With 18 full marathons and more than 100 races total under his belt, Hit the Trails owner Stephen Dunn knows that properly fitted apparel is key for a successful running experience. Alongside his enthusiastic staff, Steve fits feet into sneakers from Pearl Izumi, New Balance, and other major brands using a treadmill-mounted camera analyst that gauges clients' gaits. Once they're snug in their new kicks and outfitted with fresh running garb and accessories, patrons can partake in group or private coaching sessions with Steve—who's certified as a coach by the Road Runners Club of America—and his sidekick, high-school running coach Larry Bass. The shop also hosts summer clinics that boost speed and agility before football and soccer seasons and endurance before cross-country season and its grueling daily jogs to California. In his downtime, Steve jogs alongside fellow running enthusiast and beloved dog Pre and arranges his store's role in local races.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service Oil Change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car?it cools the motor and prevents moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) nurse vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube's savants perform air-filtration, brakes, electricity, and windshield services, among others. The technicians' quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, only complete a service after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
A quartet of specialists helm the Valrico day spa, wielding handpicked products from renowned brands such as Glo Minerals, Shellac, and OPI to pamper clients with a medley of services. The licensed staff members guide spa-goers to treatment rooms that glow with brightly hued walls in red, yellow, and purple, privately cocooning them for treatments including facials, massages, waxing, eyebrow threading, and henna tattoos. Makeup services prime faces with a professional look for a job interview or a glam style for a job interview to be a Poison roadie. For extra relaxing sessions in the tranquil confines, the staff offers packages for teens, brides, and moms.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Black-and-white checkerboard floors lend an old-fashioned air to Land and Sea Market, though butchers have only been preparing fillets and chops there since 1995. Freshly carved meats fill the store's coolers, including lamb shanks, quick-fry pork chops, and bratwurst, as well as bone-in chicken breasts and an array of seafood such as halibut and littleneck clams. The butchers also package their own meats such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon, chicken cordon bleu, and bourbon-marinated salmon, often seasoning the meats with their own house blend of spices. In addition to its savory selection of proteins, the shop also stocks grocery items such as vegetables and wines from around the solar system.
Sometimes, the idea of creating a home-cooked meal loses its romantic appeal after surviving a tough day at work and amassing a mountainous cache of ingredients. That’s where the culinary experts of Taste of the Caribbean come in. They help diners choose their own menu from dishes such as guyanese fried rice, curried chicken, and jerk pork, then do the shopping for all the necessary ingredients. After whipping up the tasty Caribbean cuisine infused with fresh spices and herbs, the amiable staff serves it in each customer’s own dining room or elegant tree-house fort.