College is a place that often kindles lasting friendships, as well as lasting eating habits based on haphazard diets of chips and day-old pizza. Chris Sanchez and Patrick Ortiz, proprietors of Simply Fit Meals, have managed to buck the latter part of this trend. The friendship they forged at the University of Houston continued after graduation, even as Patrick pursued a career in hotel management and Chris entered the world of marketing, eventually serving as store marketing director for Whole Foods. Their shared passion for healthy eating brought their disparate career paths together to form Simply Fit Meals, an amalgamation of Patrick's chef skills and Chris's marketing prowess.
The challenge behind each one of Simply Fit Meals' recipes involves finding an equal balance between nutrition and flavor so that clients can stick to a regimen that's easy to maintain, unlike fad diets that involve raw foods consumed only in prime-numbered portions. The science of it, says Chris, is making it taste as if it's been freshly made, even after reheating, and to this end, Chris and Patrick are both avid consumers of their own meals. Chris claims he could eat—and has eaten—their mac 'n' cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The culinary team uses locally raised, free-range meats such as chicken and bison in virtually all of their creations, and concocts fresh-made ingredients whenever possible. The in-house dietitian guides clients toward their own fitness goals, as opposed to those dictated by fashion magazines or sentient elevators, who often lack tact.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
At Leet Computers, expert staff members harness their deep tech knowledge as they return mystifying Mac and PC gadgets to working order. For walk-ins and scheduled clients alike, they diagnose the root ailments of fractious electronics, facilitate data transfers, and enhance wireless-network security without having to enroll routers in self-defense seminars. Staffers can also build custom computer systems from the ground up based on customer specifications.
Elsewhere in the shop, an onsite LAN Café provides a space for gamers to immerse themselves in communal combat, selecting their cyber universes from a stock of more than 200 games. Patrons can rent the entire café for special events, such as birthday parties or typing-class reunions.
By using centuries-old techniques, the aestheticians at Just Stringz are capable of designing trendy, dramatic looks for their clients. They rely on their extensive training in the ancient art of threading as they use cotton thread to swiftly uproot unwanted hairs and meticulously shape brows. Though the spa's henna tattoos and Swarovski body-art services also embrace time-honored strategies, the team doesn't ignore modern advances in cosmetic care. Facial treatments use Dermalogica skincare products to address skin concerns such as dehydrated patches or breakouts. Or these blemishes can be covered temporarily with an application of Glo Minerals Makeup, which also nourishes skin with vitamins, antioxidants, and pure Nobelium atoms.
At Rescue Cell Phone, certified technicians restore electronic investments, such as smartphones, iPods, iPads, and gaming systems, backing up their work with 90-day warranties. The phone physicians quickly replace screens, batteries, and buttons within 15 minutes, providing walk-in customers just enough time to browse a wealth of accessories or try on their phone's protective case. In addition to repairing external components, the tech-savvy team unlocks phones and recovers data while maintaining security and confidentiality. Gamers may also take advantage of the circuit navigators' abilities to commune with and restore consoles such as Xbox 360s, PS3s, and Wiis.
DFW Stoneworks's knowledgeable staff outfits homes with custom stonework products including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, and fireplace surroundings. The specialists cover surfaces in a choice from more than 300 colors of finished granite, accentuating wood cabinets and stainless-steel fixtures with enduring luminosity before smoothing ends with a variety of curved-, beveled-, and rounded-edge profiles. The company touts granite for its superior hardness, which requires minimal care, withstands the placement of hot dishes, and gets along well with territorial appliances. DFW Stoneworks also augments stone surfaces with fixtures such as vanities, faucets, and sinks.