For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
Adult Megastores' selection of adult novelties gives customers a number of ways to infuse new energy into their love lives. Throughout their [28 locations in California and Hawaii which operate under such names as Secrets, Lingerie Etc, and Not Too Naughty—shoppers can find a variety of personal massagers, lingerie, and romance items. Adult DVDs provide visual ways to spice up romantic evenings, and massage oils turn back massages into sensual experiences and driveways into surprise slip 'n' slides.
The wireless provider industry changes quickly, but Arch Telecom keeps up by giving both technicians and front-line employees continual training. The extra effort shows: enthusiastic testimonials from clients cite employees' patient technical support for two seniors who were far from tech-savvy, as well as a staffer staying well beyond closing time to ensure a business's new phone lines were set up properly.
“My love of chocolate making came from my mother, who is from Newfoundland,” says Vintage Sweet Shoppe owner Debbie Dever. To stave off boredom during the region’s harsh winters, Debbie’s grandmother taught her children to craft candy and treats. Her mother passed the skills she learned on winter days down to Debbie, who channels her passion into her handmade truffles, flavored fudges, and chocolate-drenched nut clusters. Her signature wine-infused truffles pair sips of champagne, port wine, and Napa Valley vinos with complementary chocolates chosen based on cocoa content and willingness to tell embarrassing stories about their compatriots. Dever’s team of innovative chocolatiers has been making chocolates for more than 30 years and also hand-mold chocolate-covered wine bottles—featured on the Food Network—by shrink-wrapping full bottles of wine before coating their surfaces in dark or milk chocolate, leaving each label framed by an edible exterior. The shop also serves espresso coffee drinks, frozen yogurt, and ice cream.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
Mike Bee and Jim Peterson first teamed up in the early 90s, working side by side to resolve legal cases at their firm in Charleston, West Virginia. At the end of the workday, the two would often uncork a bottle of wine, discussing the characteristics of their favorite bottles in between sips. While attending a law convention in 1994, they toured the wineries of Napa Valley, and the experience proved inspirational. They enlisted the help of veteran winemaker Ray Coursen, and Falcor Winery was born.
In order to achieve an exceptionally balanced taste, the Falcor team selects grapes harvested at peak ripeness, well before the expiration dates spelled out by their vines. This fastidiousness has paid off. Their 2005 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon earned a spot on Wine & Spirits’ Year’s Best Cabernet & Blends list in 2010. This wine and others can be enjoyed in the winery's tasting salon, where award-winning chef Chay Woerz prepares menus and tastings that incorporate smoked meats and cheeses and wine-infused chocolate.