For Robert Stokes Jr., making a vehicle shine like it did the day it left the assembly line isn't just a talent, but a family dedication passed on from generation to generation. His father first taught him the value of caring for an automobile, giving him the inspiration to open his own mobile auto-detailing service in 1995. Robert's down-to-earth approach to dealing with clients and his scrutinizing eye for detail helped his business grow into a full-service production with two physical locations. No vehicle is too big or too small for Robert’s crew at The Gift Auto Detailing Center; they have serviced everything from tiny coupes and honey-I-shrunk-the-station-wagons to speedboats and large storage trailers.
From more than 350 facilities in six countries, Precision Tune Auto Care has spent the last three decades keeping more than 2.5 million vehicles on the road with an array of maintenance and auto-repair services. Professionally trained mechanics lube engines with signature precision oil changes, rotate tires to ensure even tread wear, repair busted brakes, and test spark plugs to safeguard against ignition failure during dramatic drive-thru getaways. Whether performing complicated services on fuel-injection and cooling systems or simply aligning tires, the mechanics back all their services with a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty.
Mike’s Express Car Wash’s trusty team has been cleaning muddy motor vehicles since 1948 with a combination of state-of-the-art equipment, specially formulated shampoos, soft cloth scrubs, and touchless hot-air dryers. Get The Works and soiled sedans will be lovingly scrubbed during a high-quality express wash, brushlessly brushed with heated water and eight different signature soaps. An application of Mike’s clear coat shields hunched hatchbacks from the elements, rotten tomatoes, and good-natured ribbing. Wheels roll away polished to perfection, while sparkling clean underbellies are wrapped in a soothing rust-inhibiting cocoon to survive winter’s storms of snow and salt.
Depending on the day, someone walking past Williamsburg Cupcake might pick up the scent of Madagascar bourbon vanilla, lemon, or even bacon. Inside, the aromas come alive in the form of nearly 40 unique cupcake flavors—including Coconut Dream, Lilly’s Lemon Drop, and pancakes and bacon—made in small batches each day. Once they pull their standard-size and miniature gourmet cupcakes from the oven, the neighborhood bakers either arrange them in the store’s display cases to entice passersby or pack them up in gift boxes to deliver to customers around town. Williamsburg Cupcake also caters to special events with customized toppings and decorations, such as a Star Wars theme for a birthday party or red, white, and blue flags to celebrate whichever amendment says we don’t have to brush our teeth if we don’t want to.
Twice a day, Virginia Balloons' hot air balloons roar to life, elevate into the air, and showcase the landscape that makes Virginia an ideal place to defy gravity. The colorful balloons float above farmlands, along Virginia Beach, and over the lush forests that grow in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains. And if natural wonders aren't enough, the wind can carry balloons over historical Virginia for a bird's-eye view. Pilots, each with thousands of hours of flight time, guide these high-flying adventures. And, to create lasting memories, they toast each completed flight before sending balloons back to Oz for storage.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil-Change package, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car—it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians—all of which have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)—service vehicles at Jiffy Lube. In addition to performing oil changes, technicians offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.