When Clint Dudley founded Shade Tree Auto more than a decade ago, he had one guiding principle: any auto shop worth its weight in carburetors should be able to repair any vehicle, regardless of its make or model. The ASE-certified technician’s new shop proved to be a roaring success with local drivers—so much so that it quickly outgrew its small garage and was forced to relocate to a larger facility. Now, at the AAA-approved shop’s current location, Dudley and his crew of master technicians perform preventative maintenance and repairs on cars, trucks, motor homes, and podracers with busted 8-track decks. Though they hold themselves to the high standards of yesteryear’s repair shops, Shade Tree Auto’s technicians feel right at home in today’s automotive landscape as they wield computerized tire-balancing tools and similarly advanced technologies. An old-fashioned sense of customer service compels them to offer a warranty on all of their services and provide a complimentary shuttle to anyone in their local area. Women can head to the garage on select evenings to participate in the Ladies Night Out Crash Course, in which experts demonstrate how to navigate insurance policies and safely jump a car over the Grand Canyon.
For many, maintaining a healthy fitness regimen is an off-putting chore on par with cleaning the garage or assembling that backyard roller coaster for the kids. The folks behind Snap Fitness, who now boast locations all over the world, are of the opinion that this doesn't have to be the case. They believe 24-hour access to premium cardio and strength-training equipment, innovative easyFIT monitors to track personal progress, and perpetual guidance from certified professionals can help transform physical fitness into an accessible activity that yields measurable and tangible results. In addition to providing online workout rubrics and meal plans, they work to keep sweat glands up and running by offering work out rewards programs, making regular check-in calls, and measuring bodies—sans padded muscle suits—every 30 days.
Technicians at the family-owned Soleil Tan Spa undergo rigorous training and education. They have to familiarize themselves with some of the most advanced, fastest acting tanning equipment in the industry, which has delivered more than 400,000 tans across the company's three locations. The 1,000- and 600-watt high-pressure lamps of the German-made UWE P90 Level 5 bed, for example, begin to build deep color during speedy 12-minute sessions. The device's air-conditioning system and fans keep guests comfortable while aromatherapy and music streaming from the MP3-player port soothe the senses. The spa's high-tech spray-tanning options include Mystic Tan booths and Norvell airbrush tans, which can quickly prepare skin to attend a special event or enjoy a beach vacation.
As its name implies, The Corn Patch Restaurant celebrates the Heartland roots of American cuisine with a menu of pork chops, freshly breaded chicken, and hand-cut steaks prepared according to recipes known only to the chefs and family owners. The most famous of these is undoubtedly the creamy, house-made potato soup, which accompanies every meal only after diners sign an oath to never speculate on its secret recipe. To further honor their down-home roots, the owners have named some of their most popular dishes after friends and family, including such favorites as Lucy’s chicken breast and Dennie’s Famous Reuben.
Inspired by trips to the state's northwestern lakes, Okoboji Grill conjures the wayfaring spirit of summer vacation with hearty American comfort food. Chefs marinate chicken strips in beer before hand-breading them in a secret blend of spices, crown crispy onion strings with Iowa-raised pork chops, and stack thin-sliced meats into towering club sandwiches and edible replicas of the Chrysler Building. Okoboji Grill also culls recipes from international cuisines, adding an American take to greek gyros, housemade tzatziki sauce, and italian bruschetta and pastas.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.