Bar Academy 101’s co-owners Robert and Nicki have more than 15 years of experience in the bartending business between them. They emphasize hands-on learning during courses at a 24/7 model bar, where students can spend unlimited hours practicing the two main skills of bartending: mixing drinks and pouring them into patrons’ outstretched hands. Robert and Nicki share the skills they’ve learned in the field at the school’s glossy wooden bar stations, which feature tools and bottles much like those found in typical watering holes. This hands-on learning ensures that pupils are prepared for job placement at the end of courses. The dedicated team meets one-on-one with graduates, matching them with openings in local bars and restaurants.
Tia Harris, a mother and a Montclair resident since 2008, couldn't have predicted that an activity she enjoyed as a relaxing hobby would later become her full-time career. She was laid off from her previous job in 2011 and found herself turning to beading as a stress-reducing creative outlet. Embracing her entrepreneurial spirit, Harris decided in 2012 to open TiaMarie Beading Studio, where she shares her passion with other jewelry enthusiasts. She told Barista Kids that "We are striving to create a sense of community and a fun place for creative ideas to come together."
To accomplish the studio’s goal, Harris handpicked her team of multitalented instructors, which includes a former interior designer, a certified fine-arts teacher and writer, and a graphic-design expert. In addition to teaching classes, the friendly crew regularly hosts birthday parties and girls' nights out, where ladies can learn the art of wire wrapping—one of the oldest known jewelry-making methods next to training cobras to coil around your wrist.
Knife Skills 101 is taught by Cuisine Inspirations owner, Scott Savokinas, a seasoned chef who relishes every aspect of the culinary craft. He'll teach you the safest and deftest ways to dice, slice, mince, and chop, putting meats and veggies in the savoriest shapes while shaving time and awkwardness off kitchen routines. While you learn to cut an onion without making it cry and grate garlic without triggering its earsplitting burglar alarm, the chef's friendly banter and helpful hints foster a comfortable, entertaining atmosphere. At the end of the class, students and chef partake in whichever dish was prepared during the demonstration.
For Jagadisha Peter Petrovic, yoga lessons came early and often. What began with a simple stretching exercise on a family vacation blossomed into a lifetime of yogic learning, including stints at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and certifications from global masters including Dr. Jeff Migdow and Bikram Choudhury. Now, he puts those experiences to use as the founder and head instructor at Be Evolution Hot Yoga, where his team of experienced yoga instructors flush away toxins and increase muscle flexibility for deeper stretches during targeted stretch sessions. The center operates two studios side-by-side: one heated to a steamy 106 degrees for traditional hot yoga, and one warmed to a balmy-yet-manageable 78 degrees for less strenuous sessions. After class ends, students can also pop into the center's brand new boutique, where racks of new gear and practice materials await.
In June 2010, all four Gencarelli family members—parents Lou Sr. and Susan, daughter Stephanie, and brother and head personal trainer Lou Jr.—came together to open Hardbodyz Fitness. Today, visitors to the gym will always find at least one Gencarelli chatting with guests, giving out complimentary eye contact, and making sure everything's running smoothly.
The Gencarellis and their red-shirted staff help members navigate a 7,500-square-foot facility to take advantage of a score of strength-building and cardio classes, free-weights, a sunlit spin studio, and a cardio area equipped with individual TVs and iPod hookups at each of about 40 machines. Nationally certified personal trainers, instructors, and nutritionists work throughout the open floor plan to help patrons achieve specific wellness goals or simply blow off steam.
Kate Saab is a certified personal trainer, aesthetician, and massage therapist who’s had a passion for fitness her entire life. Today, she extends her love of health and wellness to others at Versa Fit & Spa. In addition to leading dynamic fitness classes, Saab orchestrates relaxing sessions in the SlimLine Oxygen Pod, which uses gentle massage, heat, and light to improve metabolism, detoxify the body, and, in special cases, transport clients to the planet of Pandora.