Every morning, Rita's Italian Ice's dessert-makers show up to work and start smashing fruit to bits. They extract the juices, natural sugars, and sweet flesh of each to infuse into their freshly-made italian ices. The ices pair well with custards and creams for mixed treats, or serve as refreshingly cool treats on their own. The staff even take small groups on behind-the-scenes tours of their kitchens, teaching the secrets to freezing mango juice into a silky-smooth texture or milking a banana.
Owned and operated by experienced runners, Columbus Running Company strives to support the benefits of walking and running by providing a wide variety of gear, personalized service, and community support. The store is stocked with goods that range from the necessary basics to accessories bursting with more technology than a remote-controlled hummingbird. Slip on a pair of sleek Saucony Guide 4 ($99.99) or Brooks Adrenaline GTS ($100) foot helmets and test them out on the in-store treadmill before setting out to find the meaning of life on a literal cross-country run. The Black Diamond Cosmo headlamp illuminates nighttime runs, making joggers visible to drivers and spontaneously appearing portals to the underworld visible to joggers ($29.99). For shins and calves that are feeling down in the dumps, Zensah compression sleeves provide needed support with gradient compression and strategic ribbing that increases blood flow, making muscles feel as limber as a spider monkey sipping on a wine cooler ($39.99).
MVOB’s group of dedicated volunteers largely consists of retired seniors who use their sewing skills to create blankets. After each blanket is created, a tag is sewn on by MVOB, which is then personalized by each foster child's case worker. By supplying these items to kids living in foster care, MVOB aims to ensure that they will have something comforting and familiar to keep throughout multiple moves from one home or foster family to another.
Candle Lab's candles use soy wax, cotton paper wicks, and pure fragrance oils so that they burn cleanly and evenly for up to 60 hours. Choose from more than 120 gourmet flavors including Tupelo honey, fresh linen, toasted marshmallow, bamboo, wild orchid, and burnt sugar. Seasonal specialties such as mulled cider, hazelnut, and autumn leaves are still in stock (candles usually cost $15). This Groupon is also good toward Candle Lab's hand-stamped greeting cards, bath and body products, and other home-fragrance products.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right—within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services—from foundation checks to express facials—allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.