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.
The handymen at Mighty Does live up to the business's name with a hearty ability to take care of pretty much any job around the house. From fixing your washer to remodeling the entire bathroom, their home improvement services encompass a wide array of domestic chores and projects.
For Meredith McCord, looking at a piece of pottery brings back decades worth of memories. McCord started The Mad Potter in 1998, and since those early days, she's used her kiln to immortalize countless special moments. She traveled to hospitals to capture the footprints of newborns, helped a young man create a dessert plate with the words "Will you marry me?" emblazoned across it, and auctioned off items for charity. Yet some of her fondest memories center on the day-to-day interactions with customers, specifically when they return to pick up their fired pieces and utter three words of amazement: "I did that?"
The Mad Potter has since expanded into three Houston-area locations, where children and adults come to paint their own works of art or create replicas of their ancient ancestors' garden gnomes. More than 500 bisqueware items line the shelves of each studio, including coffee mugs, plates, and figurines. Staffers then help visitors select from more than 54 available colors of paint and supply them with everything else they might need, including brushes and stencils. The staff can even take things over and create more intricate designs?while still consulting closely with the customer. Whatever route a person chooses, there's always time for a sip of wine or beer; the River Oaks location sells wine and beer while Bellaire and Woodway maintain a BYOB policy.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work and has attained sentience: it is handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a double-domed glass-door cabinet ($284), or in a hefty, finely trimmed kitchen hutch ($410). Or, display a new moving-picture box on a delicately polished TV stand/buffet ($500). Small console tables ($160) and storage chests ($224) come in a myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables ($435–$548) and chairs ($80 each). Prices and selection may vary due to rotating inventory, but pieces are always fully assembled and ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
Having resolved at a young age to pursue his passion for green building, Jeff Kaplan created the Urban Land Institute's Young Leaders Program when he was just 21 years old. In late 2007, Jeff started New Living, a green building and home store whose high environmental standards earned the shop a B Corporation certification. Today, New Living sells exclusively eco-friendly products from ethical businesses, stimulating the local green economy while making green materials more affordable and accessible. Staff members passionate about responsible consumerism often help customers interested in repurposing and refinishing items. Kaplan's efforts at revitalizing Houston's small businesses and affinity for wearing capes earned him the title of Green Hero from the U.S. Green Building Council.