As a mother of four with a corporate career, Leigh Kendall longed for a break from her relentless daily duties. When she left work to stay home with her second and third children, she longed for a respite from the house, some outside place where she could relax with her kids. After searching unsuccessfully and hearing the pleas of other moms, she decided to fill that need, and A Latte Fun was born. The indoor playground and café brims with happy chatter, which drifts from regular classes, special events, and open playtime seven days a week. Children frolic across multicolored carpeted floors in a 6,000-square-foot playroom, exploring climbing structures, foam pits, and a floor-level trampoline that is kept safe by rounded edges, extensive padding, and declawed teddy bears. The playground eschews video games, prize games, and violent toys, instead letting older children don animal costumes in the dress-up area, while toddlers younger than 2 romp in their own play pit and toy bins. Cool zephyrs of air conditioning sweep contented sighs away from zebra-print sofas or onyx-hued wooden tables, where adults peruse a gourmet café menu. A boutique toy store extends the center's positive attitude toward play into homes with a slew of unique gifts and rare and eclectic toys. A private room reverberates with the youthful energy of A Latte Fun's classes, formal functions, and parties, which staff members provide with refreshments, cake, and decorations. At least two assistants remain on hand at kids’ events to provide full setup, cleanup, and supervision to ward off squabbles that arise when imaginary friends show up wearing the same outfits.
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.
Dolphin Tires helps drivers to prolong vehicle vigor with factory-recommended maintenance services. Mechanics pop car hoods to perform oil changes with standard and temperature-durable synthetic solutions, taking time to inspect belts, hoses, fluids, and the air conditioner's resident penguin. Armed with EPA- and CARB-complying catalytic converters, the staff helps to shrink harmful emissions during muffler and exhaust-system checks.
Trained technicians augment brake services with lifetime guarantees and curate healthy, evenly worn tires with rotations or replacements from Goodyear, Michelin, Firestone, and Bridgestone.
Martinizing Dry Cleaners is a nationwide franchise that dates all the way back to the year clothes were invented—1949. Since that time, the locations have flourished across the country while maintaining the company ideals of eco-friendly cleaning and meticulous care for fabrics. A Green Earth selected provider, Martinizing vanquishes oils and dirt from all manner of fabrics without the uses of petrochemicals or toxins that can pollute the air, water, or soil. During the cleaning process, the keen-eyed staff inspects garments at least six times, looking for unassuming stains and replacing missing buttons or bullet-proof lapels for free.
Color Me Mine puts paintbrushes and pottery in the mitts of customers old and young. Budding Toyozo Arakawas will follow six easy steps to craft beautifully painted ceramics, first choosing a ceramic piece (around $12 and up) from Color Me Mine's selection of more than 300 items, such as a piggy bank (from $18), mug (from $15), or vase (from $25). After charting out the desired design from individual imagination or Color Me Mine's idea gallery, painters will select an underglaze from Color Me Mine's cast of more than 60 colors, applying paint with the focus of a peregrine falcon occupied by a Rockwellian spirit. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to take home their final products in about a week. A studio fee of $8 for children and $9 for adults covers all paints, supplies, glazing, and firing. Regardless of age or ability, customers will find Color Me Mine's ceramic-painting experience a rewarding dive into the creative process of an art form that dates back to the ziggurat-dwelling days of Mesopotamia.