Big things can grow from small beginnings. Just ask Zoe, the cartoon (and real) canine mascot of The Laptop Guy. The computer-repair shop began with a rented counter in a toy shop, where the company's founder and his dog sold laptops to passersby. His dedication to his customers and Zoe's playful nature brought in more and more customers, until the repair and sales shop could no longer fit next to the action-figure aisle. More than 10 years later, The Laptop Guy has grown into a multi-store business that solves customers' smartphone, Apple, Android, and PC issues with online support, in-house repairs, or onsite troubleshooting. Cartoon Zoe and her owner still greet customers on the company's website, and the real-life versions can be found in one of the repair shops on any given day.
Eleven years ago, Randy Elkins and Chris Ratchford pooled their collective video expertise to open Keepsake Solutions, and today their staff continues to transfer outdated media to future-friendly formats. Services include video transfers, in which up to two hours of taped sports games or home movies emerge from their old-format cocoons as beautiful DVD butterflies or powerful DVD velociraptors.
Photo-to-DVD transfers and slide scanning keep memories alive with a modern format and user-friendly layout, and video-editing services boost school presentations, demo reels, and company instructional videos, relying on programs such as Final Cut Pro, Encore, and an industry-specific version of Minesweeper.
Founded by world-class duo Igor and Svetlana Iskhakov, Dance Centre is dedicated to the empowerment and physical fitness of the everyday person via the art of dance. The studio features both high-level instruction for budding Baryshnikovs as well as a host of beginner-friendly classes in a variety of dance styles. Group classes consisting of as few as five pupils practice basic steps within the Gahanna facility's grand 6,000 square feet of studio space, the perfect place for dancing and drag racing floor buffers. Igor and Svetlana also host regular practice parties for their students, which present festive opportunities to show off new skills in a no-pressure social setting or mingle with accomplished star students.
Divine De-lites owner Kim Herring didn’t set out to become full-time baker. “I was really more of a cook,” she says, “but then whenever we had family functions I always baked stuff.” But not just any "stuff"––breads and cookies that had family and friends raving. For nearly 10 years, others tried to convince her to turn her part-time passion into a career, and when the economic downturn led her to leave her job in the corporate arena, she decided to do exactly that.
To craft her treats, Herring employs family recipes––including one for a much-lauded banana bread––and formulations she developed herself using organic and local products whenever possible. Cookies are her No. 1 specialty, which she whips up in flavors such as oatmeal apricot, peanut butter, and almond butter with fig, and can be made gluten-free, sugar-free, or disguised as salads to suit a range of dietary concerns. But it’s her chocolate-chip cookies that are the real crowd pleaser. “They’re kinda crispy on the outside, but when you break ‘em open they’re real soft on the inside. And [there are] lots of chocolate chips.”
Indulge yourself or others with gourmet brownie options such as this season's caramel apple fudge or peanut butter caramel fudge ($3.25 each), each decidedly more delectable than equally seasonal dried-leaf granola squares. New breakfast additions include cinnamon streusel and cappuccino pecan ($3.25 each), and standbys such as chocolate fudge and fudgy cookie ($3.25 each) give fans of the classics something to chew about.
Armed with their in-house line of cleaning products, Downey Company Protec's detailing technicians clean vehicles during in-shop and mobile detailing services. They fend off grime with hand washes and waxes, or execute the shop's signature treatments to fortify vehicles against hindrances including UV rays, corrosion, or carpet stains shaped like a disparaging driver's-ed instructor. While waiting for services, customers can nab bottles of Protec's products?car-wash concentrate, exterior gloss preserver, or spot remover?for at-home auto pampering.