More than a century ago, an industrious farmer named Gerard enlisted the help of bees to pollinate his family estate. Inadvertently, the buzzing insects fertilized a new passion for Gerard, one that would become a family tradition.
Four generations later, Gerard’Z Honeybees' bustling hives create more than a dozen local and monofloral honeys from such plants as star thistle, orange blossoms, and avocado blossoms. Because the honeys are completely raw and natural, they maintain the micro-nutritious qualities often left out of industrial varieties, and they may help allergy sufferers to acclimate to their local pollen varieties.
Gerard’Z holds year-round beekeeping workshops and honey tasting seminars at local wineries, nurseries, and farmers’ markets throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley. During the classes and tastings, bee experts demystify the process of maintaining a hive, and people get the chance to taste the difference between clover honey, buckwheat honey, black sage honey, and Doritos honey. Gerard’Z also helps to maintain the delicate honeybee population by finding homes for wild swarms or colonies that have built hives in unwanted places and might otherwise fall prey to exterminators.
The artistic outliners at Frugal Frames ensure photos, paintings, and posters look their most attention-grabbyest with complementary matting, glass, and custom or ready-made frames. They stock materials from exotic locations, enabling clients to find the perfect components for outlining wall-ready paintings of fruit bowls or handwritten letters from telemarketers apologizing for dinner interruptions. The versatile framers can even add flair to flat-screen TVs with frames, adding a touch of class to each Saturday morning cartoon-watching session.
Funakoshi Fitness’s certified personal trainers lead goal-oriented sessions in an intimate gym environment. Preliminary visits begin with an interview to determine current fitness levels and goals to help trainers customize each workout. Clients are granted ample time to stretch and a cauldron to warm up in before embarking on their hour of cardio exertion, weight training, and resistance training.
Kid Red Entertainment knows how to crash a party–and make it better. The full-service entertainment company can add a sweet touch to events with confectionary indulgences such as cotton-candy machines or tubs of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Favorite characters take center stage on rented movie screens or as costumed guests and recite kid-friendly monologues from Titus Andronicus. Kid Red can also supply a DJ to soundtrack sweet sixteens, weddings, school dances, and other celebrations.
Named Favorite Dry Cleaner by Modesto Bee readers in 2010, Del Rio Cleaners wins fans by treating attire and bedding using earth-friendly products and processes. The stain-busting staff can re-crisp men's shirts ($2.60) and refresh cozy sweaters ($7). Two-piece suits ($12.70) receive an extra dose of dapper, and freshness retires to bed following the thorough cleaning of comforters ($25), bedspreads ($23.75), and over-counted sheep. Legs can swing free and easy beneath rejuvenated dresses ($10.25), snuggle inside newly cleaned pants ($5.75), or envy arms ensconced in jackets ($6.25). Free of petroleum and air contaminants, the GreenEarth process cleans clothes without harming the air, water, or other colors' feelings.
To become a princess, a girl needs to either be born into royalty or earn it by befriending hordes of mice. At Pretty in Pink Unique Party Boutique, however, any girl can transform into a princess during the Princess Tea Party—one of many themed parties carried out by friendly hostesses for girls ages three and up. Within a Mad Hatter-themed tea party room, guests enjoy cake and receive glamorous makeovers, styling their hair and spritzing it with glitter before topping it with a dazzling tiara. Other parties mimic a day at the spa, adopt a Hello Kitty theme, or let girls live out their dreams of being rock stars by shouting awkward stage banter into a karaoke machine. For a dose of glamor on a whim, smaller groups of 1–3 girls can also walk in to the boutique and receive miniature versions of makeovers as well as mani-pedis.