Voted No. 1 from 2209-2013 by the readers of the Akron Beacon Journal, Novus Clinic was born 20 years prior from board-certified ophthalmologist Todd L. Beyer and optometrist Jerry Sude?s vision for a one-stop eye-care facility. To bring this idea to fruition, they first recruited a neuro-ophthalmologist and a second optometrist to their team and eventually constructed a 3,800-square-foot surgery center in 1998. The state-of-the-art center was built in response to the voices they heard asking for laser vision-correction procedures such as LASIK and cosmetic treatments. Dr. Beyer, also a certified oculofacial plastic surgeon, began performing face-lifts along with noninvasive skin treatments after he found himself fielding queries from more and more patients about dermal fillers, peels, and laser hair removal.
With the expanding list of offered services, the clinic shed its original title, System Optics, and was reknighted Novus Clinic in 2003. The word novus, which translates to ?fresh and exciting? in Latin, more accurately encompasses the clinic?s multifaceted approach to ocular and anti-aging treatments. The doctors never forget the primordial soup from which they sprang, though, and still conduct eye exams and keep a venerable inventory of designer frames.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 Clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, organics and naturals, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2013 alone, the company donated more than $4 million to charitable organizations.
West End Blenz's nutrition gurus forge fresh fruits and healthy supplements into a selection of 25 smoothies. Flavors range from traditional strawberry and banana to protein-packed Bulk & Muscle smoothies, which can be sipped before the shop's community self-defense classes or attempts to bench-press the counter.
GNC's opulent aisles display a wide variety of vitamin and mineral and herbal supplements, as well as sports nutrition, diet, energy, bodycare, and other health products. The Mega Men Sport multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets) supports muscle recovery and energy levels and aids speedy male metabolisms without dangling steaks in front of their treadmills. Fuel feats of female strength with the Women's Ultra Mega Active multivitamin ($19.99 for 90 caplets). Two pounds of Pro Performance 100% whey protein ($34.99) distract taste buds with the flavor of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry and smuggle 20 grams of high-quality protein into the body in each scoop. Promote healthy bones with a calcium supplement, such as coral calcium ($22.99 for 180 capsules) sustainably harvested from the Okinawa sea to provide a healthy two-to-one ratio of calcium and magnesium.