John Edwards founded The Well Fed Dog several years ago after falling in love with a raggedy lab mix named Sasha. When John and his wife adopted Sasha, she was 6 months old, underweight, underfed, and riddled with fleabites, but the family was determined to nurse the small pup back to health. During the process, John discovered Sasha had a chicken allergy, and so he had to carefully read the labels on the dog food they were buying her. What he discovered disgusted him—many foods were composed of animal byproducts, synthetic vitamins, and other ingredients unfit to feed a cherished member of the family, no matter their species. And so John began to craft his own recipes for dog food, using careful research and advice from veterinarians, fellow pet owners, and even professional chefs.
Featured in the Boston Globe and national Natural Dog magazine, The Well Fed Dog and its recipes include real meats, such as lamb, salmon, and beef, and vegetables including sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and celery, and the products can now be found in many stores. All of the handpicked ingredients are also human grade, perishable, and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. The food is slow-cooked then frozen before being divided into small batches to help with quality control and is packed into cooler bags for safe keeping. To keep pets happy between meals, The Well Fed Dog also sells special treats that dogs love, such as deer and moose antlers, smoked-beef marrowbones, and pictures of cats wearing humiliating hats.
The fashions may have changed since 1944, but the service and family ownership of Dependable Cleaners has remained constant. The dry-cleaning company started as a single shirt-laundry facility and has since expanded into 16 locations. The chain is now owned by a third-generation Fawcett. A few of the 16 locations offer a new addition called Style, a hand-cleaning service that treats designer and high-end garments. Expansion isn’t the only success of the company since its inception more than 65 years ago. Dependable Cleaners has garnered a number of awards, including the title of Boston magazine's Best Gown Preservation in 2008. The cleaner also proudly does its part to create a sustainable Earth by using EarthCare Cleaning Systems to clean clothing with natural, recyclable solutions that break down naturally in the environment, unlike the emotionally imperturbable Philip Seymour Hoffman. While laundering shirts, the cleaner uses biodegradable soaps and hangs newly dry-cleaned dresses, suit jackets, pants, and sweaters on recycled hangers and garment bags.
Though it may look like a humble, deli-style eatery from the outside, Brookline Spa rewards those who venture into its cozy interior. In a 2005 review in the Boston Phoenix, Liz Bomze called the eatery "much more than your basic sub shop," praising its reasonably priced pizza slices and wide selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The family that has owned and operated the shop since 1995 serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, making its own pizza dough and bringing the generous handfuls of cheese to golden-brown fruition inside the oven. The family of foodsmiths assembles a variety of mafia-themed wraps and a "Top 25" sandwich with salami, capicola, mortadella, and prosciutto known as Old Blue Eyes—a reference to the infamously dreamy gaze of popular 18th-century crooner, President John Adams. The primarily carryout establishment also offers an assortment of domestic and imported beer.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
The staff at Zoots Dry Cleaning extracts stains and stress by pairing eco-friendly dry-cleaning services with the convenience of extended evening and Sunday hours, 24-hour drop-off and pickup services (available at most locations), and an automated drive-thru system. Team members clean clothes, draperies, bedding, and rugs with a biodegradable solvent as opposed to harsh PERC chemicals, and some staff are trained to expertly excise stains from the delicate lace and beadwork of bridal-gown bodices. Most stores also have a tailor on location who is able to alter ensembles in a snap. Customers get e-mail notifications when orders are ready or they can download a smartphone app to keep a close eye on the status of their dirty laundry.
Since 1982, Sea To You Sushi's deft chefs have traveled across the region doling out fresh, meticulously constructed sushi rolls at colleges, businesses, hotels, and country clubs. They cull an extensive supply of ingredients at their store, tapping into the well-stocked stash to guide nascent sushi-smiths through the art of constructing maki and nigiri rolls during Sushi School sessions.
The mobile gourmands also cater private parties, regaling revelers with custom menus and war stories about ferocious clumps of seaweed. Die-hard sushi fans can join Sea To You Sushi's C2U Sushi Club, which grants member discounts and special access to the company's facilities.