Named business of the year in 2010 by Heritage Nebraska, patrons sit down at the Heartland Cafe for breakfast and lunch amid traces of local history inside a building constructed in 1919. In this setting, diners dig into fresh-made pancakes and made-to-order omelets, conversing and creating new memories. The quiche florentine brims with bacon, spinach, and mushrooms baked in a housemade pie crust and covered with hollandaise. For lunch, the cooks whip up reuben sandwiches, fish ‘n’ chips, and elk burgers. Heartland Cafe's owner, Sharon Janovsky, was also named 2012 business person of the year by the Western Douglas County Chamber of Commerce for the cafe's active role in the community, such as hosting the annual tree lighting ceremony.
Carol Joy Holling Camp, helmed by Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries and accredited by the American Camp Association, opens up a natural wonderland to carry out its mission of teaching people about Jesus. During camp programs for kids and families, campers take to the lake to angle for fish or paddleboat across the water. The organization also hosts a variety of events and conferences?from a quilt auction to seasonal retreats that allow participants time and space to work on creative projects.
VIP Cleaners’ first location opened in 1992. Since then the operation has expanded to a handful of locations, where staff members clean everything from police, firefighter, and military uniforms to suits, dresses, and wedding gowns. The shops also offer leather dying, suede cleaning, and alteration services.
Cottonwood Pet Resort is a family-owned-and-operated animalian wonderland that sits on 11 frolic-worthy green acres. Quadrupeds meeting daycare prerequisites are unleashed on the Doggie Den, a tail-wagging dream splayed in macrocosm across 2,400 square feet of indoor arena and 1,500 square feet of exterior synthetic Bermuda turf. Loving staff experienced in the arts of ear scratching and palm-paw high-fives make new arrivals feel at home and supervise agility mat exercises, ensuring all adorable animals use proper form to deliver roundhouse kicks and achieve full-nelson submissions. The resort’s webcams feed a constant video stream to owners who want to check out their better halves reveling in tail-chasing activities and olfactory odysseys.
The YMCA of Greater Omaha brings people together at 10 locations with character-building programs that strengthen participants' involvement in their community. Adults can get a head start on their New Year's fitness resolutions with body sculpting, Pilates, and other tummy-toning group fitness classes, while kids can expend some energy at a drop-in child-care center that is free while parents work out. YMCA members also enjoy reduced rates on swim lessons and youth sports, as well as free senior programs. All locations except the LaFern Williams Y offer indoor pools for aquatic antics that cannot be properly enjoyed in a bathtub's limited splashing-real estate.
At That Pottery Place, the definition of an artist?s canvas expands to include everything from mugs to coin banks. The studio invites budding van Goghs to choose from more than 200 pottery designs and cloak their selection with lead-free paint from a rainbow of more than 50 colors. Stencils, stamps, and idea books stand ready to inspire artists who are facing creative blocks or giving their muse the silent treatment. After participants fully realize their visions, they entrust their work to the studio?s professionals, who glaze and fire each piece, readying it for pickup within a week.
In addition to pottery painting, That Pottery Place lets guests channel their creativity with mosaics, whose tiles and gems can be grouted or glued to mirrors and frames, and other small fused-glass projects. Whatever the project, crafters can tote along their own snacks and drinks to fuel their creativity or throw at copycats. For more structured crafting, the studio organizes kids? art classes and camps, and for celebrants seeking a hands-on event, they host parties.