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.
Jung Garden Center's five verdant locations flourish with a multitude of seeds, bulbs, and live plants to spruce up windowsills and landscaped yards. Customers can transport spring to flora-starved yards by sprinkling the seeds of the Alaska shasta daisy ($2.25/200-seed packet), or ward off colds and close social interaction by planting 10 200-seed packets of garlic chive herbs ($15). Lady Mix marigolds ($3.45 for a 50-seed packet) permeate spaces with citrusy hues, and the bright red Lizzano hybrid tomato ($5.50 for two 10-seed packets) tries to sneak out of backyard gardens disguised as a clown nose.
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).
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.
After laying a weather-resistant brick patio, Lowney’s Landscaping and Garden Center’s landscapers finish it off with a stone retaining wall sprouting with perennials and leafy shrubs. They manage the whole project, from design to installation, creating an artful appearance that can increase a home's value. In addition to executing everything from pruning bushes and cutting grass to seeding lawns—services they've been providing for more than 15 years—they illuminate their clients' beautiful residential and commercial properties with low-voltage, energy-efficient lighting systems. Even in winter, they strive to keep landscapes in great shape with snowplowing, salting services, and weight-loss programs for snowmen. The garden center is a place for equally passionate gardeners and novice green thumbs to wade through small blueberry plants, evergreens, tropicals, and a wide assortment of gardening materials.
In 1958, Guy Day and Dale Williams founded their mattress store with a focus on high-quality products and excellent customer service. After 10 years, the partners unveiled their line of handcrafted, personalized mattress sets under the name Verlo, a combination of their wives' names—Verna and Lois. After more than 40 years, the company has perfected its craft, manufacturing customized mattresses and selling them directly through their show rooms. The stock ranges from plush pillowtops to firm sets, both capable of supporting healthy sleeping patterns and cutthroat pillow fights for years to come.