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.
College is a place that often kindles lasting friendships, as well as lasting eating habits based on haphazard diets of chips and day-old pizza. Chris Sanchez and Patrick Ortiz, proprietors of Simply Fit Meals, have managed to buck the latter part of this trend. The friendship they forged at the University of Houston continued after graduation, even as Patrick pursued a career in hotel management and Chris entered the world of marketing, eventually serving as store marketing director for Whole Foods. Their shared passion for healthy eating brought their disparate career paths together to form Simply Fit Meals, an amalgamation of Patrick's chef skills and Chris's marketing prowess.
The challenge behind each one of Simply Fit Meals' recipes involves finding an equal balance between nutrition and flavor so that clients can stick to a regimen that's easy to maintain, unlike fad diets that involve raw foods consumed only in prime-numbered portions. The science of it, says Chris, is making it taste as if it's been freshly made, even after reheating, and to this end, Chris and Patrick are both avid consumers of their own meals. Chris claims he could eat—and has eaten—their mac 'n' cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The culinary team uses locally raised, free-range meats such as chicken and bison in virtually all of their creations, and concocts fresh-made ingredients whenever possible. The in-house dietitian guides clients toward their own fitness goals, as opposed to those dictated by fashion magazines or sentient elevators, who often lack tact.
Andrea Martin founded Jackie's Play & Stay so no dog owner would have to endure the same experience she had after boarding her four-year-old border collie, Jackie. After dropping her off on a Friday, Andrea picked an ill Jackie up on Sunday. Her rapidly declining health suggested some form of poisoning, and she soon passed. Determined not to let Jackie's death be in vain, she founded a daycare and boarding facility where owners could feel secure every time they parted with their best friends.
Today, Andrea and her caretakers earn owners' and dogs' trust by getting to know each four-legged guest individually to ease their transitions in and out of Jackie's Play & Stay. They also keep the 14,000-square-foot facility meticulously clean, using disinfectants that target canine viruses and fungi. Believing that a tired dog is a happy dog, the staff supervises indoor and outdoor play and socializing. They provide small dogs with their own play space, and welcome dogs to relax on their own if that's what they prefer. The facility’s suites for overnighters are climate-controlled, with dog beds and relaxing music that plays through the night. The staff also encourages owners to leave their pets with a familiar item, such as a favorite blanket or the neighborhood fire hydrant. Beyond daycare and boarding, Jackie's Play & Stay extends to grooming and training, where dogs learn everything from basic obedience to how to drive stick. Today, Andrea and her caretakers earn owners' and dogs' trust by getting to know each four-legged guest individually to ease their transitions in and out of Jackie's Play & Stay. They also keep the 14,000-square-foot facility meticulously clean, using disinfectants that target canine viruses and fungi. Believing that a tired dog is a happy dog, the staff supervises indoor and outdoor play and socializing. They provide small dogs with their own play space, and welcome dogs to relax on their own if that's what they prefer. The facility’s suites for overnighters are climate-controlled, with dog beds and relaxing music that plays through the night. The staff also encourages owners to leave their pets with a familiar item, such as a favorite blanket or the neighborhood fire hydrant. Beyond daycare and boarding, Jackie's Play & Stay extends to grooming and training, where dogs learn everything from basic obedience to how to drive stick.
More than 325 bottles of international wine fill Zambrano Wine Cellar’s shelves and its climate-controlled wine cellar, arranged by chef, wine enthusiast, and owner Cef Zambrano. When not hobnobbing with celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Nolan Ryan, and Katie Couric, Zambrano coordinates a menu of bistro fare to harmonize with his library of wine selections, which received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2009. Zambrano presents updated takes on Mediterranean favorites, crafting small plates of escargot broiled in garlic butter and shallots, as well as four types of bruschetta topped with tomato, chicken, duck, or fillet tips. Diners can dive into shared nibbles with custom plates of international meats and cheeses or pizzas topped margherita-style or with signature spanish ham.
Zambrano’s prized glass wine cellar sits behind a smooth stone bar, inlaid with variegated amethyst that glows as it catches the light better than an outfielder with a magnifying glass. While perched at its high-backed leather banquettes, diners can sip from the 50-plus list of wines by the glass while gazing at a flat-screen TV in the corner or admiring the custom art on the dining room’s exposed-brick walls. In the front of the dining room, gauzy orange curtains frame sheets of sunlight that illuminate simple wooden tables, each adorned with a single flower that provides color and an amuse-bouche for hungrier guests. A sidewalk patio offers al fresco dining and bustling sights of Sundance Square.
Con’s Organic Spa owner Con Ciecko isn't just an expert in the beauty industry. She's also a reiki master and a medical tattoo technician. These specialties, along with her education and training at Michigan and California institutes, have prepared her to execute services that both beautify and relax her clients. Besides kneading muscles with several massage modalities, she cleanses skin with organic facials, bronzes limbs with airbrush tanning, and administers makeup applications for weddings or black-tie viewings of TV weddings. Joined by a skilled staff that includes her daughter Kiya, a massage therapist and nail technician, Ciecko infuses her new spa confines with a welcoming and personable vibe as she helps her clients develop their own signature looks.