Be Blissful Dessert Company's Summer Cowans and Wanda Berry pipe the last of the frosting onto a batch of limoncello-infused cupcakes to complete what will be the icing on the cake of another elegant event. Experts of dessert-table logistics, Be Blissful only doles out sweets by the dozen and traffics almost exclusively in individually packed confections—brownie pops and servings of cake in jam jars are among the more unusual ones—that do not require servers or risk littering the buffet with a mess of crumbs. Moist cake carries the flavors of Madagascar vanilla, seasonal strawberry frosting, or dulce de leche, and chocolate compliments both peanut-butter cookies and bowls of tart raspberries. To tantalize the eyes, the team designs the dessert table down to its floral arrangements and fills tiered trays and long-stemmed glass cake displays with cookies wearing color-coordinated royal icing or a custom insignia.
The ample hands-on experience that Aveda Institute's students receive in cosmetology, hair styling, and skincare is only one part of their extensive training. Even as these burgeoning professionals master more advanced techniques, their instructors work to impart a sense of social and environmental responsibility. These are the tenets of founder and environmentalist Horst M. Rechelbacher, whose vision of living in sync with nature led to Aveda's botanically based products for hair and skin.
At the institute, students cull knowledge from industry experts through extensive practical training under the supervision of mentors. Stylists learn how to cut hair and soothe stress with complimentary mini facials, makeup touchups, and horn sharpening. Future aestheticians restore balance to faces and bodies with relaxing skincare treatments.
To connect with both the local and global community, students also apply their efforts toward charity events such as Earth Month. This campaign helps raise funds for the Sierra Club, who in turn uses the donations to help protect sources of clean water worldwide. The Institute is also hosting an upcoming fashion benefit show on April 23, with procedes going to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Columbus.
Though makeup artist and aesthetician Amanda Ryan has been in the skincare industry for 20 years, she still hasn't settled on a favorite anti-aging treatment. That's because she constantly updates her arsenal, staying abreast of the latest skincare techniques and anti-aging technologies, from exfoliations infused with plant stem cells to mechanical facials that actually try to retrain facial muscles to youthfully lift, tighten, and gape at uncles who pull coins out from behind ears. Her expertise and commitment to individualized services help her to quell any of her clients' worries about not understanding the modern-sounding treatments. She follows up treatments with advice for each client on how to care for and maintain his or her skin at home. Some regular facials and makeup treatments even include a complete lesson on DIY skincare. One of the secrets? Finding the right products to care for your skin. In her office inside the Dominic and Company Inclusive Salon and Day Spa, Amanda uses her personal line of vitamin-enriched cosmetics, Adryan Essentials.
They say that home is where the heart is, and, in 1984, next-door neighbours Vickie and Jo Ann couldn’t have agreed with that statement more. Both moms with young children, the two women dreamed of staying home and caring for their kids, while also doing what they loved—sharing with others their joint passion for cooking. A kitchen-table discussion led to the foundation of Gooseberry Patch, and their first cookbook, released more than 25 years ago, featured many recipes borrowed from family members and friends.
Gooseberry Patch continues in its original tradition of collecting home recipes, but now their recipe ideas come from across North America. An active user base contributes to cookbooks covering topics such as baking, seasonal dishes and desserts, and kid-friendly dishes that children can make for themselves or with the help of a Barbie with arms bendy enough to hold a spoon. The library of cookbooks is complemented by calendars that similarly showcase recipes, help clients organize their holiday or party planning, or provide a foolproof way for anyone to remember what day it isn't.
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.”