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.
Clark's Tool & Equipment opened in the 1970s as a discount tool shop, but when Don Gamble took the helm, he swapped out the supply of inexpensive outlet supplies to feature quality, American-made tools. Since then, the single shop has blossomed into four retail stores and a 15,000-square-foot warehouse stocked with a full line of brands such as SK Hand Tools, Ingersoll Rand, and Eagle Industries. The emporium of tools is an authorized supplier to industry students and teachers with a strong clientele in the rail, trucking, and manufacturing sectors.
Clark's catalog of tools and accessories includes hand tools, electric tools, and abrasives that summon the steady hands and keen eyes of everyone from industrial veterans to DIY enthusiasts. Safety equipment, tool accessories, and compressors are available to round out every toolbox with the appropriate fixings. Expert technicians also sharpen dulled blades, saws, and gardening tools and bring damaged or broken power tools back to life with skilled repair services.
The thousands of unpainted pottery pieces that line Walls Of Clay’s walls are each blank canvases for painters’ creative designs. Pottery in shapes like plates, heart-shaped tiles, and animal figurines wait for the studio's provided brushes and paints to bring them to life. Once decorated, the pottery pieces spend time in the studio’s kiln, where under the watchful eye of Walls Of Clay staffers, their paint jobs become permanent, like a dishwasher-safe tattoo.
Ray Lamar hasn't spent decades perfecting his donuts. In fact, his namesake shops still use the same recipes that Ray developed in 1933—at the age of 17—when he got his first job working a donut fryer. World War II and a postwar career as a stockbroker interrupted Ray's donut-making pursuits, although he returned to his roots in 1960 when he founded the first LaMar's Donuts.
The shop went on to become a Kansas City icon, with crowds arriving well before 6 a.m. to line up outside the doors and taunt the roosters for sleeping in. Ray and his wife, Shannon, eventually decided to expand their business into a regional empire, and LaMar's Donuts currently boasts 27 franchised stores spread across six states.
Even with all of this growth, decades-old traditions still dictate how things are done. The workers prepare more than 75 different kinds of donuts, hand-making fresh batches of perennial favorites as well as recent inventions each and every morning. In addition to the original glazed creation that dates back to 1933, the menus can feature a variety of cake donuts with flavors such as red velvet, apple spice, and maple.
Since donuts and coffee go together as naturally as paper shredders and subpar report cards, the stores also prepare cappuccinos, mochas, and other coffee drinks. These are all made with handpicked beans that slowly roast inside Italian brick ovens.
A swarm of sock-footed kids climb up inflatable steps to reach the top of a rainbow-colored slide, sliding down in an orderly fashion before bouncing off and running back for another go. At Jumping Jax, children can safely expend energy with abandon, playing in air-filled structures that cushion them when they fall or work together to stage a production of the Icarus myth. The play arena sports a multitude of attractions including a bounce house with a Twister-board floor and two low-hanging ziplines.
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