Live Local: Neighborhood Business Update

The lowdown on what’s up with local enterprises

A lot of Lake Highlands residents weren’t surprised to see the “store closing” signage posted on the Blockbuster store at Plano Road and Northwest Highway. The store closed last month, and is just one of the many video store casualties left in the wake of emerging technology such as digital video recorders (we refer to them as DVRs), video-on-demand and the greatness of Red Box .

Neighborhood resident Mandy Mack started Body Construction Boot Camp last summer after being a “gym rat” for years. Mack, a certified personal trainer, has sessions running through September with the next one starting mid-July. Each session, either two or three classes a week, will run you $140 or $200 respectively, and childcare is available during Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes for $1 per child, per class. Mack launched her boot camp last summer, and it has since grown from six women to more than 40 people, both women and men at varying fitness levels. “One of my clients hadn’t worked out in years, and after having two daughters was worried she wouldn’t be able to handle the workouts. She has lost over 20 pounds,” says Mack, a mother of four. “I have another client that is a cancer survivor. She had lost strength, and wasn’t able to do one sit-up on our first day. After just six weeks she is doing over 20 sit-ups a minute.” Contact Mack at 469.396.9906 or mandymack22@yahoo.com for class availability, and ask about her Advocate discounts.

If you frequent the Wendy’s or Taco Bell on Walnut Hill near Audelia, you probably noticed that Wildcat Automotive has opened up in the empty retail space with the four-car garage bays behind Chase bank. Lake Higlands residents and self-proclaimed carfanatics Rico Padilla and Jeff Chapman opened the shop back in April. Ironically, Padilla worked at an automotive shop in the very same location in 1995 when it was Lakeridge Texaco. Padilla eventually purchased and worked at the Kingsley Mobil across the street, which he later sold; the site is now a Walgreens. Chapman, who also has extensive history in the automotive industry, has been in the Lake Highlands area for the past 11 years. Between them, Padilla and Chapman have a combined total of 60-plus years in the automotive industry. They are offering Advocate readers a special $17.95 rate on oil change (standard oil, up to 5 quarts). Wildcat Automotive is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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There’s a new baker on the block. Wholesome Foods Bakery — a gluten-free, all-natural and organic bakery — opened up a couple of months ago at the intersection of Walnut Hill and Audelia, just northeast of Chase bank. Find a full interview with mother-daughter owners Anne Hoyt and Taylor Nicholson on page 13. As they mention in the interview, the bakery offers a wide array of handmade sweet breads, yeast breads, muffins, treats, on-the-go food bars and crunch mix targeted to families who, like Hoyt and Nicholson, have to stay away from gluten. The duo encourages new customers to stop in to try any of their goodies, and is offering Advocate readers 15 percent off walk-in and pre-orders through the end of July. Enter the discount code “Advocate” at check out on the website, wholesomefoodsbakery.com, or mention this article in the shop. The bakery is open only on Tuesdays and occasionally Fridays at this time, but in August Wholesome Foods Bakery will be relocating to Lake Highlands Village (at Buckner and Northcliff near the Green Spot), allowing Hoyt and Nicholson to increase their in-store hours.

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Speaking of gluten-free goodies. Picasso’s Restaurant has just introduced its first gluten-free pizza crust. Word on the streets — specifically, two finicky 3-year-olds and four initially tentative adults — is that it’s pretty good! No doubt there are a lot of gluten-sensitive folks who appreciate another option for dining out.

If all this gluten talk has you wondering what the fuss is all about, check out Lake Highlands resident Amy Twomey’s blog, iamaceliac.blogspot.com,  and get the scoop on gluten-free living. Twomey, a Lake Highlands photographer, (amytwomeyphotography.com), was diagnosed with Celiac disease six years ago and has been living gluten-free ever since. Her blog is a fabulous resource for recipes, support, stories and information on the subject. She’s making a name for herself as a go-to resource for “natural-living foodies” across the metro area, and has even been highlighted in local publications.

Three years ago, new owners took over 50-year-old neighborhood favorite Jupiter Lanes Family Entertainment Center at Jupiter Lane and Garland Road, pumped in hundreds of thousands of dollars overhauling the building and equipment, and re-opened the facility hoping that local ownership would make the business profitable again. As of last month, however, the owner says he will be “handing the keys over to the bank” due to his inability to obtain an additional $200,000 to repair the building’s roof, HVAC and “other building issues”. Management blames the closure on two things: inflexible bank financing terms and significant crime in the area.

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