Though Brucci's Pizza owner Bruce Jackson was born in Syracuse, New York, his grandparents hail from Italy, and he grew up feasting on Italian recipes that had been passed down through generations. At his restaurant, the chefs follow the same timeworn recipes as his grandparents when dishing up Italian favorites with a New York–style flair. They whip up lasagna layered with meatballs and italian sausage, grill paninis, and hand-toss housemade dough for pizzas, strombolis, and calzones. Their specialty pies include the Brooklyn—topped with diced tomatoes and fresh basil—and the Syracuse Stuffer—laden with sausage, beef, pepperoni, and ham, as well as green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
But Brucci's Pizza is more than just an eatery—it's also a gathering place. In addition to weekly specials, the three locations host regular events. The Ponte Vedra and Fruit Cove locations host a Monday kids' night, and the West Beaches location facilitates live music twice a week, played by bands that are not made up of animatronic rodents. The chefs also issue a standing challenge: if any guest can devour a double-thick, 16-inch Fuhgeddaboudit pizza—smothered in seven toppings and gobs of extra cheese—within an hour, it's on the house.
The trainers at Transformation Fitness aren't just there to set clients loose on one-size-fits-all gym machines—their boot-camp programs and wellness advice lay the foundation for a new, sustainable lifestyle. A blend of strength, cardio, and core-toughening drills populate their camp sessions to slim down physiques of all ages and builds. Versed in exercise science and spotting techniques, the teaching team emphasizes proper form to ward off injuries. Personal training appointments and other classes, such as Zumba and kickboxing, can add variety to the workout regimen.
Sweat, however, is only one part of the fitness equation—instructors also craft realistic nutrition plans and track each client's progress with measurements, body-fat assessments, and paid treadmill informants. This all-around approach leads clients to become totally self-sufficient at setting and meeting their holistic health goals.
When welcoming guests for cuts and color treatments at San Marco Hair Company, Tara Jordan thrives on leaving them feeling happy, confident, and beautiful. As clients slip into a salon chair, the St. Augustine native offers a color consultation to identify problem areas and make sure the correct shade is applied. Clients can choose a custom shade based on their preferences, as Tara's color system allows for endless shade possibilities. In addition to several hair coloring techniques that include multi-dimensional highlighting and corrective coloring, she also specializes in thickening manes for fine-hair clients, as well as seamless hair extensions for those wishing to accessorize or add length to their dos.
The United States Krav Maga Association–certified instructors at Force 3 believe “you don’t have to be a fighter to train like one.” The staff, which boasts plenty of real-world experience—including a jiu-jitsu world champion and a former bodyguard to Europe's royals—imparts the arts of krav maga, muay thai, and MMA to students of all experience and fitness levels. In a facility furnished with mats, heavy bags, and grappling dummies that never say "uncle," students learn self-defense concepts that could one day save their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, while also reaping the cardiovascular and core-strengthening benefits of intense physical training.
The mother-daughter team behind Creme de la Creme cossets visages in a salon and spa space marked by accenting French decor. When they're not pampering individual clients with haircuts, facials, and massages, they're throwing specialized parties and group getaways for all manner of clients, from kids to bachelorettes to coworkers. They also keep the onsite boutique stocked with shiny Swarovski crystals, glistening handbags, and rhinestone clothing to accommodate any client who wants to ride a bicycle home in style safely, at night, through a sea of paparazzi.
The handymen at Handyman Matters have hammered, caulked, and crafted a sturdy reputation for honest, professional work, offering dozens of home-repair and remodeling services. Every nook and cranny of the home, including mini-nooks and micro-crannies, can be varnished, de-tarnished, demolished, and renewed by this handy crew of professionals. Procrastinating amateurs can roll up their dog-eared to-do lists of household repairs and hurl them into the can-do arms of one of Handyman Matters’ accomplished craftspeople, who can tackle problems from dinged dry wall to flawed flooring. If the cat is getting concussions because his little crawl door is sticking, they'll fix it. They can even build a human-sized crawl door so cats and people can enter and exit the same way.