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.
Though flavorful Italian cuisine is at the core of Cogan's Pizza, taste buds aren’t the only sensory receptors that perk up when visiting the vibrant eatery. The interior provides a visual feast with huge chandeliers casting subtle twinkles across pressed-tin ceilings and walls covered with posters and music memorabilia. The music motif also engages ears and vocal cords with regular live performances and karaoke.
At the bar, more than 30 beers flow from a lineup of seasonally rotating taps, each carbonated with the perfect number of bubbles to wash down cheesy and meaty pies. For patrons who adhere to a more plant-based diet, the cooks can also top crusts with faux meats, soy cheese, or an evil aunt’s favorite orchid. Pasta dishes, hot sandwiches, and subs stacked with roasted chicken, italian sausage, or roast beef round out the menu.
?I don?t fall asleep?though many people do?but I am relaxed. I lie there, my thoughts drifting from the to-do list of life and, then, naturally, to space,? says Mike Gruss of the Virginian-Pilot, who stepped into one of Float First?s pods for the first time in January 2012. ?I am the John Glenn of the suburban relaxation frontier.? The sense of antigravity Gruss describes in his piece is a common one. It occurs in part because the water inside each 8'x5' i-sopod is heated to skin temperature, which makes it hard to tell where the water ends and one's body begins. Of course, the ability to float effortlessly also aids in creating this sensation. More than 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt combines with 10 inches of water inside each pod, a ratio that helps any man, woman, or unplugged mini fridge to float. Each float session?which can be conducted with the capsule?s lid closed or open, in case patrons are concerned about experiencing claustrophobia?is meant to imbue a deep sense of relaxation in clients, as the tank deprives all senses of stimulation. Aside from making guests feel lighter than air, the soothing session also boasts benefits such as improved sleep quality and faster recovery from muscle injuries.
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.
Readers of Richmond magazine have voted Car Pool Car Wash the Best Car Washing/Detailing business in the city multiple times over the last decade. Stepping into one of its facilities, it?s easy to see why. In addition to making autos look and feel like royalty, Car Pool Car Wash also cultivates a stress-free environment with sleek waiting rooms that resemble modern hotel lobbies and emit free WiFi. After grabbing a complimentary cup of coffee and receding into plush leather chairs, visitors are served a visual feast that may include floor-to-ceiling windows or a stone fireplace. Rocking chairs outside of the car wash enable car owners to wait under the open sky while flipping through a book or magazine.
Locally owned and operated since 1977, the automotive salon company has focused on advanced car-cleaning methods while expanding its outreach to include six full-service wash facilities, two exterior-only wash facilities, and a full-service detail shop. Many of the car wash's specialty packages cater to specific vehicle needs such as comprehensive interior cleaning or professional exterior waxing, services that enlist products from Simoniz and Rain-X to safeguard paint jobs.
Car Pool Car Wash strengthens its bond with repeat customers through its frequency rewards program, which makes participants eligible for future discounts after they sign up online or in person. The shop also carries Duck Bucks gift cards that allow recipients to prepay for regular car washes. In their efforts to foster a tightly knit community, the owners of Car Pool Car Wash regularly support local charities and organizations in their initiatives.
With a police escort by his side, Dan Seachord strode across the Hampton University campus clutching the commission of a lifetime in his arms: a stately photograph of the Emancipation Oak, mounted and framed by Dan himself as the university's gift to the president of the United States. Whether designing fancy frames for diplomats or simpler ones for citizens, Dan and Carrie Seachord at The Great Frame Up customize frames for all manner of art, including pre-purchased pieces and images selected from the store's miniature gallery. Display cases and other enclosures capture a range of personal effects, from ticket stubs to three-dimensional keepsakes such as footballs and World's Best Mug mugs. The Great Frame Up also sends members of its design team on in-home and commercial consultations to ensure décor coordinates within offices and living spaces.