The customer service was great - exactly what you go out of your way to get at the small stores.
I needed a new tub spout, and as soon as I walked in, I was asked if I needed help. I pulled my old tub spout out of my bag, and I was led right to where the tub spouts were. The woman helping me went through the tub spouts, didn't see what I needed, so she asked someone else, who climbed a ladder, and searched through their additional inventory until he found what he thought would work. To make sure, he opened the bag, and then actually removed something from the tub spout so it would work for me. And it was perfect. I now have a functional tub spout in my bathroom.
All that for under $10.
I will definitely be going back next time I need something at the hardware store.
I was new to yoga when I first started taking lessons at the Iyengar Yoga Studio of Denver, and I was impressed with the quality of the instruction. I'm not flexible, but the teachers are very good at helping you get into modified poses so that physical limitations don't have to stop you. There are many classes of each level, so I can always find a class at a convenient time. The prices are comparable to other yoga studios around denver, cheaper than some. Some instructors are better than others, but there are none I'd avoid, so even the less-talented teachers are still good instructors.
PROS: Beautiful studio inside, excellent instructors, typical prices
CONS: Not enough parking
I bought my first digital camera this year, and I had a big learning curve as I shopped for my SLR. I was frustrated with my experiences at Wolf Camera and Mike's Camera because the salespeople were unwilling or unable to help me. It was too high a dollar amount to be willing to take a shot in the dark, so luckily I found the Camera Trader. The people working there are extremely helpful, and I was very pleased with their knowledge, especially because they were so willing to share it. The owner cut a deal for me on the camera and lens I bought, which was a nice bonus!
PROS: Excellent staff; convenient location.
CONS: Took a while for my camera to come in.
Whenever I am downtown, I stop at the Tattered Cover, and I rarely come away empty-handed. They have a great selection, are housed in a big old building with loads of character, and the people working there know books. There are lots of nooks where you can tuck yourself away with your books and read for a while, undisturbed, as you choose which books you will purchase. The coffee bar is excellent as well, and (important to me!) they don't charge extra for soy. I've also been to events there, which makes the Tattered Cover a real community place.
PROS: Location, books, staff, coffee bar
When I needed to get something for a friend's baby shower, I was lucky enough to find Under The Cabbage Leaf. They specialize in cloth diapers and similar things, which was exactly what I was shopping for. They were extremely helpful, had a great return policy, and included a coupon for my friend's next visit. The prices were what I would expect for the cloth diapers based on my online research.
PROS: Great help, good merchandise
CONS: Bad location, difficult to find, but they are trying to move.
I have been to the Boulder Running Company in Littleton three times in the past ten months. The first two times they put me in shoes that didn't work very well for me. Maybe this wouldn't normally affect me to the point where I couldn't run at all, but I have been trying to get past IT Band Syndrome, and the shoes are making a huge difference. The people working there are very nice, and clearly love running, but it took three tries to get me into a shoe that lets me run. The third time the owner was the one who helped me out. I like the third shoe, but after 2 unsatisfactory shoe purchases, I didn't get any kind of break on the third shoe. If I had been able to run enough in the first few weeks after getting the first two pairs of shoes to realize that they were not the right shoes for me, I could have returned them. My ITBS prevented that, however, and I am disappointed that there was no concession given to what was at least partially the error of the store's workers. I feel I'll be better off from now on buying my shoes at places like Gart Brothers with no help at all, as I did before giving BRC. It worked for all the years before this, with better success and lower cost.
PROS: The owner is very knowledgable.
CONS: Higher prices, no guarantee they'll get you into the right shoe.
I took my elderly truck in for repairs a couple months ago, and for once I went into the mechanic knowing exactly what was wrong with it. I didn't tell them that, which is why I know I can trust them. They didn't mess around - they did exactly the repairs needed, checked out the rest of the vehicle (tires, brakes, belts, etc), and even tidied up a few hanging wires gratis. When I arrived to pick up my truck, they had about 10 minutes of work left to do, and so they gave me a coupon for a free drink at the tea shop next door. It was a nice touch, but best of all was the fact I feel I have a local mechanic I can trust. Mechanics are never cheap, but I feel that these were average priced, not expensive. I'll take my truck to them for my oil changes from now on, and let them help me keep my truck in good shape.
PROS: Trustworthy, reasonable prices, quick service
The Whole Cat is in a great old shopping district in Denver (South Pearl Street), and they not only have the expected toys and food dishes, they have the best selection of high-end pet food you can find in Denver. The store is owned by two sisters, and they clearly love cats, as well as know more than many vets about cat nutrition. The prices are good - it isn't cheap food - and they also have frozen hunks-o-meat if you want your cat to be able to eat as close as possible to their natural diet. I highly recommend this store to anyone who has cats or dogs!
PROS: Knowledgable staff, excellent customer service, great selection.
Last year, shopping for a new stereo, I went to all the chains - best buy, ultimate electronics, etc - and the service was horrible, the selection awful, and I didn't find a single thing I liked. I walked into Moon Dance Audio and the sales guy was clearly someone who loved stereos, loved music, and pegged me for an audiophile within 30 seconds of talking to me. They have separate rooms for stereos and home theater, so when they set up the system you are looking at and close the door to that room, you know exactly what you're hearing. I got to listen to a selection of speakers with the stereo I was looking at, and really felt like I knew what it would sound like in my apartment. The sales guy listened to my budget and space constraints, spent as much time as I wanted to spend (which ended up being 2 hours!) and I left a bit poorer, but very happy with my purchase. A year later, I still smile to think of that shopping experience.
PROS: Excellent service.
CONS: Limited selection of lower end equipment