To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
A referee stands guard over the designated trampoline dodge-ball court as teams soar through the air in graceful arcs and rebound off the walls. The fast-paced game reflects Great Jump Sports' mission to refresh workout routines. In doing so, the staff keeps upbeat music pouring out of the sound system and welcomes fitness clubs to hold classes in the arena.
Though the arena fosters a jovial environment, safety is paramount. Padding covers all hard surfaces, and vertical walls and netting prevent spills. Staffers keep the vast arena well ventilated and air-conditioned, and use all-natural, scent-free disinfectants. They also supply all jumpers with skid-free socks for safe landings.
Once patrons have expended energy reserves and perfected their meteor impersonations, they can head to the arcade or settle in at Great Jump Sports' café, where chefs bake pizzas in a brick oven and arrange fruit and veggie platters for up to 12 people.
Inside Line Racing gives RC enthusiasts a venue to pit their mechanical monsters against radio-controlled rivals in tests of speed and skill. A large, winding foam track provides the arena upon which glory will be won and reputations will be shattered as motor-powered autos careen toward the finish line. Rentals are fully able to hold their own, even against home-brewed speed machines, ensuring a fun and fair hour of competition for beginners and Mario Andrettis alike.
Color Me Mine puts paintbrushes and pottery in the mitts of customers old and young. Budding Toyozo Arakawas will follow six easy steps to craft beautifully painted ceramics, first choosing a ceramic piece (most cost between $12 and $70) from Color Me Mine's selection of hundreds of seasonally changing items. After charting out the desired design from individual imagination or Color Me Mine's idea gallery, painters will select an underglaze from a cast of more than 50 colors, then apply paint with the focus of a peregrine falcon occupied by a Rockwellian spirit. Color Me Mine handles all kiln-firing work, allowing clients to take home their final products within three to five days.