For more than 40 years, the family of experienced bouquet designers at J. Miller Flowers and Gifts has trussed blushing blossoms into works of botanical art. The store's hand-arranged, dew-fresh cut-flower arrangements nestle up against blooming and green plants, imported vases, chocolates, and gardening gnomes for hire waiting along the back wall. Pick up the bestselling How Sweet It Is bouquet, ablaze with fiery orange roses and hot-pink carnations ($34.95 standard), or cheer up a lonely table with the Be Happy arrangement, nodding with yellow roses and gregarious daisies in a happy-face mug ($35 standard). Nature-loving bouquets, such as the live-plant Violets and Butterflies basket ($32.95), provide perennial smiles, and the minimalist-chic of the Zen Artistry orchid arrangement ($42.95 standard) packs maximum beauty into one simple setting. For thoughtful reparations that say "Sorry I sold your cat online" better than words ever could, try the red roses in the Always On My Mind bouquet ($57.95 standard).
At BodySculptMD, Dr. Janice Vaughn focuses on women's health by addressing the mind, body, and spirit from the cells up. She offers medical and weight-loss services including bioidentical hormone therapy, metabolic testing, and customized weight-loss programs to reeducate bodily systems and prevent or reverse cell breakdown. To enhance outsides, Dr. Vaughn also performs noninvasive aesthetic procedures with devices such as ReFirme, VelaShape, and Zerona. The laser- or radiofrequency-based treatments are designed to tighten skin and reduce fat and cellulite, and, like the best power naps, require little to no downtime.
A single weathervane squeaks as it sways in the breeze atop a peaked roof. Below it, a building dating back to 1948 houses Montclair Bistro amid fieldstone and brick pathways created in french provincial style. At 7 years old, future chef and owner Henry Vortriede began his cooking career by thumbing through culinary magazines and preparing meals for his family of eight. After going on to earn diplomas in food and wine at Le Cordon Bleu and L'Académie du Vin in Paris, France, he honed his skills as a chef in several French restaurants and created chocolate art showpieces at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.
Today, as owner and chef at Montclair Bistro, Vortriede draws on his culinary background to create a rotating menu that includes organic chicken scaloppini sourced from Petaluma Farms, duck-and-wild-mushroom quesadillas with brown-butter chestnuts, and thick, double-cut pork chops with sweet-potato-apple pancakes. Another menu of brunch fare combines traditional favorites such as scrambled eggs with black truffle and eggs benedict with lobster cake.
Vortriede's taste is on display not only on plates but also on the restaurant’s walls, where elegant painted canvases hang. Two hundred bottles of wine stand nearby on storage racks inside walk-in glass covered with the pressed noses of oenophiles. The decor, which includes dark carpeting and dark chairs, white-linen-covered tables, and flickering candles, helped earn the restaurant OpenTable's 2012 Diners' Choice award for romantic restaurant in East Bay.
Inspired by their twin boys, the family behind Green Heat Services decided to create a company that would improve the energy efficiency and health of their home. They had been in the indoor-heating-and-cooling business for more than a quarter century, and so applied their knowledge toward rounding up a capable crew and streamlining the experience for their patrons. A licensed HVAC technician oversees each team during installations and commands the use of vigorous carpet cleaners and truck-mounted, portable, black-hole-powered vacuums. In addition to helping families breathe easier via cleaner indoor air, the business lowers blood pressure by scheduling their visits in two-hour increments, rather than having clients wait all day for crews to arrive.
IHS Management LLC's talented bookkeepers specialize in transforming ailing hotels, clubs, and restaurants into profitable ventures, but that's only the beginning of their sizable financial knowledge. The company's services range from consulting on vendor sourcing and business efficiency to market analytics and even personal income-tax consulting. IHS's auditors also work on inventory metrics and create systems to improve productivity for companies looking to get more bang for their budget or families whose self-guided vacuum cleaner has been taking absurdly long coffee breaks. Using Intuit software, the company's professionals go onsite for bookkeeping services and training to help their clients become self-sufficient and learn the fundamentals of cash flow, depreciation, and financial audits.