Once upon a time, Swanson's Cleaners technicians would begin their days by firing up irons, stirring starches, and strapping on roller skates. The business was once one of the largest dry-cleaning facilities west of the Mississippi, the epicenter of Salvin Swanson's vast dry-cleaning empire—an empire packed with Sacramento's laundry, even the chain mail of its knights. To get the job of all this weighty laundry done, staffers needed their own wheels, plus wheels for their hampers.
Now helmed by the third generation of Swansons, the business has grown to 15 locations. In these locations, the team launders and dry-cleans garments with the eco-friendly Revive system, which uses a gentle, odorless, and antibacterial solution made from organic ingredients. Ever mindful of the earth and the community, Swanson's Cleaners recycles its hangers and plastic bags and has collected more than 27,000 coats for local children in need through its Coats for Kids program.
The faculty at MVP Sports Unlimited includes three trainers versed in Nike's SPARQ method, a former Seattle Mariner, and a coach with a 25-year career in fast-pitch softball. Baseball, softball, and soccer players flock to the 15,000-square-foot center for one-on-one instruction and to finesse team dynamics, relying on a practice space whose climate stays consistent without the hoopla of rain dances. Inside, a 3,500-square-foot turf training field stretches out under 15-foot ceilings and is flanked by six 70-foot batting tunnels. A pitching mound and an L screen equips each of these, and the staff can wheel in either a Bata machine capable of hurling a 95 mph fastball or an Iron Mike machine that visibly winds up to help batters work on timing. A pro shop sells gear for practice, and an arcade and a lounge with WiFi entertain sidelined visitors.
Toys for Fun's fleet of remote-controlled toys puts big dreams in the palm of kids' hands. Harnessing the magic of a handheld controller, users steer, fly, and race amped-up miniatures from helicopters to Ferrari F1s. With an emphasis on making products last, Toys for Fun sources its vehicles from quality brands such as Syma, Double Horse, Yiboo, and Skytech, as well as offering a wide selection of replacement parts. In addition, a repair program staffed by experienced techs fixes up units damaged by water, wiring problems, or deep-seated resentment for their full-sized counterparts.
As far as the eye can see, clothing fills the racks and lines the walls inside Fair Fashion Exchange. Although the stock is replenished constantly, some of the season-spanning items may include jeans from True Religion and stylish duds from Dior, Michael Kors, or other name brands. Beyond clothing, jewelry lets browsers add some sparkle to their looks and a selection of shoes—from sneakers to pumps and stilettos—complete a new look.
Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the services. These friendly automatons facilitate everything from hydro massages and oxygen therapy to spray tanning and luminous facials, as well as Planet Beach's signature take on tantastic UV therapy. Each machine is designed for a specific service, which makes it the ultimate expert and keeps it from developing the ability to cry. Advanced spa services, such as hydro-derma fusion, sauna time, hydro massage ($40 per session), and luminous facials ($40 per session) provide opportunities for sweating, moisturizing, and photoskinthesis.
Sick of buying expensive supplies and having to adhere to a class schedule just to create art, Jennifer Kurtz Rubin started the first of her chain of ceramic lounges in 1993. Each Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge is designed as a social and creative space, one that all customers can use to express themselves artistically while catching up with friends. The lounge throws open its doors for both kids and adults to decorate clay bisque pieces, such as mugs and salad bowls, with a bounty of colorful supplies, never worrying about cleanup afterward. Once they’re complete, the art pieces are glazed, fired, and ready for pickup in a few days. And because artists can stay for a whole afternoon or just 30 minutes, the lounge even grants a few moments of creativity to patrons with the busiest schedules. The company also goes beyond casual art making to host parties for kids and adults, in which they can bring in live music, serve food, and train scoops of ice cream to paint their own bowls.