Though Terry "Joe" Black spent more than two decades in the restaurant and food industries, for many years the notion of opening his own pizzeria remained a wistful one. Smitten with the restaurant business during his college years, he spent the first 15 years of his career working for national chains, then another 10 in food distribution. It wasn?t until Black met and befriended Nick Heddings, owner of Arizona Pizza Company in Tucson, that the gears were set in motion to allow Black to make the leap to ownership, spurred in part by Heddings's support and pizza recipe. Black and his wife, Mary, kept the concept simple: a limited menu centered around tasty, New York?style pizza. They resolved to be fanatical about their customers? experience and to create a welcoming, neighborhood feel. To further that goal, Black and his family remain active with local schools and organizations to this day.
Their focus on quality and friendliness has paid off. Of Jimmy & Joe?s signature "Serious Slice," blogger Michele Laudig said?as part of the Phoenix New Times? 100 Favorite Dishes series in 2010?"It's super thin and crisp on the bottom, with puffy, chewy edges." Each gigantic slice is cut from the 24-inch Big Jimmy, arrives on its own metal pan, and, like a celebrity?s engagement ring, is bigger than the average person's head. As testament to its food?s deliciousness, the restaurant has won multiple awards, including the Reader Pick for Best Pizzeria in the East Valley Tribune's 2011 Best of East Valley.
Most of the time when kids go to get their hair cut, they're lucky if they're able to watch a movie they've seen a thousand times or play with the single toy the salon keeps on hand. But even that doesn't generally happen. And because most salons don't bother to entertain kids, haircuts can be a difficult thing for them to sit through.
Yet, when kids go to Snip-Its, they get an adventure. Staffers first hand kids a Snip-Its Adventure Club card, and then invite them to sing along with the salon's own cast of animated characters. There's Curly Comb, the adventurous Flyer Joe Dryer, and the group's leader, Snips, an anthropomorphized pair of scissors with a shock of brown hair. This same crew stars in computer games and activities that kids can play at each salon station, which dazzle eyes with more bright colors than a car covered in Lisa Frank stickers.
While their clients explore imaginative worlds, stylists use a proprietary line of natural and allergen-free products to create buzz cuts and bobs. At the end of the process, kids visit the Magic Box. The enchanted device awards kids a prize in exchange for a swatch of hair. On special occasions, stylists can also photograph a baby's first haircut or transport girls to Tinseltown during a Hollywood Party.
In order to make every salon experience exciting for kids and relaxing for adults, Snip-Its partners with Autism Speaks and trains stylists to work with kids with autism.
Boasting a 100% cage-free environment and over 8,000 total sq. feet, Gilbert Dogs 24/7 & Chandler Dogs 24/7 keep pups active as they romp around in open playrooms supervised by well-trained staff on grounds open 24 hours a day. The boarding facility screens every dog during a behavioral evaluation conducted prior to admission. All pooches that pass are free to run around the daycare gnawing on toys, crafting canine art, and acquiring best friends who don’t ever demand that they fetch newspapers or platters bearing three-course meals. Supervising staff members are certified dog lovers and have completed an Interpreting Dog Body Language seminar to help diffuse potential conflicts in the playroom, and film videos of pups having fun to show to returning owners. For clients leaving their pups for an extended period, the facility’s overnight boarding service allows owners to rest easy knowing that an overnight staff member is always on hand to comfort canines after nightmares of losing at poker. The shop rounds out its canine-comforting service menu with shuttle rides to appointments or puppy field trips, courses in obedience training, and spa grooming sessions in which pups are washed, dried, and brushed until coats gleam with a healthy shine.
As the restaurant's website explains, Otaku means “obsessed, hardcore fan” in Japanese, which serves as an appropriate echo to the chefs' enthusiasm. Maki rolls in aesthetically pleasing arrangements have a starring role on the menu, employing sweet asian pear and mango to enhance savory slices of raw fish, sautéed scallops, and mushrooms. While sipping from 1 of 13 sakes, diners can also savor hot platters—such as curry chicken or crispy walnut prawns—or enjoy an omakase meal, where the chef presents five courses of off-the-menu rolls and dishes.
The culinary masters at Otaku also aim to “remove the veil of mystery” from sushi dining and preparation through their Otaku Academy. During the learning experiences, patrons of any knowledge level have the opportunity to sit down with a chef as he slices rolls and serves them with ample education.
Sweeping structural curves dressed in warm colors lead patrons through Otaku's dining room, characterized by its sushi bar and multiple counters for parties to dine upon. In a lower section of the dining room, a tree rises from the center of a circular stone counter with chairs, proving that trees thrive when fed salmon.
Bart Vermilya didn’t always want to be an acupuncturist. He might still be building computer mainframes for a living had it not been for a shoulder injury he incurred while practicing martial arts. In severe pain, he went to a chiropractor and a massage therapist, both of whom failed to help. He then went to an acupuncturist who reclined him on a table, ignored his shoulder completely, and proceeded to insert needles into his ankle.
“It kind of has to do with tricking your nervous system,” Bart explains. A computer networker and engineer, Bart has a logical approach to problem solving and researches his own treatments with the fervor of a caffeinated skeptic. He finds fascination in sciences that work in spite of logic. “I was surprised too. My ankle. But it worked.”
Inspired by his experience, Bart began studying holistic treatments. His vocation as an engineer, combined with training in acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and holistic healing represents a merger of Eastern and Western philosophies. Today, he custom-blends Chinese herbs based on the client’s condition and on his own extensive scientific research, and integrates various treatments into his practice: a patient complaining of a sore back might receive acupuncture on limbs while Bart places cups along the spine.
Whether she?s enhancing the come-hither stares of doctors, models, or the wives of Arizona Cardinals players, Shawn Geranen believes in giving everyone the star treatment. Complimentary aromatherapy and chocolate await each patron the moment they arrive and help ease them into blissful states of relaxation for the duration of their stays. Using extensions by Xtreme Lashes, Shawn's staff outfits eyes with the same synthetic strands that have plumped up the lash lines of celebrities such as Ashley Greene, Kelly Rowland, and AnnaLynne McCord. The water-resistant extensions are both comfortable and natural-looking, making them a perfect choice for weddings and proms, and lashes may be further enhanced with colored highlights or lash crystals.
When she isn?t busy creating more winsome winks, Shawn stays busy by offering a slate of waxing services and by freshening faces with her other specialty?airbrush makeup. Using an airbrush gun, she carefully applies liquid foundations made from pigmented minerals, creating perfectly blend-able bases that leave faces looking flawless in photos and surveillance tapes. The lightweight formula doesn?t just look good; it also feels great on the skin and can last up to 16 hours, making it a great option for special occasions.