The company's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction earned it a Beacon's Best 2012 award from the Akron Beacon Journal. As a way of saying thanks to the people who have helped them succeed, the company gives back via youth-program sponsorships, giveaway contests, and outreach efforts.
Mike Klinter wanted his company to do things the right way. So before picking up a steam cleaner, he picked up a book. He researched many types of carpet-cleaning products and methods, and attended conventions and seminars; he talked to many other carpet cleaners through forums and webinars, and even took unsatisfied area rugs to brunch. The result of this research is Mike's 12-step cleaning process designed around energy-efficient equipment and environmentally safe products.
Shoppers descend upon WG&R Furniture, a family-owned business for more than 65 years, to furnish their dwellings with bedroom, kitchen, and living-room fixtures from respected national brands such as Simmons, Signature Design by Ashley, and La-Z-Boy. Customers can store pocket change and secret jelly-bean collections beneath the cushy pillows of a Broyhill sofa ($629.99), which can grace abodes in patterns ranging from corduroy to houndstooth, or compliment their existing sofa with a Leik Furniture oval side table ($149.99). The plush Signature Design by Ashley power-reclining sofa conforms to softly support relaxing bodies ($949.99), and the five-piece Signature Design by Ashley dining set bears the load during dinner parties ($419.99). Those looking for seating options in game rooms can opt for the Amisco bar and game room stool ($139.99). Customers slumber soundly on a Sealy Posturepedic queen set, which doubles as a pad for perfect pole-vaulting skills ($589.99).
Todd Rockweit draws upon scientific studies, advice from organic farmers, and an endless willingness to test and improve his own natural gardening solutions. Hunched over a microscope to peer into fresh batches of compost, he works towards that sense of connection one gets when pressing bare feet down into grass or biting into fruit grown by hand. Rockweit also sticks to a faith in organic technique so secure that in situations in which it seems synthetic products are the best solution, he will call in another company.
During visits to home yards and gardens, the Backyard Organics team works to identify weed infestations, nutrient deficiencies, and rabbits and deer destroying shrubs to look cool in National Geographic. The crew then brings to bear a range of corn-gluten meal, deer-deterrent sprays, and compost blends customized according to the season and plant cover. Soil tests reveal chemical imbalances, and services such as aeration and overseeding restore lawns to lushness after attempts to break the longest-croquet-game world record.