Mae de la Calzada founded LadyParts Automotive Services based on a simple observation: "When a woman's car breaks down, lives break down." Recognizing the strain of being a wife, mother, professional, and friend all at once, de la Calzada saw a way to ease at least one burden women often face. This vision helped her to turn the intimidating ordeal of auto repair into an empowering experience.
Today, when women—or men—walk into LadyParts Automotive Services, they are greeted by automotive technicians who eschew technical jargon and instead speak in the simple, clear language that both cars and drivers instinctively understand. Claiming certifications in hybrid repair, LadyParts's mechanics work on virtually all makes and models of vehicles, performing services that range from 50-point safety inspections to major repairs. To enhance each visitor's experience, the staff coordinates free shuttle service and furnishes a waiting area with free wireless Internet access, a 50-inch plasma-screen television, and well-maintained restrooms.
To further demonstrate its goal of turning auto repair into an empowering experience, LadyParts's team leads car-care clinics in which technicians demystify automobile maintenance. Such efforts have earned LadyParts Automotive Services consistent press, a vast network of loyal cars ready to do its bidding, and recognition that includes a 2011 Best Car Repair win from ABC7 The Bay Area A List, as well as a top-five finish in the 2012 race.
C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Metabolic Movement Training (MMT) System is the result of all that hard work. The system is designed to jump-start the metabolism, so it continues working long after the session is complete by helping the body burn fat all day long. After a dynamic warmup to boost flexibility and coordination, trainers lead students through progressive resistance training to strengthen bones and muscles. Next, exciting, short-burst cardio intervals work to condition the heart and lungs and boost endurance, and a final core-training session chisels the midsection. Every exercise includes modifications and progressions to ensure students at every fitness level will glean benefits, and every session ends with a cool-down and stretch to leave bodies feeling better than when they came in.
The institute's team of instructors also augment MMT exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
With America's Best Car Care Plan, ASE-certified technicians keep autos running smoothly by injecting car insides with up to 5 quarts of clean conventional oil (upgrades to synthetic require additional charges) and performing a host of auto-maintenance services. Brake inspections and adjustments grant drivers the peace of mind that cars are safe and equipped for inclement weather and duck-crossing signs that come out of nowhere. Two tire rotations ensure automotive equilibrium can find long-lasting balance and tire grooves wear evenly.
In Focus: Redwood General Tire
Proof of the staff’s expertise: They’re certified by the ASE, AAA, and Run Flat.
Specialties: the sale, installation, and repair of tires
Other parts of the car they service: brakes, engines, air conditioners, cooling systems
How to get home if your car needs to spend the night: A free shuttle is available to take customers to their homes or workplaces.
How they keep extra-fancy rides safe: with the Euro-style Hunter TC 3250 tire changer, which is designed specifically to protect custom rims and performance tires
Biggest honor from a government agency: the Prestigious Award from the Department of Toxic Substances Control, which is only given to businesses that pass a rigid, 29-point pollution-prevention inspection
In 1980, the traditional corner gas station became something of an endangered species, and people needed a place to get their oil changed. SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service's founder recognized the need, and created a business to exclusively deliver such services. As the needs of customers evolved, SpeeDee introduced new services, starting with full brake inspections and tune-ups in 1994. Today, Speedee handles every kind of fluid that goes in a car, as well as scheduled maintenance and some of the most complex diagnostics and repairs.