What: Maps that chart scenic
Who: Jenny Lefferts of MAD (Motor Adventure Destinations) Maps Inc.
Where: San Francisco
When: Started in 1999
Jenny Lefferts' love for the open road began during her childhood, when she'd spend summers traveling with her family in their '72 VW van. After moving to San Francisco from Montreal at age 21, she became an avid motorcyclist. "Every weekend, I used to leave town and start finding back roads," says Lefferts, 36.
After calling motorcycle dealerships across the nation to find out about more back roads, she discovered that maps charting such off-the-beaten-path routes didn't even exist yet. So Lefferts enlisted the help of Eureka Cartography (whose maps she licenses) in Berkeley, California, and set out to chart the back roads in and around the Bay area herself.
Since then, she's enlisted leagues of motorists from throughout California to help her scout out additional "more scenic, less traveled" roads worth highlighting in her company's maps, which target motorists with cars and motorcycles alike and retail for $7.95 each. Plans for this year include the release of a four-part California Dreamin' series and a Southwest series--both expected to bring in cumulative sales of $350,000. The rest of the country is next.
All the Fixin's
What: No-fuss sandwich
Who: John Codilis of PJ Squares LLC
Where: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
When: Started in 2000
Nothing's worse than opening a jar of peanut butter, only to find it corrupted by globs of jelly inside--as parents with kids who like to make their own sandwiches know.
Although it may not be the end of the world, it's certainly not appetizing. Here to solve that problem is John Codilis, who spent nearly five years perfecting his PJ Squares: individually wrapped peanut butter and jelly slices that can be eaten alone or with bread.
Although Codilis, 47, is the one who launched a business to develop and market the grape- and strawberry-flavored squares, the idea came from someone else: an inventor (who is now Codilis' silent partner) in a nearby town bent on making the lunch-making process easier--and less messy--for his kids. Once the inventor presented his concept, Codilis knew he wanted to be a part of it.
These days, shoppers in the Midwest can purchase PJ Squares in their local grocery stores as well as at Wal-Mart. Nationwide availability is expected by August.
Although kids are PJ Squares' main target market, Codilis enjoys hearing all the new ways that other people--namely adults--are finding to use the product. "One gentleman said he uses them in brownies," Codilis says. "We tried it, and they're pretty good."