Best Of 2015

Statue of Design
4347 McCullough Ave.
(210) 829-0636

Composed of Laredo native David Garcia and a small team of freelancers versed in everything from photography to event planning, Statue of Design champions a modern aesthetic that's miles away from traditional Texas. Accentuated by textural juxtapositions and untraditional elements (think succulents, feathers and fruit), Statue of Design's custom creations have earned the company a solid local following along with some big-name clients. While locally sourced centerpieces can be had for around $250, Garcia specializes in weddings and orders flowers from around the world (Ecuador, Holland, Hawaii and beyond). Among the outfit's more dramatic hits is a sprawling arrangement of red apples and white orchids Garcia designed for Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria. This highly specialized approach to decor recently took shape at a Los Angeles wedding hosted in a"smog check center"converted into a sustainably designed event destination. Referencing the union between a scientist and a veterinarian, Garcia turned the space into a mossy woodland scene sprinkled with test tubes.


Fresh Urban Flowers
100 Taylor St.
(210) 299-3716

Alamo Plants & Petals
119 W. Sunset Rd.
(210) 828-2628

1. Las Américas Latin Market
6623 San Pedro Ave.
(210) 340-2747

Sure, there's typically a foreign goods section at your regular grocery store. And maybe you've even dabbled in pursuits of certain items in smaller shops, perhaps particularly when searching for something from Mexico. But what if you're trying to expand your culinary horizon deeper into Latin America? Maybe make a Caribbean stop? Or perhaps take a longer detour, say ... Spain? Well, you needn't travel much farther than near North Star Mall. Down on San Pedro Avenue is where you'll find Las Américas Latin Market. If you went by Yelp reviews alone, you'd think that without this place, Colombians in SA wouldn't know what to do. Opened in 1997, the grocery store has since expanded both in space and in services – you can buy food and get checks cashed, do money transfers, make copies and buy bus tickets to Mexico. Most visitors rave about the place, though some point out the confusing layout can make stuff hard to find. No matter how much it has grown, its purpose has remained steadfast. "It keeps giving people from different countries a taste from home, it brings them back," said manager Jonathan Jaramillo, 27, whose parents opened the market. "But it's also great for Americans who have traveled overseas and are looking for food from the places they visited."


Ali Baba International Food Market
9307 Wurzbach Rd.
(210) 691-1111