Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Dedicated to celebrating family rituals, traditions, and customs in life, White Jasmine dedicates itself to the most popular ritual of all: food. Beyond offering a variety of spices, teas, and flavored gouda cheese in the store, the staff conducts cooking classes in which they impart skills in everything from handling traditional Pakistani woks to converting staples such as rice and bigger rice—also known as potatoes—into gourmet meals. The store's president, Huma Siddiqui, also produces a half-hour cooking show, Everyday Cooking, seen on Madison TVW every Sunday morning.
The Orchid Bug helps spruce up terraces and gardens with a robust inventory of orchids, green plants, and growing supplies. Stationed at the front of the shop, a large window sends sunlight splashing across thriving displays of flora. Visitors snaking around those displays can indulge their budding curiosity by quizzing owner Denise Kirchmayer, or by participating in one of the store's classes. For a general overview of orchids and their culture, Orchids 101 fertilizes the minds of new and seasoned collectors alike, and more in-depth sessions, such as Orchids 102, explores the natural habitats of specific genera and why water is better than Tabasco sauce for sustaining a plant's life. Hands-on gatherings, such as Plug at the Bug, guide students through the planting process.
When not designing eye-catching bouquets for graduations, anniversaries, and other special occasions, Best Choice Floral & Landscape helps at-home gardeners plan and care for their own efflorescent outdoor spaces. Open spring and summer, the nursery stocks annual and perennial plants and flowers to add colorful pop to any plot, as well as a varied selection of shrubs and trees great for providing shade or privacy for a pet minotaur. Along with delivering colored, natural mulch to homesteads, the landscaping team can also help design and execute complex garden schematics in backyards, working around each owner’s preferences and available space.:m]]
The staff at Monkey Business Party & Gifts keep their shelves stocked with colorful party supplies and favors such as stick-on moustaches, bacon band-aids, and super balls. They carry themed supplies for birthdays, graduations, and holidays.
At more than 1,000 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.