With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets. Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers—made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water—and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Mighty Leaf teas flavored with hibiscus flowers or peppermint. For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents a trio of california flatbreads, each packing only about 320–420 calories, which can be pleasantly capped off with cups of Whirl’ns frozen yogurt.
From T-ballers to the big leagues, All Out Baseball has armed ballplayers with the necessary tools for diamond dominance since swinging open its doors in 1999. Inside two Bay-area locations, top brands including Rawlings, Wilson, and Nike anchor all-star lineups of gear dedicated solely to baseball and fast-pitch softball. Wooden and aluminum bats lie neatly across wall hooks, MLB apparel sways from team-organized racks, and, nestled within individual display cases, the latest gloves pine for approval, like puppies or adoptable umpires in a pet-shop window. As visitors scurry across each shop's grass-green floors, knowledgeable staff members stand by to toss advice and tips into the strike zones of open ears.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
For more than 20 years, The Beauty Source has helped shoppers strengthen their hair, cleanse their pores, highlight their eyes, and generally look their best. The shop's stock encompasses popular and respected lines such as Pureology, Redken, Matrix, and Jane Iredale. The Beauty Source's appreciation of its patrons extends beyond its knowledgeable customer service to its reward and VIP programs, as well as an agreement to split any treasure found on Paul Mitchell's pirate ghost ship.
More than 10 years ago, Tracy Guymon, the co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports’ Pleasant Hill location, suffered a serious fall that left her with a broken back, crushed vertebrae, and a fractured skull. Not only were her dreams of a fitness career in jeopardy, but it also looked like she might never be able to walk again. After years of hard work and not losing sight of her dream, Tracy purchased Fleet Feet Sports Pleasant Hill with her mother, Kathie, and began sharing her experience with others to inspire them toward a fit and a healthier life.
In their store, Tracy, Kathie, and their team of dedicated gazelles help fitness buffs find the appropriate gear to match their routines and ability levels. By carefully assessing specific foot types and gait cycles, staffers can match customers with a brand-name sole mate to cradle their feet during long jogs or power strolls, and a plentiful stock of technical gear keeps men and women comfy in weather-appropriate attire.
The store's calendar of events stays up-to-date on races, marathon training, and fun runs to help customers stay active. And speaking of marathons, not only did Tracy regain her ability to walk, she took it to the next level. Since her accident, she has competed in the Boston Marathon, several Nike women’s marathons, including a few triathlons such as the Ironman, proving to herself and others that with enough willpower, passion can conquer all.
In 2000, three friends pooled their resources to take Take One Video under their wing, growing the rental store into studios that not only lend art, but create it. At its height, Take One had reigned over the East Bay with four outposts; eventually, however, its influence dwindled to a single location that was suffering from lack of diversity, the increasing availability of online movies, and the mysterious appearance of sitcoms in the late-night sky. The current crew's knowledge of diverse film genres helps visitors navigate the cult-movie selection, and a seven-day rental policy—with rewards for early returns—gives renters the time to cultivate their connoisseurship. Unsatisfied by the distribution and archival preservation of audio, images, and film, Take One's staff amassed backdrops and light modifiers to build a photography studio and began using their post-analog savvy to create digital scrapbooks of their clients' newly transferred files.