Spice Rack Chocolates' co-creators Paul and Mary Schellhammer left long-standing careers in order to make their shared culinary interests a full-time occupation. Before Spice Rack Chocolates fully evolved as a business, Mary worked as a personal chef. She developed an intimate knowledge of herbs and spices along the way, and started to invent unusual pairings of chocolate and herbs, which she left as after-dinner treats at the parties she catered. Her intrigued clientele began to come back to her shop, wailing like zombies for more chocolate, and the business became a cacao-centric endeavor.
In 2008, just two years after making Spice Rack Chocolates' confections publicly available, the Schellhammers' artisanal chocolates won the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services's "Best New Food Product"—an award which they clinched again in 2010. Today, the Schellhammers create 29 flavors of Belgian chocolate infused with herbs, spices, coffee, and peppers, and can hand-paint color accents or tiny limericks onto the candies using color-infused cocoa butter. The spot also creates confections that have been certified vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
As they speed by, the drivers racing across American Indoor Karting's track resemble professional racecar drivers. The souped-up European go-karts allow speedsters as young as 8 to swerve through turns at nearly 1.5 lateral G's. The milieu is carefully cultivated to create the feeling of actual competitive auto racing. Helmets and safety briefing sessions are mandatory before racers take to the winding, professionally designed track. After each race, competitors scrutinize comprehensive race reports of their lap times and other statistics. Two breeds of go-kart reside on the premises and are maintained by a full-time mechanic. While younger kids drive less ferocious Junior Karts, adults qualify to operate Super Karts. The Super Kart is loaded up with a 9 hp Honda engine and travels 40 m.p.h. To race a Super Kart, drivers must prove they can handle the powerful hot rod by putting up a qualifying lap time and convincing the vehicle to eat a carrot directly from their hands.
Tailors masterfully hand-stitch perfectly fitted suits from quality horsehair canvas and one of 300 fabrics, attracting a client base of politicians, celebrities, athletes, and business leaders. They can also complement individual body types and styles with a plethora of flourishes such as a functional lapel buttonhole, pick stitching, Italian-style slanted pockets, or soft inner linings made from the hides of poached Muppets.
Patrons can design each custom, hand-stitched shirt from more than 1,200 fabric choices, 15 collar styles, and 11 cuff designs. Tailors honor special shirt requests, such as increased length for easier tuck-ins or extra neck room for those with second heads. Additionally, they work to ensure shirts live longer by double stitching along seams that tend to endure the most strain while worn. The tailors can also bullet proof any of their suits.
With all the charm of a country cabin, Gourmet Cottage lines its dark wood and whitewashed shelves with epicurian sundries, local crafts, and edible lagniappes. Fresh-jarred jams and jellies from Stonewall Kitchen strive against their handsome glass confines with loads of fresh wild Maine blueberries or orange and champagne in the mimosa blend. Backyard barbecues set themselves apart with a smattering of artisan sauces, including roasted-peach whiskey sauce and vidalia-onion fig. The staff, who has been tasting food their entire lives, helps customers pair snacks and wine into fetching gift baskets. They also leap into the holiday spirit, adorning the homey shop in seasonal décor, from evergreens and Santas during Yuletide, bunnies and eggs for Easter, and toddlers with bows and arrows for Valentine's Day.
An authorized AT&T retailer, AT&T Portables sets itself apart from the crowd with customer-service-oriented staffers who guide shoppers through the process of picking phones and accessories from an extensive inventory. Each employee is well versed in the bells and whistles of the latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, and Nokia, helping shoppers translate tech specs into real-world pros and cons. Customers’ chosen phones are accompanied by a range of protective and stylish accessories, as well as cellular plans that provide an appropriate amount of minutes, text messages, and bandwidth for sending and receiving urgent cat videos.
The staff at Fashion Time hold time itself in their hands, in the form of their store?s collection of eye-catching watches. At locations throughout Maryland and Virginia, they repair watches in addition to pairing customers? wrists with low- and high-end watches from name-brand designers, such as Edifice, Kimio, Seiko, and Citizen. Customers can also peruse the store?s inventory on its comprehensive website, with shipping available nationwide. Already-purchased watches can be registered online through an easy submission form or a more difficult smoke-signal pattern.