For Jody?the namesake of Jody's Gourmet Popcorn?a kernel of popcorn is far more romantic than a red rose. In college, she would walk the streets of Chicago with her future husband, Alan, while they both nibbled caramel corn. The treat even played a role in their marriage: Alan hid Jody's engagement ring inside the prize envelope of a Cracker Jack box, which usually only contain platonic watchbands. So it was only natural that, upon moving to Virginia Beach and discovering a dearth of good caramel corn, Jody took matters into her own hands?or more specifically, her own garage. There, she and Alan started popping corn in pursuit of the ideal snack. On the 53rd attempt, they finally perfected the sweet recipe that would transform Jody's Gourmet Popcorn from a part-time hobby into a thriving business.
Their "Recipe 53 Caramel Popcorn" remains the shop's signature offering, though the duo has gone on to create dozens of sweet and savory popcorn varieties. The store scoops up everything from movie-style corn to kernels spiced with jalape?o or drizzled in white and dark chocolate. Jody and her team also create colorful popcorn in holiday colors or the hues of a favorite sports team, which customers can take home in a decorative tin. And for those unsure about this whole popcorn thing, the specialists also slice rich fudge in flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough.
Wine & Cake Hobbies provisions partiers, bakers, home vintners, and aspiring brewers with the tools and skills necessary for fashioning mouthwatering baked goods and homemade wine and beer. Cake-decorating classes help assuage artistic sweet teeth while hops, fully stocked winemaking kits, and informative beer-brewing classes can prepare amateur drinksmiths for everything from upcoming barbecues to the return of Prohibition. A wealth of cake decorations and baking instruments turns simple pastries and tortes into multitiered masterpieces bedecked with colorful frosting. And an array of party favors, bridal cake tops, and decorations can add the perfect touch to weddings, anniversaries, and showers.
Fringe Hair Studio’s expert stylists prettify patrons with TIGI facepaints and the sweet smells and smoothing effects of Moroccanoil products. First, a highly trained stylist shampoos thoughtful tresses to prepare them for the profundities of deep conditioning. Then, rich Moroccanoil seeps into hair follicles to combat the twin terrors of summer dryness and frizz. After the deep conditioning, stylists invade client mindspace to design a customized cut. After the haircut, blow-drying specialists de-damp and style hair, downsizing any shrinky dink stowaways in the process. The TIGI makeup session perfects faces with a fresh blanket of professional-grade TIGI makeup. Expert aestheticians highlight patrons’ most prized features with a supermodel rainbow's worth of colors and demonstrate secret application techniques guarded since the sixth century by a secret society of pretty people.
The Farm Table connects farmers to families within 200 miles, delivering fresh fruits and vegetables from more than a dozen small and medium-sized farms. Its growers include Gerardo Flores and his son Omar, who grow rare vegetables on Flores Farm, and Saunders Brothers, a third-generation family orchard. These and other farmers gather up their best crops?such as peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries?for The Farm Table staff to deliver door-to-door every week. Each box contains enough fruits and vegetables to feed a family of four. Customers have the option of a Garden Box of salad-making items or the Chef Box of classic vegetable sides. By making it easier for families to eat locally, The Farm Table aims to support local farmers, instill healthy eating habits, and reduce carbon footprints.
The cooks at El Desorden help introduce the flavors of Colombia to a new audience with their robust menu of tropically forged eats. Though they whip up many familiar South and Central American dishes, they tend to focus on the beef- and bacon-heavy stir-fries and stews of Colombia. One of their specialties is the bistec a caballo, a pan-seared round steak with bell pepper, sweet plantains, and an egg on top. They also prepare beef tongue in a spicy creole sauce with a side of cassava, a tuberous root vegetable that's similar to a potato in that it looks really good in a Mr. Potato Head outfit.
Colombia inspires the restaurant's decor, as well. The colors of the wall tiles– yellow, blue, and red—echo those of the nation's flag. Hanging wrought-iron lanterns give the space a rustic charm, as does the extensive collection of Colombian fabrics that bedeck the walls.
Cheesecake Heaven Richmond’s head chef Jane Eckels first began baking her cheesecakes for local restaurants in 1994, and has since enticed the palates of such prestigious clients as Samuel L. Jackson. Today, she hands out selections by the slice or whole cake from an ever-changing menu with flavors ranging from traditional New York–style cheesecake to innovative espresso chocolate chip or raspberry lemonade. To satisfy as many patrons as possible, the pastry chef can create gluten-free alternatives of her creations upon request. In addition to the main bakery location, two brick drive-thrus allow customers to enjoy cheesecake without leaving the comforts of their car or Pope-mobile.