As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Spice Rack Chocolates' co-creators Paul and Mary Schellhammer left long-standing careers in order to make their shared culinary interests a full-time occupation. Before Spice Rack Chocolates fully evolved as a business, Mary worked as a personal chef. She developed an intimate knowledge of herbs and spices along the way, and started to invent unusual pairings of chocolate and herbs, which she left as after-dinner treats at the parties she catered. Her intrigued clientele began to come back to her shop, wailing like zombies for more chocolate, and the business became a cacao-centric endeavor.
In 2008, just two years after making Spice Rack Chocolates' confections publicly available, the Schellhammers' artisanal chocolates won the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services's "Best New Food Product"—an award which they clinched again in 2010. Today, the Schellhammers create 29 flavors of Belgian chocolate infused with herbs, spices, coffee, and peppers, and can hand-paint color accents or tiny limericks onto the candies using color-infused cocoa butter. The spot also creates confections that have been certified vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
Hampton Roads IcePlex caters to skaters of all experience levels, from tot lessons for 4- and 5-year-olds to its hockey league exclusively for polar bears. Youth and adult hockey leagues pit hockey enthusiasts against other local teams for exhilarating season play. The rink welcomes figure skaters of all backgrounds to lay claim to the ice as well, performing the simplest of two-foot spins to the most complex slam-dunks.
One of the East Coast's best-known Members-only wholesale retailers, BJ's serves more than six million Members in more than 200 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, BJ's helps provide more selections to savvy shoppers looking to knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, Members can stock up on economy-sized groceries?including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials?grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of BJ's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $2.2 million to charitable organizations.
A tree that thrives in desert areas, the terebinth has historically represented refuge and shade for weary travelers–and Terebinth Patisserie & Bistro hopes to provide a similar service. Only here, unlike for travelers in the desert, visitors to the bistro are greeted with a spread of fresh food and accompanying drinks. Handcrafted soups, salads, and five different paninis pair perfectly with espresso, or pots of specially selected tea. After main courses, French macaroons, cakes, and tarts claim any empty real estate that remains in bellies.
Fringe Hair Studio’s expert stylists prettify patrons with TIGI facepaints and the sweet smells and smoothing effects of Moroccanoil products. First, a highly trained stylist shampoos thoughtful tresses to prepare them for the profundities of deep conditioning. Then, rich Moroccanoil seeps into hair follicles to combat the twin terrors of summer dryness and frizz. After the deep conditioning, stylists invade client mindspace to design a customized cut. After the haircut, blow-drying specialists de-damp and style hair, downsizing any shrinky dink stowaways in the process. The TIGI makeup session perfects faces with a fresh blanket of professional-grade TIGI makeup. Expert aestheticians highlight patrons’ most prized features with a supermodel rainbow's worth of colors and demonstrate secret application techniques guarded since the sixth century by a secret society of pretty people.