Over the past four decades, Starbucks has bloomed from a single coffee shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market to more than 17,000 stores responsible for caffeinating 55 countries. The company’s smiling, green-aproned baristas have become the mascots of many people’s morning routine, pouring cups of dark, medium, and blonde roast for coffee purists and adding shots of caramel or white chocolate to more elaborate espresso creations and treats such as a Frappuccino blended beverage.
Concerned with more than flavour, Starbucks strives to fill its menu with responsibly sourced coffee, cocoa, and tea that protect the farmers and bioregions they come from. These efforts have earned the company a spot on Ethisphere's 2013 list of the world's most ethical companies.
Beauty & the Bistro Café & Catering's uniformed staff add friendly elbow grease to their catered social and corporate events. Expectant mothers round up posses of up to 30 guests for a two-hour takeover of the bistro's party room, where a sign-in and gift table greet guests and assign code names written in baby talk. Load up on human fuel from a buffet spread, filling antique china, glasses, and silverware with comestibles including seasonal fruits, parmesan pasta salad, and sliced croissant sandwiches stuffed with generous portions of chicken salad. As light dinner music plays over excited conversations and debates on the origin of the rattle, the staff quiets wailing sweet teeth with slices of guest-provided cake.
For close to a decade, the stylists at Salon Divine have done much more than transform hair with services such as extensions and texturizing treatments—they've made a difference in their community. In September of 2011, the team paired with Driscoll Children’s Hospital during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help people donate their hair to make wigs for young cancer patients. They also recently hosted a benefit for a client with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Their care and compassion is reflected in the attentiveness they show to clients' hair, nails, and skin. They soothe tired feet with fragrant peppermint, citrus, or rose salt scrubs, and enhance the stress-reliever manicure with a hand and wrist massage, loosening joints that are stiff from rehearsing one-man sock-puppet shows. As a further tribute to client comfort, the salon boasts leather furniture and elegant, dark wood accents throughout. Bright pops of magenta from the backlit ceiling and strategically placed floral accents add a whimsical vibe that permeates the team's creative hairstyles.
Turkey Gone Wild! It might sound like a surreal newspaper headline, but it’s actually just the name of one of Small Planet Delicatessen & Bakery's hot sandwiches. The gourmet creations are the deli’s specialty, and the aforementioned Turkey Gone Wild is a melty layering of turkey, white cheddar, purple onion, and avocado spread. The deli's New Planet sub also starts with turkey, but bulks up with hard salami, jalapeños, and pesto sauce, tucked between slices of jalapeño-cheese bread. Customers can also build their own sandwich from a diverse selection of breads, meats, and toppings that includes everything from sweet ham to artichoke hearts.
The rest of the menu boasts an international spread of deli- and bakery-inspired foods. There’s country french quiche and athenian gyros, mesquite-chicken quesadillas and kids’ personal pizzas. A tempting array of baked goods in single-serving sizes enables patrons to try just a slice of tuxedo-truffle cake, or a single white-chocolate-and-walnut cookie, the crumbs of which can be tossed in the air for a post-meal celebration.
The chefs flavor their Filipino dishes with seasoning in mild to tear-inducing spice levels. They lace the pancit canton’s fried yellow noodles around chicken, shrimp, and veggies, and arrange cabbage, asparagus, squash, peppers, beans, and celery in the vegetarian special’s dish. Mouth temperatures rise with the spicy pepper pork and chicken dishes served hot, very hot, or extremely hot with a certified firefighter on standby.
Tucked inside the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach, right along the beach, the chefs at the Sandpiper Restaurant fill stomachs with a mix of casual and upscale steaks, seafood, and Southwestern fare. In addition to burgers, fish-centric spreads, and sizeable steaks, homestyle dishes populate the menu, including southern fried steak and country pot roast that's even more tender than Napoleon's bruised ego at the big and tall store.