Sweet Retreat Boutique's palate-popular bakers curb relentless sweet-tooth cravings with made-from-scratch cupcakes and whole cakes that have flaunted such flavors as red velvet, carrot, and pineapple cream cheese. The shop's imaginative cake designers work closely with clients to assemble custom cakes that commemorate special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and the end of century-long thumb wars. Premade cakes in a variety of sizes come in round and square shapes, and proudly don top-shelf ingredients and layers of tasty frosting.
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.
Chris Halabi brings his scissors, his razors, and his 12 years of haircutting experience to his clients’ homes and offices. Fresh off a 12-year stint at Pequannock Barber Shop, Chris began making trips to the offices of businessmen, the homes of fathers and sons, and the homes of elderly and disabled clients who were unable to venture out of the house for a haircut. With a veteran’s eye and rehearsed technique, Chris sculpts handsome men’s haircuts and renders faces smooth and stubble-free with razor shaves, all while clients relax in the comfort of their chosen surroundings.
At Elegant Creations, a full-service jewelry store, glass display counters twinkle and shine with rows of engagement rings, bracelets, and custom timepieces from designer brands such as Odelia and Joe Rodeo, along with a complete spectrum of GIA– and EGL–certified diamonds. Ladies may add instant glamour or superhero-summoning capabilities to wrists with the Rio watch by Joe Rodeo ($1,376), which comes with 1.25 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds pave-set into the bezel. The meticulous watch designer also crafts gentlemen’s wrist clocks such as the Junior watch ($995), featuring 2.50 carats of brilliant-cut diamonds. Both timepieces come in a variety of color dials and include an additional bezel and two leather bands with deployment buckles. In addition, Elegant Creations sets ears ablaze white-gold and diamond-stud earrings ($180) which are also available in hearts, circles, and squares with screw-backs for extra safety ($225) or easy installation on bionic sweethearts.
Enrico Aquino III began tinkling the ivories at the age of three, eventually playing his way to the hallowed performance spaces at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The talented pianist was born into a musical family: his father opened a music school and piano store in New Jersey, and Aquino has kept the family tradition alive by embracing his father’s belief in friendly, encouraging instruction. The retailer pairs players with new and pre-owned pianos made by brands such as Seiler, J. Strauss & Son, and Baldwin Pianos or digital pianos from makers such as Viscount and Korg. The music academy, meanwhile, has guided fingers of all ages in waltzing across keys for more than 60 years. The academy’s skilled instructors delve into classical, jazz, and popular music during private lessons for pupils who have never read music to those who swallowed a metronome as a child and have been reaping the benefits ever since.
Bob Meyer, who has spent many a tour alongside bands such as Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Phish, and The Allman Brothers, helms Give To Live Guitar Studios, which provides music lessons with a focus on community outreach. He and his staff of experienced, enthusiastic instructors welcome students for lessons in stringed instruments such as guitar, violin, banjo, mandolin, or bass as well as drums, vocals, and keyboards. They teach in all styles, from Bach to rock and roll, and help their students move from basics to live performance, hosting benefit concerts for local charities.