The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the "International House of Pancakes." Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
A kaleidoscope of colorful blossoms peeks out from the sun-drenched windows dotting W.W. Florist & Gifts' 1850s-era structure. Inside, two designers, one floral assistant, and a floral wholesaler combine their petal prowess to lavish patrons with predesigned bouquets and custom arrangements, each artfully crafted to create a thoughtful surprise for a loved one or a decadent feast for a couch-surfing hummingbird. For nonbouquet baubles, gift baskets brim with themed treasures and blossoms unfurl from within decorative mugs and whimsical figurines to splash presents with a festive touch.
Merely ridding fabrics of stains isn't enough for Royal Quality Cleaners; the dry cleaner also wants to save visitors time and make them smile, which is why it carries gift baskets complete with happy-face balloons and bushels of candy. To be sure, the staffers are dry cleaners extraordinaire, purifying blouses, suits, and tablecloths and remedying ill-fitting outfits with deft stitching. They also take painstaking care to preserve nuptial memories by cleaning and boxing wedding dresses and bronzing the life jackets clients wore while honeymooning in their neighbors' garden fountains.
The selection at Value Village rarely ever stays the same—that's because each location boasts a rotation of 30,000 items each week, sourced from charitable organizations and wholesalers. Among this sprawling selection, customers will find a cavalcade of new and gently used clothing, ranging from jeans to shirts to dresses, be they in classic, vintage styles or modern trends. Additionally, they'll also find a huge selection of furniture such as couches and tables, along with electronics, appliances, toys, and housewares to place on and around them.