Since its inception almost 40 years ago, Complete Auto Body and Truck Repair has prioritized customer convenience. To realize this goal, owner Kurt Barks has implemented a 24-hour customer-service phone line, which, as he tells FenderBender magazine, assuages the frustration people feel when they can’t contact personnel after hours. “People don’t want to speak to a computer; they want to talk to somebody who cares,” Kurt says, underscoring his commitment to quick service and antirobot propaganda. He parlays this emphasis into a host of shop amenities, including 24-hour towing service, discounted rental cars, and complimentary drop-off service to locations within 5 miles of the shop. A novel Service, Park & Fly program even ferries customers to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport while an ASE-certified crew rehabs rides and stores them until their owners return from out of town.
As drivers approach the North Lindbergh location, a life-sized elephant greets them and guides the way toward state-of-the-art bays. Here, the team provides routine car care and more extensive repairs, backing all of their bodywork with a lifetime guarantee void only if cars become immortal. Customers who decide to stay on the premises while they wait can luxuriate in the comfort of a spacious lounge.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Glowing monkeys scamper toward a neon waterfall, and a knight bearing a radiant yellow lance rides past a bright orange octopus emerging from the ocean. What appears to be a time-traveling session gone awry is really the evolving environment within Putting Edge’s indoor black-lit mini-golf course, which whisks players to deep seas, Aztec jungles, and medieval times. Since opening its original location in Canada, Putting Edge has now expanded to 18 North American locations, all of which invite guests onto its challenging 18-hole courses to seek victory over opponents and the forces that keep their teeth from not glowing as brightly as they could. Elsewhere, the facility houses private party rooms, concessions, and an arcade filled with gamer favorites such as air hockey.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Merely ridding fabrics of stains isn't enough for Royal Quality Cleaners; the dry cleaner also wants to save visitors time and make them smile, which is why it carries gift baskets complete with happy-face balloons and bushels of candy. To be sure, the staffers are dry cleaners extraordinaire, purifying blouses, suits, and tablecloths and remedying ill-fitting outfits with deft stitching. They also take painstaking care to preserve nuptial memories by cleaning and boxing wedding dresses and bronzing the life jackets clients wore while honeymooning in their neighbors' garden fountains.
Located inside the St. Louis Mills mall, Family Jump Center is a multifarious play center stocked with interactive and inflatable entertainment for pintsize jumpers. Aspiring adults of all ages can hop, slide, and marvel at the wonders of gravity atop a throng of colorful obstacle courses and bounce houses. A boxing ring allows future champions to practice fancy footwork, and cushiony slides simulate the excitement of emergency plane evacuations. Frequent character visits from superheroes such as Spiderman and Neil Armstrong enhance the play emporium's animated atmosphere.