The staff members at Carolina Health Innovations don’t stop at simply treating chronic pain—they delve into its source to try and correct the cause. Their thorough approach advises a combination of several disciplines, including chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, massage, and nutritional counseling. With licensed experts manning each branch, the wellness center dispenses noninvasive treatments that are tailored to every client's needs.
Whether stopping in for fresh-baked scones and bread, ordering organic coffee, or perusing the fresh produce, guests at Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, which is located along the Swamp Rabbit Bike Trail, are assured that the majority of the food is locally grown and produced. The staff prepares espresso drinks with local dairy and assembles boxes of seasonal produce for its grocery-store patrons. The grocery also carries raw cow and goat milk, local honey, and locally crafted chocolate. Swamp Rabbit continues its eco-friendly mission by hosting seasonal art markets, as well as an outdoor music series where donations go to community gardens.
At Tree Of Life Massage Therapy Center, certified therapists bring a holistic approach to pain management. Gentle hands help circulate the blood, relieve knots, and promote relaxation as therapists blend styles from Swedish, deep-tissue, sports, and neuromuscular therapy. Sessions help combat common ailment such as lower-back pain and headaches, as well as soothe the symptoms related to fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome.
For the past decade, Blue Sky Café owners Julianna and Mark Pletcher have continually added to a menu nearly as big and cheery as the restaurant’s namesake. Cooks are proud of their hefty, hand-formed burgers and their chicken—each served in a dazzling array of preparations—but there are just as many health-conscious wraps and salads and vegetarian and vegan dishes. A recent development is a creative, sweet-and savory brunch service, where cheese and garlic turn grits into a bowlful of decadence and prosciutto and parmesan put the Sicilian in a Sicilian frittata.
Kids get their own, more-flexible-than-usual menu, though they’ll have to weigh whether to dig in or finish what they’ve been drawing with provided crayons on the paper placemats. A further draw for tots is the playhouse that stands on an oasis of a patio, whose tall wooden fence encloses hanging lanterns, huge umbrellas, and plants trailing from every wall as they toward their goal of trying the sweet-potato fries everybody keeps talking about.
The wine pours freely and the beer bubbles over frosty pint glasses at Grape and Grains, a family-operated homebrew and wine retailer that couples an appreciation for fine craftsmanship with a DIY approach. Owners Kenny and Janel Anderson—enthusiastic experts in hops and wine, respectively—have combined their passions into an enterprise that is one part supply shop and one part educational hub. As Janel presides over the wine bar and teaches classes in wine making, Kenny leads excursions into the complex world of home brewing, showing off the various hop varieties of IPAs and the tears of ousted MPs that give English ales their signature bitterness. The couple share their zeal for spirits with all comers at least 21 years of age, granting members of Grape and Grains' beer and wine club a 10% discount and military vets a 20% discount on products and classes.
Edible Arrangements offers up more than 50 fresh, artful fruit baskets that combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy edibility of fruit. The sweetery's designers stud the Delicious Daisy ($35), a bouquet of sliced honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe, with strawberries and strings of grapes that double as a 25th-anniversary gift for a Smucker's jam heiress. Decadent, gluten-free layers of white and semisweet chocolate coat fruit in a 12-piece box of hand-dipped strawberries, apples, and bananas ($25). Customers can also put today's Groupon toward a larger centerpiece, such as the Melon Delight ($76), a decorative spray of watermelon wedges, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and double-dipped bananas sprouting from a watering can. The preservative-free treats are all handcrafted at the apex of freshness, readying hand-dipped dainties to be hand-shoved into eagerly awaiting mouths.
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.