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Acme isn't a large instrument shop, but what it lacks in inventory it more than makes up for in its personable owners, who have been known to ask customers their name, the name of their band, and what type of gear they have. Prices are reasonable, and they also offer private lessons.

This family-owned business specializes in landscaping materials, including gravel, sand, rocks, bark, mulch, and more, with an emphasis on locally sourced materials.

An accordion shop that does repairs, offers lessons, and hosts live accordion music.

The place to go for high-end fixtures, flooring, counter tops, lighting, and more.

Alden Lane is a large nursery with a wide selection of flowers, perennials, shrubs, garden accessories, indoor plants, orchids, and support materials. Alden Lane Nursery also offers several hundred fruit trees as well as edible plants and herbs. If you're wary of pesticides, Alden Lane sells lady bugs for aphids and soil-friendly slug and snail repellent. It also occasionally hosts classes and other community events.

The design supply company stocks everything from blended soils for rooftop gardens to select stone for building restoration.

In addition to supporting musicians with compilations, recommendations, and now its own record label, Amoeba also hosts live bands several times a week in its San Francisco store. Saturday shows happen at 2 p.m. and weekday shows occur at 6 p.m., usually prior to the band’s performance at some big club in the city. They’re a great opportunity to see your favorite band for free if you can’t afford a regular ticket, plus it’s a much more intimate environment. Amoeba also books local bands of all varieties, in conjunction with their CD releases. While it is slightly weird to see a band play amid the rows of CDs and vinyl, it’s also a natural place for music and a great alternative to those dark, loud clubs.

You'll find an obscure and eclectic mix of vinyl at this S.F. institution, from 1960s garage rock to electronic grooves.

Unlike many large nursery chains, Armstrong Garden Center is 100-percent employee-owned and touts itself as the largest independent retail nursery company in California. Armstrong has a large inventory ready to meet most gardening needs. It carries edibles, garden accents, houseplants, and water gardens. It also sells barbecue islands, pottery, patio furniture, gardening equipment, and sod. Armstrong provides in-store consultation for gardening questions but will not make house calls.

An SF retail outlet with an Oakland warehouse, Art Deco Collection is chock-full of furniture, art, and collectibles, all carefully selected by consummate dealer Richard Fishman, who has a penchant for Euro finds, particularly French and Belgian ceramic cloisonné pottery, French lighting, and all things cocktail.

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