Chris and Karen Williams combined more than 25 years of optical experience when they created Specs Appeal Optical and furnished it with designer frames and experienced eye-care professionals. The boutique's hand-selected licensed opticians and sales staff treat each pair of eyes that wander in through the door with absolute care and attention. The team works together by first providing eye exams and then helping direct clients to the frames best suited to their face shape and personal style. Customers select frames from among such sought-after brands as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Ray-Ban, and Oliver Peoples. Those interested in contacts can park themselves at attractive rosewood stations where they can get fitted with contacts or evaluate their ocular swag in the desktop mirrors.
Kendall Toyota isn't just about selling new and used cars, though it did that well enough to earn the Toyota Board of Governors Award in 2012. The facility is also home to a team of certified technicians who specialize in keeping vehicles on the road for the long term. These techs are comfortable performing everything from oil changes and tire alignments to headlight restorations and transmission services, all while using state-of-the art diagnostic and repair technologies.
Though they specialize in weddings, Nella and her crew at Glamour Floral Creations concoct colorful displays of flora for all manner of parties or events. In styles that range from creative to classic, they make decorating on the big day easy by arranging packages that include ceremony displays, boutonnieres, bouquets, centerpieces, and the ceremonial venus flytrap that eats all the leftover cake.
Since 1968, Austin’s Diving Center has outfitted underwater explorers with gear from more than 75 manufacturers, including Aqua Lung, Poseidon, and Halcyon. Ranging from tanks to waterproof accessories, their stock furnishes equipment for activities such as scuba diving, freediving, and spearfishing for people who don't already have spears for hands. In the shop’s classes, newbie divers can master scuba basics or explore specialty styles before testing their newfound skills in rental gear. Veteran divers, meanwhile, can stop by the shop for air fills and regulator and tank services.
Edible Arrangements' boxes combine the richness and euphoric properties of chocolate with the juicy deliciousness and nutritional soundness of fruit. The Edible Arrangements geneticists have relinquished the chocolate-fruit hybridization task to a skilled team of dipping artists. These creative connoisseurs hand-dip fresh fruit in gourmet semi-sweet chocolate and then nestle each finished piece in its compact, boxy bed. Several $25 boxes are available, including choices from Edible Arrangements' mélange of fruit. Anjou pears, pineapples, strawberries, and other tempting treats are available under a darkened drizzle and can easily sate cravings without sacrificing allegiances to Mother Nature or Mother Nature's husband, Father Fragrance.
Ricardo Trillos quickly found success when he moved from Venezuela to the United States in 2004. He launched into a successful career as an accountant, and was soon calculating his way up the ladder. Something was missing, however. It wasn't his home country's scenery or secret water slides that plucked at his heartstrings, but its rich chocolates. He could only ignore his nostalgic sweet tooth for so long. Mr. Trillos bought books on chocolate making and attended as many classes as he could find. Soon, he was spending most of his free time transforming cacao beans into succulent chocolate truffles. His life as an accountant quickly disappeared under a mountain of dark chocolate ganache.
Ricardo Trillos opened Cao Chocolates, where he continues to create the chocolate confections of his home country. He uses only 100%, single bean Venezuelan cacao when making small batches of molded chocolates, chocolate-covered fruits, and other treats. Truffles remain the chocolatier's specialty, and his shop now creates more than a dozen varieties of the decadent dessert. Some of his creations include Got Peanuts?, a dark chocolate ganache coated in peanuts, and the Big Daddy, a dark chocolate ganache coated with pieces of dark and white chocolate and sprinkled with just a touch of cayenne pepper.