Missouri has some of the laxest state regulations in the country on short-term loan companies offering quick-cash, payday, installment, or title loans —...
5 Star Shuttle and Limo Service provides taxi, shuttle, and limo services, including shuttles for parties and airport trips. 5 Star is family owned and operated by Obada Mustafa. “I was grown here and lived here all my life,” Mustafa says. “I am a product of Columbia and a child of this environment.” Mustafa says 5 Star’s specialties include their rates, starting at $2.50 per one-tenth of a mile; the sense of security provided by company drivers; and customer service. “Customer service really is a priority for us,” Mustafa says. “Honest company, honest service.”
To provide easier access, 5 Star plans to create an app similar to Uber, providing a faster way of contacting the company. Goals for the company include expanding services throughout Missouri and being recognized as the biggest transportation service in Columbia. “Whenever someone is thinking about needing a ride, they will think 5 Star.”
Ascencia Spa opened this summer. The spa provides a relaxing environment and treatments for various aches and pains through massages and facials. Ascencia Spa is owned by Lynlee Renick, who has been a massage therapist for more than nine years. “The services at Ascencia Spa are designed to elevate your skin care, your nail care, your mental and general health and wellness to a higher level,” she says.
All staff members at Ascencia Spa are licensed therapists in massage, skin care, and more. “When you come to Ascencia Spa, you are going to receive incredible treatments, but beyond that, you will be educated on the services and treatments and how you can continue to benefit from these things at home,” Renick says.
Renick wants Ascencia Spa to be known throughout the community for their relaxing and refreshing treatments. “I wanted to create a relaxing environment for people to find comfort in the refreshing services provided to really rejuvenate the amazing inner self we all tend to lose throughout the day or week.”
The Grind Coffeehouse is a dream come true that started with a perfect cup of coffee. “I used to not like coffee,” owner Ahmed El-Tayash says. “Then my older brother convinced me to try this specialty drink, and I found myself going three times a day.” The now signature drink, called “The Aucky,” in honor of El-Tayash’s nickname, is on the menu, along with other coffees and teas, lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffees, along with some bagels, pastries, and desserts. “We try as much as possible to shop locally,” El-Tayash says. “I was born and raised in Columbia, I’m a Mizzou grad, and it’s important to stay local as much as we can.”
The Grind Coffeehouse provides a comfortable and homelike atmosphere, including a fireplace, couches, a conference room, and a Wi-Fi speed El-Tayash says is, “at least five times faster than Starbucks.”
“We really try to concentrate on the atmosphere,” he adds. El-Tayash wants to be “the neighborhood coffee shop.” El-Tayash doesn’t have plans to expand The Grind today, but would consider opening another location in the future.