Whole Cell Accessories supplies customers with more than 15,000 digital doodads and smartphone accessories at three Illinois locations. Customers can stop in for Bluetooth gear, a new case for their iPhone, or a screen protector to safeguard cell phones against cracks, chips, and bear attacks.
Frank Brandolino knows a thing or two about computers. That’s because he was already working with them as the manager of a computer center in 1985 when desktops began their ascent to household necessity. Now, as the owner of Velocita Technology, he and a team of knowledgeable technicians offer this extensive electronics-oriented prowess to today’s customers and their robotic pets. At a walk-in service center they mend computers, copiers, printers, scanners, and other devices or lend technical support backed by manufacturers. Additionally, their sales department keeps patrons well stocked in gadgets ranging from digital cameras to laptops to TVs.
From a single shop opened in 1978, Amazing Fantasy Books & Comics curates a selection of new monthlies, graphic novels, manga, games, and action figures in four hotspots. Colorful characters from mainstream and independent publishers fill the pages of new issues ($2.99+) and graphic-novel collections, such as The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time ($10) or Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant ($17.95). Text-based novels recount tales of pulp vigilantes such as the Green Hornet ($15.15) and Zorro ($13.55), and 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography ($13.50) illustrates the spiritual leader’s life story with Japanese-style black-and-white art. Gamers can pick up a Don Quixote board game and join the valiant fight against alternative-energy sources depicted in Cervantes’s novel ($26.21).
Green Garden Center, now in business for more than 45 years, helps patrons beautify their home landscapes with flowers, trees, shrubs, and outdoor accessories under the guidance of second-generation owners Dick and Pat Ooykaas. Alongside a team of experienced green-thumbed staffers, they tend to greenhouses brimming with verdant plant life that is all locally grown. Green Glen also delivers and installs plant materials, performs home consultations, and creates custom planters for accenting porches or for sending home with extraterrestrial visitors.
So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.