Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Belle Vie MedSpa's staff includes a nurse practitioner, and registered nurses who all work alongside a handful of licensed aestheticians, massage therapists, and skincare specialists to pamper clients with FDA-approved spa treatments. The highly trained team harnesses tools ranging from Botox injections to hair-razing lasers and may recommend products by Obagi and SkinCeuticals for at-home maintenance.
Specialties include vibradermabrasion, which uses stainless-steel paddles instead of the potentially irritating particles used in traditional microdermabrasion treatments. As they smooth skin, the textured paddles also send a vibrating sensation through the body that many clients find relaxing and many Beach Boys find inspirational. When not making the world beautiful one face at a time, the team at Belle Vie MedSpa puts the focus on building a better community, sponsoring a number of charities, including God's Pantry Food Bank, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and The Nest Center for Women, Children & Families.
Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets has always been ahead of its time. Founders Rob and Pumpkin Auerbach have sold all-natural supplements and organic food for more than 35 years—starting well before many Americans had even heard of such nutritious goodies as wheatgrass or fruit. "My father always said that they opened the store about 10 years too early for the area," daughter and COO Summer Auerbach told Vitamin Retailer in 2012, when the publication named Rainbow Blossom Retailer of the Year. But when world-famous rock bands began touring around Louisville, they relished Rainbow Blossom's wholesome pastas, produce, and macrobiotic and vegetarian cuisine, boosting the revenue and reputation of the mom-and-pop grocery and helping it expand to its present-day network of five locations.
Today, the family-run enterprise enjoys an avid following from health-conscious customers who stock up on organic dairy, produce, and veggie burgers or enrich their diets with nutritional bars, supplements, and vitamins. Plant extracts and amino acids keep bodies in healthful balance, and shelves full of naturally derived cosmetics, bath products, and housewares keep homes free from harsh chemicals and damaging pollutants.
GNC sets the standard in the nutritional supplement industry by demanding truth in labeling, ingredient safety and product potency, all while remaining on the cutting-edge of nutritional science. As the company has grown over the years, so has the commitment to Living Well. The listed stores are family operated Franchise's
At Complete Nutrition, shoppers can tap into the expertise of personal trainers, former strength coaches, and immortal gym teachers who've taught volleyball for centuries. Upon request, these experts usher shoppers through the store, assembling vitamins and supplements that support personalized health or exercise regimens. Alternatively, shoppers can assemble their own nutrients online by following a color-coded system with weight-loss (purple), sports-nutrition (red), and general-health (green) products. The company stocks more than 200 products that fit these categories, providing shoppers with an exclusive source for dietary and health supplements that cannot be found anywhere else. Sports nutrients abide by both high school and NCAA standards, helping athletes to bulk up without having to tear the rule books in half.
Chef Sandy Pike acquired lots of free time when she sold her dessert business, Queen of Tarts, in 2005. Soon afterward, a close family member needed a diet overhaul following some stern words from the doctor. Drawing upon more than 20 years of culinary experience and a love affair with local, seasonal ingredients, Sandy began preparing healthy, flavorful meals ideal for diabetics. Before long, non-diabetic friends and neighbors began clamoring for her creations as well. In response, she launched Home Cuisine, a kitchen where she and fellow chefs create complete, nutritious meals that can be picked up or delivered, then heated and enjoyed at home.
Filled with fresh produce and lean meats—not trans fats or chunks of deep-fried Spam—her dishes showcase healthy eating's tasty side and illustrate the concept of portion control. Her staffers follow the American Heart Association's dietary guidelines and consult dietitians and food scientists from two local universities to ensure that each meal is as balanced as possible.
Sandy and her daughter Mae, a seasoned event planner, support a variety of area charities, including Boys & Girls Haven, Dare to Care Food Bank, and Blessings in a Backpack.