The staff at Zoots Dry Cleaning extracts stains and stress by pairing eco-friendly dry-cleaning services with the convenience of extended evening and Sunday hours, 24-hour drop-off and pickup services (available at most locations), and an automated drive-thru system. Team members clean clothes, draperies, bedding, and rugs with a biodegradable solvent as opposed to harsh PERC chemicals, and some staff are trained to expertly excise stains from the delicate lace and beadwork of bridal-gown bodices. Most stores also have a tailor on location who is able to alter ensembles in a snap. Customers get e-mail notifications when orders are ready or they can download a smartphone app to keep a close eye on the status of their dirty laundry.
Inviting dozens of friends over to play video games would typically end in a cramped basement choked by tangled cables and complaints of rug burn. East Coast Gaming's truck rejuvenates the embattled tradition of the LAN party with current-generation equipment and limo-like amenities. Up to 28 players at a time work wireless controllers as seven large flat-screen televisions—four inside and three outside—flash with popular games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Inside the climate-controlled truck, gamers enjoy plush seating, a booming sound system that can be hooked to the host's iPod, and such visual spectacles as a color-changing ceiling and laser light show.
The teachers at Weston Wayland Success Learning Center have a variety of backgrounds and credentials, from early childhood education to advanced physics degrees from MIT. The staff use their vast experience and knowledge to help students tackle tough subjects and prepare for exams. They specialize in math (all the way through calculus), reading comprehension, and elements of effective writing, including grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. They also guide students toward academic success with exam-preparation programs for the SAT, SSAT, ISEE (Boston Exam School Test), and SAT subject tests.
John Edwards founded The Well Fed Dog several years ago after falling in love with a raggedy lab mix named Sasha. When John and his wife adopted Sasha, she was 6 months old, underweight, underfed, and riddled with fleabites, but the family was determined to nurse the small pup back to health. During the process, John discovered Sasha had a chicken allergy, and so he had to carefully read the labels on the dog food they were buying her. What he discovered disgusted him—many foods were composed of animal byproducts, synthetic vitamins, and other ingredients unfit to feed a cherished member of the family, no matter their species. And so John began to craft his own recipes for dog food, using careful research and advice from veterinarians, fellow pet owners, and even professional chefs.
Featured in the Boston Globe and national Natural Dog magazine, The Well Fed Dog and its recipes include real meats, such as lamb, salmon, and beef, and vegetables including sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and celery, and the products can now be found in many stores. All of the handpicked ingredients are also human grade, perishable, and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. The food is slow-cooked then frozen before being divided into small batches to help with quality control and is packed into cooler bags for safe keeping. To keep pets happy between meals, The Well Fed Dog also sells special treats that dogs love, such as deer and moose antlers, smoked-beef marrowbones, and pictures of cats wearing humiliating hats.
The fashions may have changed since 1944, but the service and family ownership of Dependable Cleaners has remained constant. The dry-cleaning company started as a single shirt-laundry facility and has since expanded into 16 locations. The chain is now owned by a third-generation Fawcett. A few of the 16 locations offer a new addition called Style, a hand-cleaning service that treats designer and high-end garments. Expansion isn’t the only success of the company since its inception more than 65 years ago. Dependable Cleaners has garnered a number of awards, including the title of Boston magazine's Best Gown Preservation in 2008. The cleaner also proudly does its part to create a sustainable Earth by using EarthCare Cleaning Systems to clean clothing with natural, recyclable solutions that break down naturally in the environment, unlike the emotionally imperturbable Philip Seymour Hoffman. While laundering shirts, the cleaner uses biodegradable soaps and hangs newly dry-cleaned dresses, suit jackets, pants, and sweaters on recycled hangers and garment bags.