Bentley is a poodle–shih tzu mix with hair flowing down the floor. His distrust of strangers was so intense that he couldn't even go into a PetSmart without getting kicked out. The same story applied to Brodie, a rescued poodle, who snapped at every groomer he ever had. But because she was a certified trainer before becoming a groomer, Mandi Gorton could read their signals and knew when they just needed to chill out and when they needed to know they were safe. Now the two dogs are among the most well-behaved clients of The Green Paw Spa. As Gorton observes, dogs—like people—are just more agreeable when they know cookies and massages are coming.
When Gorton describes The Green Paw Spa as a "holistic pet salon," she means every word. Each appointment begins with Gorton bringing the furry client to a relaxed state. Then she starts pampering with organic, biodegradable shampoos and conditioners. Her own dog, a border collie mix named Wamba, has allergies so intense that just the air of a traditional grooming salon causes her to break out in hives. So to help keep her and all dogs healthy, Gorton bans harsh chemicals from the spa, right down to the furniture, which is made of recycled materials. In fact, the South Bark blueberry facial she uses is so pure that it's edible, which probably explains why most dogs don't mind having it worked into their snouts. Further eco-friendly touches include a bathing system that uses approximately 2 gallons of water to wash a dog, compared to the 10–15 gallons used by traditional baths, and a pet taxi that carpools companions back and forth from their homes to save owners gas and let dogs brag to their friends about having a chauffer.
Rafeal Mekhanjian, the founder of StartMyDiet, began as a dietitian for a fitness company for 5 years before launching his own business, where he now fuels his passion for developing and supplementing custom diets and workout regimens. A staff of nutrition experts and muscle whisperers helps fill the gaps in their clients' diets with a full spectrum of health supplements, ranging from multivitamins to muscle-bulking protein powders to antioxidants that ward off unwelcomed fat cell squatters.
With a fitness center on site, the nutrition and supplement superstore encompasses all the building blocks for wellness, including an online system that tracks customers' progress toward better physical fitness.
Since 1954, Cozy Caterers has set table for special events with crudités, entrees, desserts, and other delicacies. Executive chef Christine Todaro custom-designs menu items for each wedding, business lunch, or party to celebrate graduations or successfully contested parking tickets, crafting spreads such as custom pizzas, stilton cheese and hazelnut dip, and miniature coconut macaroons to suit every palate and theme. Cozy Caterers also dips into full-blown party planning upon request, coordinating with favorite local vendors to find entertainment and decorations to fit all manner of fetes.
John F. Nagle, the owner of J&D Landscaping & Lawn Care Inc., draws on more than 30 years of experience to lead a team of technicians who prune and nourish yards. The team’s outdoor maintenance services include fertilizing soil, controlling weeds, and protecting Giving Trees from ungrateful little boys. In addition to cultivating healthy soil and beautiful gardens, they can power-wash patios, sealcoat driveways, and stain outdoor decks.
Pauly Penta's Gourmet Italian Deli feeds hordes of hungry houseguests with a fresh menu of soups, sandwiches, grilled specialties, and bakery items forged with signature ingredient combinations and filler-free meats. Chefs adorn individual meals, party platters, and public sculptures with Boar's Head deli meats and natural, additive-free flavor. Italian-style cold-cut platters ($70) provide 15–20 couch referees with artfully arranged game-day fuel, and 12-inch stuffed calzones keep cheese hidden in warm, flaky crust ($40+). Chicken parmesan ($65) and baked penne ($50) simmer in 13"x9" entree platters, and stuffed mushrooms ($18.50/dozen) help to keep stomachs from interrupting broadcasts.