When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first of their gyms in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders' original vision, each location's employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities. In addition to personal training, instructors lead a schedule of more than 400 group fitness classes?including cycling, Kardio Kick, and Zumba?offered each week across their eight locations. At the clubs, trainers also help guests master CrossFit functional equipment and use TRX suspension training systems to help them connect with their vine-savvy pet orangutans.
The Lackawanna headquarters of Phoenix Scuba and Water Sports is situated so that it attracts both Canadian diving enthusiasts who drop in from the Niagara Peninsula as well as divers from throughout western New York State. Recreational-minded beginners hop into an indoor pool to build skills and underwater experience before venturing out to the open water on one of the company's scuba charters. Meanwhile, Phoenix's veteran instructors work with professional divers-in-training who are trying to become certified. Instructional programs are also offered in adaptive diving, which trains those with physical disabilities to safely enjoy the joys of scuba. Through the years, the resident community of adaptive divers has made trips to exotic locales such as the Cayman Islands, where divers explore the ocean's depths and play Battleship underwater.
Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company?founded in 1910?grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula?s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.
Occupying the same spot on a blacktop parking lot since the 1950s, the walk-up windows at Fran-Ceil Custard jog nostalgic memories of generations past. Although the sweetery has been under its current ownership for the past 30 years, the legacy of the shop's namesake Frances and Celia—wives to founders Tony and Michael—lives on not only in name, but also through the same French-style custard that has filled cups for more than half a century. A rotating menu of weekly flavors, such as pistachio, tangerine, or black raspberry, spirals into cones alongside the original chocolate and vanilla custards, and 13 varieties of hard-scoop ice cream form a decadent base for banana splits, fudge brownie sundaes, and poorly constructed suspension bridges. Over the years, homemade sherbets have been added into the mix, making rotating batches of lime, raspberry, and orange scoops.
Delta Sonic Car Wash renews tarnished transportation with an innovative touchless car-wash system that automatically guides vehicles through a tunnel of high-pressure sprays and overhead buffing cloths. The hands-free wash massages mild lotions into paint jobs, leaving vehicles with sparkling, fingerprint-free finishes that are backed by a five-day guarantee. Detailing technicians do get their hands dirty as they make use of more than 100 hours of training to dote on vehicle interiors and exteriors with products from ValuGard, Aquapel, and Blue Coral. The team wields AOCA certification know-how when injecting engines with oil and devising rustproofing treatments that avoid drilling holes or covering corrosion in zit cream.
Ever since Cindy Barrett opened Comfort Zone Cafe in 1997, she and her family have worked tirelessly to meet her vision of what a coffee house should be. From the fair-trade Arabica coffee to the free WiFi, everything is geared to make patrons feel welcome.
In the mornings, cooks prepare sandwiches and toast bagels for breakfast served all day. They then begin grilling paninis and simmering made-from-scratch soups as morning ages into afternoon. Guests can sip caf? drinks such as the Almond Joy latte or the Emerald Champagne?a medley of pineapple, celery, and fruit juice served over ice.