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 jalapeño 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.
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 thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (diploma framing starts at around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24" x 36" pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Since 1945, this family-owned landscaping business and garden center has helped locals transform their yards into lush landscapes and bountiful gardens. The company's secret to longevity is enlisting a staff of passionate expert gardeners and cloning them to populate future generations. Among its members, the landscaping team shares almost 200 years of collective experience, with foremen holding between 12 and 20 years apiece. Company president James Campbell began cultivating his love of all things flora on a farm crew at age 14. In college, he studied ornamental horticulture and then spent four decades working at Campbell & Ferrara, ascending from crew member to foreman to president.
You might get lost in the meandering paths of the indoor-outdoor garden center with 8 acres of trees, shrubs, and seasonal flowers. Thankfully, horticulturists and garden experts roam the grounds, ready to offer you directions and advice. To deter pests, for example, they'll tell you to plant a border of marigolds or a handful of sacrificial Skittles. Hand them a picture of your yard, and they'll predict which plants and flowers will likely thrive there. They also make DIY-ing easy by arranging over 1,000 trees and shrubs into user-friendly categories such as privacy screening, Virginia natives, and four-season. For customers who prefer an expert's help, landscapers offer degrees of assistance, ranging from installing customer-selected plants to completely redesigning yards with putting greens, outdoor kitchens, or waterfalls.