A former NCAA Division 1 coach and power-lifting champion helms the boot camps at Edge Sports Fitness, which get players into game shape by running them through a gamut of strength and speed training drills in a football-field-inspired indoor facility lined with artificial turf. Professional coaches lead a schedule of workshops designed to decrease 40-yard-dash times, increase vertical lift, and improve the technique of fox trot end-zone dances. Trainees practice fast-paced footwork and running drills while strengthening the legs by leaping with purpose throughout a series of plyometric exercises. Training regimens focus on improving skill sets in athletic competition, with obstacle courses and circuit training specifically designed to build the muscles needed most during games. Post-workout stretching and nutritional guidance, meanwhile, help prevent injuries and french fry grease stains on jerseys.
Since the first Johnnie's Charcoal Broiler began making freshly ground hamburgers in 1971, the grill gurus have mastered the art of real charcoal grilling, churning out more than 30,000 meaty spheres each week. Carnivorous canines croon for the hamburger cloaked in chili and cheese ($5.19), and patty purists gawk over the classic cheeseburger topped with Johnnie's signature sauce, mayo, and pickles ($4.79) . The veggie burger ($4.19) is a garden-graced patty with southwestern flair that often finds refuge in a mound of cheese fries ($2.99–$3.99). Johnnie's slices 500 pounds of onions each morning before hand battering the tear-inducing wheels to create one ring to rule them all, or crispy, golden mountains of onion rings to feed hungry hobbits ($2.59+). After an ideal meal, reanimate tired taste buds with the gooey blackberry cobbler ($2.59) or a slice of homemade pecan pie ($1.99).
Batteries Plus, No. 19 on the Dun & Bradstreet AllBusiness AllStar Franchise rankings, connects to a network of 515 stores in order to stock more than 40,000 types of batteries and light bulbs and ensure that customers can special order obscure parts. Their batteries range from dainty watch batteries to 5,000-pound leviathans that can power forklifts, and an on-site tech center can design and assemble custom batteries or rebuild old ones. A diverse array of chargers keep systems juiced, and the shop’s bulbs range from fluorescent tubes to heat lamps. To safeguard the environment, Batteries Plus's staff recycles all types of batteries and bulbs rather than hauling them to landfills or feeding them to each other.
Though Randy Taylor’s passion for photography has taken him to the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska and back, he spends most of his time at Taylor Made Photography capturing shots of families and kids. Back in the studio or outside in its gardens—complete with footbridge, tire swing, hay bales, and stone archways—Randy and his staff compose classic portraits marked by vibrant colors and flattering light. To keep his skills up to snuff, the 30-year industry veteran regularly participates in photography competitions and acts as a judge himself at national circuit conventions where he’s impervious to bribes, no matter how much saltwater taffy they entail.
While chatting on the phone with a friend, Katrina Uhls had a startling realization: her kids had been playing video games for hours. She discovered that by effectively “unplugging” her kids, she could steer them toward more creative, introspective pastimes.
Now, as the owner of Unpluggits Playstudio, she fosters a safe, welcoming space where all kids can "unplug" and explore their artistic sides. Kids will find shelves stocked with play-doh, stamps, stencils, and other craft supplies. They can don smocks and wield nontoxic paints at miniature easels. Paint’n take projects give them personalized crafts to take home, such as picture frames and piggy banks useful for saving up to buy new toys or a gold-plated piggy bank. For more active playtime pursuits, kids can gambol toward the indoor playground, which features slides, a pirate ship, and air-hockey tables.
As kids explore the 3,000-square-foot studio, parents are welcome to cruise free WiFi or monitor tykes from the snack bar, which serves freshly ground organic coffee, juices, and soda. Special workshops open the space for toddler-specific activities, adults-only craft time, and parents' nights out.