When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree Play & Music in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree Play & Music spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
Every pint of ice cream and box of candy at Aglamesis Bro's is hand-packed with family tradition. The sweet legacy stretches back to Greek immigrants Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis, who settled in Cincinnati at the beginning of the twentieth century. The brothers began making ice cream, and by 1908, they had saved enough money to open up their own parlor. More than a century later, visitors can still meet those original founders: their photographs hang inside Aglamesis Bro's two Cincinnati locations. And the decor doesn't look much different than when the Aglamesis family first opened up shop, with touches such as antique tin ceilings, tiffany lamps, and marble counters adding to the spaces' vintage charm.
The treats are just as classic as the surroundings, as a third generation of the Aglamesis family continues to make ice cream and candies with old-world recipes. Ice cream is made in the French style?incorporating egg yolks to produce rich flavor?and chocolate confections are crafted from scratch. Whether guests sample a dish of champagne sorbet, a classic banana split, or vanilla caramels, they can taste the sweet simplicity of a bygone era.
The sheer volume of garments that Widmer's Cleaners has dry-cleaned over the past 100 years is astronomical, but there are a few special items that will never be forgotten. Widmer's processed many vintage garments on display at the Smithsonian, such as Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders outfit, and the suit that Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated. Today, the service menu has expanded—technicians will clean carpets, tile and grout, and upholstery, as well as perform a slew of other services. Widmer's is actively involved in the community, contributing to charities such as Goodwill and the American Red Cross.
Pasquale Giammarco grew up working in his parents' pizzeria, which they opened after emigrating from Italy to the United States when Pasquale was 9. In 1978, adult Pasquale opened his own pizzeria, Marco’s Pizza, where he continued to top pies in the sauce recipe he and his father refined together. Beyond the sauce, which harmoniously blends three types of vine-ripened tomatoes, Pasquale perfected his dough—made fresh daily—and his cheese, which never saw a freezer before bedecking a pizza.
Nowadays, Marco’s Pizza’s brand has spread to more than 250 stores scattered across 21 states. Their specialty pies—whose diameters extend up to 16 inches—emerge from the oven in variants such as the Meat Supremo, topped with pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, and bacon, or a vegetarian style complete with mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. Alternatively, patrons can customize their pizza toppings to please their unique palates, which may register salt as sweetness or sweetness as a telltale sign that the tooth fairy is hiding behind their molars. Wings in three flavors complement the pizzas, along with freshly baked hoagies and verdant salads.
After years of honing his culinary craft at restaurants, feeding droves of people with catering companies, and engineering his own line of sauces and seasoning blends, Chef Jason Perkins brings his bistro fare to various locations around the city with his food truck, Eat! Mobile Dining. The bistro on wheels enlivens quick workday lunch breaks with eclectic fare, such as fruit and cheese plates, pasta, pan-seared jumbo scallops, and grilled-paneer sandwiches, made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Eat!'s blue and white truck zips to catered meetings with custom menus or scopes out busy streets, looking for hungry passersby and carriage horses to feed. Perkins also offers a personal-chef service, sating appetites with his usual fare or preparing meals and hosting cooking classes in clients' homes.
Recognized by Cincinnati Family magazine with a Best of Parenting 2011 award, Youthland Academy has been practicing a learning-by-doing philosophy for 30 years. At childcare sessions throughout the year, kids engage in age-appropriate educational programs that help preschoolers turn thought into language and middle schoolers reach their full potential. The full slate of programs are offered at nearly two-dozen locations across the Midwest and South.