Every September, Aw Shucks farms opens its fields to the public and celebrates harvest season with a variety of family-friendly activities. The hallmark attraction is the farm's annual corn maze, a beloved fall tradition that invites guests to navigate the seven foot corn stalks by light of day, or at night, guided by flashlights. But the fun doesn't stop once they find the exit?a grain bin slide, tumbleweed roll, antique train car, and paddleboats are just a few of the attractions waiting to be explored by visitors young and old. Hayrides give passengers a scenic view of the farm grounds during the day, while at night, adventurous souls can gather around a bonfire to devour s'mores and listen to spine-tingling tales told by local storytellers.
Of course, if scary stories aren't enough to raise the hair on your neck, you can always attempt the farm's other blood-curdling attraction: the 13th Acre Haunted House. Beginning at dusk on Friday and Saturday nights, horrific creatures descend upon the farm to terrorize the living as they wind their way through the darkened woods. The scenes are so gruesome, that the event is not recommended for children under age 8 or theater critics who are easily bothered by overacting.
Simply Divine Sweets owner Yaschica Sloan-Mills believes her purpose in life is to make others happy with her treats. A few years ago, she began doing just that while selling desserts to her family, friends, and coworkers. Soon, though, with the opening of her shop, it was more than just Yaschica's loved ones and acquaintances reaping the benefits of her devotion to decadence. At Simply Divine, Yaschica bakes every cupcake from scratch and presents batches in an artful, sophisticated manner. She also offers a wide range of gourmet flavors, from cherry vanilla to Kickin' key lime.
Charlotte magazine isn't coy in its praise of Clean Catch Fish Market. "Simply stated, Clean Catch Fish Market is the fish market Charlotte has been waiting for," it raved when it awarded the market its 2012 Editors' Choice Award for Best Fish Market, citing the "quality and freshness." The market also came out on top in that year’s Voters' Choice Awards.
Living up to the accolades, staffers curate seasonal selections of the freshest fish possible, such as Alaskan cod or swordfish caught wild in state. Though they're continually searching for exciting, new seafood, they always offer a selection of sushi-grade fish, oysters, and shellfish. Clean Catch Fish Market dedicates itself to sustainable seafood, and the vast majority of catches are wild.
The market's chefs can give shoppers tips on how to cook their finds or give recipe suggestions, but they also whip up dishes of their own, such as shrimp gumbo, jumbo crab cakes, and complete fish-taco kits. Every day, staffers post links to the day's offerings on their Twitter page, and they allow customers to text in their orders to the shop rather than making them send their overworked carrier pigeons.
For Brent and Jennifer Kasmer, falling in love didn't just lead to marriage and a baby. It has inspired them to help others reach their potential, whether training for a marathon or modeling healthier habits for their kids. At their studio, Everlasting Changes, they combine their strengths to help exercisers of all levels meet their fitness goals. Brent?the winner of Charlotte magazine's Best Personal Trainer award?brings more than 10 years of fitness expertise to their studio. Jennifer was dubbed favorite nutritionist in Charlotte for 2013 by Elevate Lifestyle readers, and is certified in personal training, bootcamp instruction, and nutrition. She also draws on her counseling background to provide motivation and emotional support.
Memberships grant 24-hour access to a host of exercise equipment, including treadmills, elliptical trainers, leg-press machines, and free weights. During personal training sessions, clients push toward their goals with custom workouts and healthy eating plans. Brent, the middleweight victor in Mega Muscle's 2009 Mr. North Carolina competition, also offers specialized training for natural bodybuilders, which includes physique-sculpting exercises, nutrition consultations, and tips on wowing the judges at competitions, such as learning to flex your earlobes.
At Holistic Wellness Center of Charlotte, co-founders Dr. Arthur Cushing and Mr. Kristien M. Boyle work together to treat patients with research-based holistic and functional medicine. After watching his late first wife react adversely to multiple allergens, Dr. Cushing made it his life’s mission to root out allergy causes, developing the AllerCease technique in the process. This holistic method uses vibrations to bring the body’s frequency in harmony with the frequencies of different allergens, thus curing the body of the ailment. In addition to his allergy expertise, he also treats patients with services such as kinesiology, scar-tissue therapy, weight loss and detoxification, and trigger-point-release therapy. A licensed practitioner of oriental medicine and acupuncture, Mr. Boyle uses his vast medical knowledge to treat patients via blood work, saliva testing, acupressure, and Chinese and Western herbology.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s many locations stock fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.