Two hundred years is a long time to spend in the same business, so you can't blame the bakers at Three Brothers Bakery for getting a little…creative. In between baking batches of sweet danishes, savory rye breads, and old-fashioned bagels, they somehow managed to create a brand-new dessert that solved an age-old dilemma: cake or pie? Their delicious creation—dubbed the "Pumpecapple Piecake"—is like two desserts in one, or perhaps more accurately, six desserts in one. Bakers start by baking a whole pumpkin pie into a pumpkin spice cake, a pecan pie into a chocolate cake, and an apple pie into a traditional spice cake. Then, they stack each layer on top of the last, smother the whole towering treat in cream-cheese icing, and finish with a decorative layer of pecans and caramel. The resulting masterpiece stands 11 inches tall and weighs 23.5 pounds, and has become a favorite on Thanksgiving tables where it is often served stuffed into a turkey. Despite this scrumptious innovation, Three Brothers Bakery is strongly rooted in tradition. The family can trace its lineage back to a bakery in Chrzanów, Poland, where the Eastern European breads––challah, kaiser rolls, bialy––were made entirely by hand. The end of World War II brought the bakers to Houston, where they continued to serve their traditional breads and pastries, but also concocted new ones to suit the American palate. Today, the bakery's gingerbread and creative wedding and birthday cakes are just as sought-after as the special-occasion challah, and the bakery has racked up a slew of awards, including Best Pecan Pie from Country Living magazine.
Years before he became the avid runner, swimmer, and certified fitness trainer he is today, Jared Harrison was a chubby kid. It was only after taking up sports in high school that he began to whip into shape. When he resolved to start his own fitness business during college, he eventually lost a total of 80 pounds. His hard work has paid off?not only is he a svelte and muscular titan of an athlete, he now owns and operates his own fitness program, Hit Fit.
Amid the professional equipment and private studios of the local One 2 One Training Center, he and his staff of fellow trainers lead one-on-one and small-group training sessions, as well as nutritional counseling sessions. They take their fitness sessions outside to local parks, challenging students with their boot-camp program's high-energy exercise routines. Covering both fitness and nutrition, the program is designed to help patrons lead overall healthier lifestyles and fit back into their high-school hot-dog costume.
Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
The Peveto family's name became synonymous with stopping power when John Peveto II opened his first Brake Check shop in 1968. More than 40 years and 40 shops later, the family still helps cars stop (and go) with brake-pad inspections, wheel alignments, battery replacements, and oil changes. With convenience in mind, each shop opens its work bays seven days a week, offers online appointments, and backs up several of their services with lifetime warranties that are then backed up by other even more muscular warranties.:m]]
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
New Orleans is renown for vibrancy, from the over-the-top regalia of Mardi Gras to the bold, zesty flavors of its Cajun cuisine. With a modest interior filled with tables swathed in red-checkered cloths, Sleepy's Poboys doesn’t even try to outdo The Big Easy’s visual flair. But behind its counter, owner Brichell Smith’s team matches the city’s finest culinary talent with specialties such as seafood gumbo chock full of crab, shrimp, and hot sausage.
Though full of various southern specialties, the core of Sleepy’s menu is its namesake po’boys. The chefs assemble these from traditional ingredients such as shrimp and oysters, but also put their own stamp on the sandwich with gravy-soaked roast beef and philly cheesesteak fixings. In the morning, they can even create a breakfast version with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat; other breakfast items include platters full of grits, hash browns, and pancakes. Open seven days a week, mornings at Sleepy’s begin at 7 a.m. Monday–Saturday and don’t end until 2 a.m., leaving dedicated po’boy eaters with five hours to fill dream journals with drawings of sandwiches.