The team behind Taste of Main Street America perused every state in the nation to fill 280 pages with recipes and photographs from eateries located on the Main Street of their respective cities and towns. Readers' palates are whisked to Connecticut with the Willimantic Brewing Company's parmesan-encrusted tuna, and Oklahoma's easy lasagna bake provides relief on nights when the oven is exhausted from its day job as an accountant. Whipping up a dish of homemade lemon squares by the specifications of the Fifth & Main restaurant in Alabama can turn new neighbors into twice-a-day window knockers fiending for the tart treat, and the fresh flavors of Rhode Island's heirloom tomato salad with chilled cucumber soup rouses taste buds with a symphony of fresh flavors. The book is available for pickup at 12 locations throughout the southwest Missouri region, and it can also be shipped online.
Shires For Hire lead passengers on rolling, relaxing, and intimate horse-drawn carriage rides. Passengers nestle up close as their antique-style carriage trundles along a downtown street, elegantly pulls passengers away from a wedding, or schleps holiday wagons through the snow. Drivers delicately lead the ride, sporting cowboy hats, top hats for a black-tie affair, or hard hats when riding through a car wash.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
Kids of all ages descend excitedly upon Jumpin Joeys seven Australia-themed bounce houses, flooding every inch of the 8,000-sqaure-foot indoor space with a symphony of giggles and delighted squeals. Intent on helping kids let loose while maintaining high standards of safety and cleanliness, Jumpin Joeys crew of Safe Inflatable Operators Training Organization (SIOTO)?certified lifeguards keep their eagle eyes and whistles trained upon playing youngsters at all times. A toddler unit affords tykes aged 2 and under a controlled place to play, and the inflatable pirate ship grants big kids a chance to hone their swashbucking skills, as long as neither of their hands are hooks. The onsite arcade, replete with shuffleboard and air hockey, bustles with cheering game winners, and the concession stand sates post-play appetites.
Superior Rents' owners, Dan and Steve Wohnoutka, trace the genesis of their business back to their own childhoods spent on a modestly equipped farm. With an appreciation for how proper tools and equipment can make projects run smoother, they decided to stock three locations with plumbing, construction, and lawn-care equipment for homeowners and contractors to rent on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. Their online catalog hosts a roster of rental equipment, from power drills for household projects to forklifts for hanging Do Not Disturb signs on asteroids. Customers can arrange for equipment to be delivered to their work site or drop by one of three locations—including a newly opened site in Springfield—to pick up gear.