Dream Dinners founders Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna want to help families gather around the table for delicious meals. Like many parents throughout the country, the two women tried to coordinate a family dinner, but their efforts were often thwarted by hectic schedules. As a dinnertime strategy, Stephanie began to prepare meals with fresh, raw ingredients and then freeze them so they could be quickly thawed and cooked during the week. This tactic became popular with her family. Before long, friends, friends of friends, and chimpanzee families that mimicked their friends wanted to learn her secrets. With help from Tina Kuna, she established the first Dream Dinners location, and the successful food-prep business has led to the creation of more than 90 stores in less than three years.
At each Dream Dinners location, customers find all the culinary tools to prepare a nutritious meal—everything from fresh ingredients to meal-packing materials. Each week Dream Dinners features a new menu of fix-and-freeze dinners that can be made for up to six people, providing customers with numerous options for planning quiet meals at home or dinner parties with friends. All ingredients are precut and measured to ensure an error-free fixing.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
The piney scents of douglas firs, white firs, and scotch pines waft through the grounds of Summit Christmas Tree Farm, an 80-acre farm located just east of Highway 17. After finding a tree of the right size and height, customers take part in a time-honored holiday tradition: chopping it down with tools provided by the farm. All that chopping can work up an appetite, which is why the Cub Scouts operate an onsite snack shack.
Whether setting long locks into romantic curls, lightening a pixie cut to an edgy blond hue, or coloring hair with cotton-candy pinks and lavenders, Paige Chand is prepared to give clients a style that suits their personality. She performs both cut and color services as well as semi-permanent straightening treatments and special-occasion styling for a wedding or half-marathon. She pulls from the salon's high-end collection of professional haircare serums, which includes styling products from Kevin Murphy, Pureology, PRIV?, and Ecru.
At Smile Center of Los Gatos, Dr. Ginnylee Roderick personally polishes grins with an expansive slate of general dentistry and cosmetic services, drawing upon more than 16 years of experience. Muted spotlights illuminate a warm, contemporary waiting area with a bubbling aquarium that entertains patients and then lulls them to sleep. During appointments, low-radiation digital x-rays and intraoral cameras help scout out problem areas as electric handpieces expedite decay removal and a CEREC machine speedily molds crowns, inlays, and veneers. Painless teeth-whitening sessions can take place at home or in the office, and Dr. Roderick also checks in on gums with periodontal services, sometimes giving patients eggs fresh from her own chicken coop to hard-boil and then test-drive newly cleaned chompers.