Having lived in Ripon for two decades, Jake Parks had a good idea of what his hometown lacked: a warm, welcoming café where friends could sit and converse and commuters could stop in for lunch on the go. He took it upon himself to fill this empty niche, founding his eponymous café and basing its menu around premium drinks and gourmet sandwiches. Today, the first thing one notices when entering Jake’s Coffee, Tea and Sandwiches is the aroma of coffee, which starts brewing at 6 a.m. Jake and his team pride themselves on crafting a wide range of caffeinated drinks, from mochas flavored with Monin syrups to red-eye blends that keep customers awake as they attempt to set the world record for most dictionaries read in one sitting. The shop’s many blends of tea, available hot or iced, pair nicely with freshly baked pastries and a selection of savory wraps and paninis that incorporate the shop’s signature cream-cheese pesto spread.
Kid Red Entertainment knows how to crash a party–and make it better. The full-service entertainment company can add a sweet touch to events with confectionary indulgences such as cotton-candy machines or tubs of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Favorite characters take center stage on rented movie screens or as costumed guests and recite kid-friendly monologues from Titus Andronicus. Kid Red can also supply a DJ to soundtrack sweet sixteens, weddings, school dances, and other celebrations.
Named Favorite Dry Cleaner by Modesto Bee readers in 2010, Del Rio Cleaners wins fans by treating attire and bedding using earth-friendly products and processes. The stain-busting staff can re-crisp men's shirts ($2.60) and refresh cozy sweaters ($7). Two-piece suits ($12.70) receive an extra dose of dapper, and freshness retires to bed following the thorough cleaning of comforters ($25), bedspreads ($23.75), and over-counted sheep. Legs can swing free and easy beneath rejuvenated dresses ($10.25), snuggle inside newly cleaned pants ($5.75), or envy arms ensconced in jackets ($6.25). Free of petroleum and air contaminants, the GreenEarth process cleans clothes without harming the air, water, or other colors' feelings.
Mountain Mike’s Pizza keeps belly bearings well lubricated with its selection of topping-laden pizzas, oven-kissed sandwiches, and more. Like a fleet-footed yeti, Mountain Mike’s Pizza's menu deftly scales rocky heights with its selection of mountain-themed specialty pizzas, such as the 12-inch Everest and Snowy Alps pizzas, each stacked with a savory selection of Old World pepperoni, onion, olives, and more ($17.99). With two types of crust, four sauces, and 26 toppings, diners can craft their own perfect pies.
AKR Academy’s martial-arts and fitness classes fine-tune physiques using fun and effective workouts held in a positive, family-friendly environment. Incorporating principals of interval training with Latin dance steps and hip-hop beats, the one hour, high-energy Zumba class leads students through an easy-to-follow routine that torches calories and shrinks rebellious waistlines without the use of old-timey corsetry or magic-bean-soup diets. Appropriate for fitnessiers of any age, shape, or size, Zumba lets practitioners prance away pounds to rhythms from around the world, from merengue, salsa, and mambo to calypso cadences and excerpts from Kenny G's brief divergence into reggae.
Blush Boutique houses a menagerie of rotating garb from such brands as Mek Denim and Miss Me, and the store arrays a slew of accessories against its florid hot-pink backdrop. Miss Me jeans ($99) squeeze gams into a chic and durable hug, and colorful handbags ($50 on average) stylishly shoulder the burden of carrying makeup, lotions ($5–$25), and chihuahua-prom groups. Gals can flaunt defiance against winter by donning a pair of Lindsay Phillips flip-flops ($24.95) or can stock up for the seasonal shift by amassing a hoard of scarves, hats, and gloves ($20–$50). Fashionistas can also explore several limbs' worth of Good Work(s) leather wrap bracelets ($22–$38), each of which comes emblazoned with an inspirational saying or one of Nietzsche's famous limericks.