So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
The Georgetown Farmers Market Association unites more than 50 growers from 11 nearby counties to treat shoppers to a bounty of wholesome produce, free-range eggs, artisanal breads, and canned goods. Not only does the bumper crop of fresh greens, fruits, and veggies keep clients eating healthily, but it also connects consumers to their surrounding land and agriculture industry. While perusing bushels of onions, tomatoes, peppers, and melons, visitors can mingle with local farmers to shake the very hands that harvest the crops and learn the secret fifth verse of the Green Acres theme song.
In near-alchemical feats, Big Frog's staff transforms customers' images, designs, or slogans into custom-printed apparel and accessories blanketed in a satisfaction guarantee. Patrons submit art digitally or in person, which staffers then scan and send along to graphic artists who tinker over designs in need of tweaking at no extra cost. Images can be emblazoned upon T-shirts and tank tops for adults and kids, or accessories such as mousepads, puzzles, and tote bags. Most items come to fruition within 24 hours, where they await their new owners for in-store pickup or shoot off into the wild blue yonder with international delivery.
Cobblestone Shoe Hospital's expert menders have repaired men's and women's shoes and boots since 1906. Old, comfortable footwear gains renewed life at the shop with replaced heels and soles, saving patrons from outfitting old pumps with cardboard-box bottoms. Additionally, the cobblers skillfully repair luggage, handbags, belts, and briefcases with services ranging from zipper replacement to full dyeing and reconditioning.
True to its name, Relax Mattress stocks more than 25 varieties of mattress sets. Their inventory includes memory-foam and other comfort-increasing accoutrements to aid in a good night's sleep. Its line of Simmons Beautyrest mattresses conforms to the body with NxG memory foam. Pocketed-coil technology improves motion separation and provides enough individualized spine support to make a Chevy-size encyclopedia comfortable.