Husband-and-wife team David and Denise Skorka opened The Auto Doc more than 15 years ago with the goal of providing maintenance and repair services in a family-friendly atmosphere that values respect and integrity. The staff of the Houston Chronicle agrees: they named it the area's ultimate repair shop in 2003, and added that David "takes the time to explain the problems with your ride" and "will candidly tell you when something can be ignored—at least for a while."
The vintage-style gas-station signs on the building's exterior speak to the Skorkas’ old-fashioned, customer-first philosophy. They offer patrons free shuttle services and a convenient night drop-off option for people who are unavailable during business hours, or cars who are finally ready for their first slumber party. Denise and her daughter Katie also run a quaint coffee shop and boutique next door called Bungalow, where, according to The Loop Scoop, car owners can nosh on pastries and locally roasted java. Though the ambience and company mission harken back to an earlier time, the repair shop's technology is decidedly modern: ASE-certified technicians use the latest diagnostic equipment and top-of-the-line parts to keep vehicles in prime condition.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Specializing exclusively in mobile electronics and car restyling, the technicians at Bonnie and Clyde’s CB and Stereo skillfully install a range of automotive accessories. Multi-zone in-car video systems let kids watch DVDs or enjoy video games without disturbing the game of Stratego their parents are playing in the front seat. Navigation systems and hands-free Bluetooth systems eliminate distractions caused by looking at maps or talking on the phone, while remote starters by Viper and Compustar save you the hassle of rotating your wrist once. Beyond electronics, Bonnie and Clyde’s also protects windows with 3M and Llumar window films.
People looking for the best pizza in the world flock to two places: New York and Italy. Debbie, the daughter of Austin Pizza Garden's owner, and an award-winning pizzaiola, was no exception. To hone her culinary craft she visited both locales on a transatlantic quest for the perfect pizza recipe. Once she felt she'd mastered one?preferring the thin-crust variety for its unmistakable texture?she flew home to Indianapolis, where she founded Bazbeaux. In no time, the pizzeria took off, earning it a top spot in Indy's pizza scene, an honor that still endures nearly three decades later. To spread her success, Debbie taught her recipe to her family in Austin, who set up a pizzeria of their own in one of the city's century-old historical buildings.
Today, the chefs at Austin Pizza Garden still lovingly make pies using Debbie's carefully crafted recipes, and spice up the original flavor with their own distinctive spin. They throw jalapeno slices into the mix of the texas fajita pie, for example, which is crowned in fajita chicken and avocado and served with a side of sour cream. They've even expanded beyond the traditional pizza sauce, swapping out classic marinara for walnut pesto or black-bean dip. Whether baking up familiar flavors or unique creations, Austin Pizza Garden blows a longhorn of plenty that gathers Austinites near and far.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil-Change, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) service vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, technicians perform preventative services such as air-filtration, among others, as well as state emissions inspections. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Unlike dimpled cheeks, a dimpled windshield can compromise safety on the road and won't earn you the lead in Annie. TGS Auto Glass mends windshields and headlights with brisk efficiency and steadfast attention to detail. The TGS crew injects a clear acrylic resin into windshield fractures, bonding the glass together. The 15- to 30-minute process helps conceal unsightly damage and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Those looking to improve their car?s visibility can opt for TGS?s headlight-restoration services. Technicians dissolve discolorations that cloud headlights to clear the way for every last watt of bulb power. Crystal-clear carriage lamps can increase road safety and boost your auto?s resale value.