Libby (the owner) stocks a wide variety of healthy, gorgeous plants as well as a unique, high-quality garden decorations and accessories. She has an amazing green thumb as well as the ability to help those of us who don't. If you have a question or a problem, ask Libby. She will know the answer (or find it for you if she doesnt).
I have the routine maintenance on my vehicle done at Roebuck Honda. (So far, I've not had to have any other work done on it.) I've been pleased with their service and their efficiency. They provide a shuttle service for people who need rides to and/or from work. It is better if you call in advance and make an appointment. That way, you'll know for sure whether or not they'll be able to get your car in and out in one day.
I've used Day Optometry for over 20 years. For the first 10-15 years, I saw the senior Dr. Day. When he retired, his son and daughter-in-law took over the practice, and I now see them. They stay pretty much on schedule, so you don't have to wait. Their selection of frames is broad and first-rate. And the fitting process is quick and efficient.
Most of the merchandise in this shop is of the highest quality imagniable. Yet, there are a number of pieces that can be had by those with more modest incomes. The wonderful thing about this shop (besides the quality) is that it does not matter to the sales personnel if you're spending $100 or $10,000: everyone is given the same personal service. If you want something special, ask for Sperry (one of the owners): he'll do his best to help you find what you're looking for.
This is the place to go if you want framing that will complement the piece as well as your decor. There is an art to picking out the right mat(s) and the right frame. Don't worry if you don't have that knack: if you want, the folks who work there will guide you every step of the way. They are amazing.
Smith Variety has the feel of an old-fashioned five & dime: the floors are wooden planks; there is a candy counter where candies can be purchased by the bag. But Smith also has the most amazing array of quality merchandise, ranging from Department 56 collectibles to buttons to the best card collection in town.
I needed some glass cut for the tops of some furniture. I called Nelson Glass and they told me exactly how to measure the pieces. I called them back with the measurements, they told me the price and offered to have the pieces ready the next afternoon. They were ready as promised and perfectly cut.
Berthon's has been one of the best cleaners in Birmingham for decades. Their work is of the highest quality, and their service is impeccable. I knew that Berthon's was the best in town, so when I found a flag that my father had gotten during WWII and wanted to have it cleaned for him, I took there. The gentleman tested the material and told me it couldn't be cleaned. He then pressed the flag and hung it in a bag with a couple of dehumidifying packets. When I asked him how much I owed him, he replied, "Nothing. That was an honor."
Little Professor has been the premiere bookstore in Birmingham for well over 20 years. They keep a wide range of books in stock, from the predictable to the esoteric. The people who work there love literature and are more than willing to make recommendations (beyond what's on the NY Times Bestseller lists). When a friend of mine was recuperating from surgery, Little Professor kept a wish list for him: instead of sending flowers, his friends could send him books!
I took my car in for a complete interior and exterior clean up (including the engine). Some urchins tagged my car w/ spray paint, and they were able to get most of it off (when I left it, they warned me they might not be able to remove all of the paint). The car looked fanstastic. My only complaint is that the interior of the car was not dry when I returned to pick it up.