After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
The dynamic instructors at each of the six centers teach a holistic approach to yoga and noncombative martial arts that targets flexibility, strength, breathing, and energy sensitivity. Schedules vary from studio to studio, with regular open-level classes such as those at BR Holistic Healing integrating a core regimen of stretching, breathing, and strengthening postures that improve keg-stand techniques tremendously. Vibration sessions at the Body & Brain Center in Metuchen and Dahn Yoga in Closter and Oradell can release stagnant energy and recharge bodies to take on exhausting second jobs impersonating the Energizer bunny at birthday parties. Instructors monitor students' progress, suggesting home-workout plans tailored to personal strengths and vulnerability to fire.
Clicks & Bricks Learning Center has a simple motto: building smarter children, one brick at a time. The center runs workshops that introduce young kids to engineering and architecture using legos and computer-programming toys. In weekly classes, kids improve problem-solving and communication skills while constructing robots and simple machines out of colorful plastic blocks.
Signature service: engineering lego classes for children
Staff size: 2?10 people
Average duration of services: one to two hours
Brands used: lego educational bricks and programs
Pro tip: children enjoy an hour of creating and building while parents shop, work, or just relax.
For more than 27 years, the customers of NJ's Tavern & Restaurant have relished its elevated tavern fare. They dunk french dip sandwiches—stuffed with thin sheets of roast beef—into steaming bowls of au jus, or sink their teeth into juicy Monster burgers tamed by the restaurant's special sauce. The kitchen crafts pizzas with seasonal organic vegetables and infuses the crusts with parmesan. On weekends, diners choose from a brunch menu with both sweet and savory options, including pancakes, crème brûlée french toast, and frittatas.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Sponsored by Champps Americana in Edison, NJ
Pro Tip: Relive the fun of recess as an adult.
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Dodgeball
Recommended Age Group: Adults
Black Belt Institute hosts a variety of fitness and martial-arts classes for students of all ages. Children's classes, which start at age 4, include karate, tae kwon do, and kung fu, and emphasize self-esteem and confidence. Adult classes include yoga, tai chi, and cardio kickboxing, and work to reduce stress and build positive self-image while bolstering self-defense.