Ray Lamar hasn't spent decades perfecting his donuts. In fact, his namesake shops still use the same recipes that Ray developed in 1933—at the age of 17—when he got his first job working a donut fryer. World War II and a postwar career as a stockbroker interrupted Ray's donut-making pursuits, although he returned to his roots in 1960 when he founded the first LaMar's Donuts.
The shop went on to become a Kansas City icon, with crowds arriving well before 6 a.m. to line up outside the doors and taunt the roosters for sleeping in. Ray and his wife, Shannon, eventually decided to expand their business into a regional empire, and LaMar's Donuts currently boasts 27 franchised stores spread across six states.
Even with all of this growth, decades-old traditions still dictate how things are done. The workers prepare more than 75 different kinds of donuts, hand-making fresh batches of perennial favorites as well as recent inventions each and every morning. In addition to the original glazed creation that dates back to 1933, the menus can feature a variety of cake donuts with flavors such as red velvet, apple spice, and maple.
Since donuts and coffee go together as naturally as paper shredders and subpar report cards, the stores also prepare cappuccinos, mochas, and other coffee drinks. These are all made with handpicked beans that slowly roast inside Italian brick ovens.
400 locations nationwide and counting... Serta, the world's largest mattress manufacturer, proudly owns the America's Mattress brand and subsidizes dozens of independent store operators nationwide, giving our customers the benefit of factory-direct deals while receiving that warm and fuzzy family-owned service they desire.
At eight showrooms across the Kansas City area, SleepOne Mattress Superstore's aptly named sleep advisors recommend mattresses that will accommodate budgets and physical conditions such as stiffness and pain. After scouring the showroom's floor, the staff might suggest a Sterns and Foster mattress made with materials such as silk and cashmere. They also offer delivery and removal of the old mattresses.
SleepOne Mattress Superstore also fights nightmares with several guarantees. For example, their staff will refund 110% of the difference in price if customers find the same mattress sold for less. They also exchange mattresses for up to a year (only charging a redelivery fee) and offer a rehabilitation program for reformed boogeymen.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
The thousands of unpainted pottery pieces that line Walls Of Clay’s walls are each blank canvases for painters’ creative designs. Pottery in shapes like plates, heart-shaped tiles, and animal figurines wait for the studio's provided brushes and paints to bring them to life. Once decorated, the pottery pieces spend time in the studio’s kiln, where under the watchful eye of Walls Of Clay staffers, their paint jobs become permanent, like a dishwasher-safe tattoo.
A wave of pastel hues washes over the walls of Lauren Alexandra's two elegant boutiques, where baby and maternity specialist Pamela Dicapo has been outfitting infants, toddlers, and their parents with upscale accessories since 1994. Newborn essentials—stuffed animals, baby-talk translators, and blankets from brands such as My Blankee and Little Giraffe—share colorful shelf space with apparel from European clothiers such as CakeWalk and Catimini. The shops brim with a bevy of accouterments, and Pamela's passion for all things baby-related extends beyond her store. She and her supporting crew travel to parents’ homes to cultivate domestic comfort with professional room design services, harnessing their decorating finesse to help parents select soothing, kid-friendly wall treatments, furniture, and carpet.