Founded by ice-cream enthusiasts Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone Creamery has grown to more than 1,400 locations across North America. Each day, the shop's scoopers mix up fresh batches of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet, which are served by the scoop, piled high in sundaes, and blended into shakes. After customers choose their desired flavor, the staffers toss the chilly sustenance upon a slab of frozen granite and fold in a smorgasbord of candy and nuts to achieve the ideal ice-cream-to-add-in ratio. Customers can dream up their own creations or opt for a signature masterpiece, sampling one of more than 11.5 million possible flavor combinations, which still await a brave conqueror to unlock them all. To accommodate sweets cravings at celebrations, staff members also dish out ready-made treats, such as ice-cream cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
Roasting and blending its coffee beans on-site, the independently owned Foggy Bottom Coffee House serves a percolating variety of rich java-inspired flavors and a host of palate-balancing sandwiches. Drink one of Foggy Bottom's coffees in the café or take home a pound to brew at home, with variations including the Killer Baboons dark roast, a spicy cup of joe with a smattering of chocolate tones ($13.13/lb.), and the Kenyan AA, with hints of mandarin orange ($14.36/lb.).
Artisanal roaster John Roos selects worthy beans from around the world that are almost always organic, fair-trade, and produced on bird-friendly farms. The loving care and tenderness he shows his caffeinated craft is evident all the way down the line: each batch of beans is roasted in small quantities before being packaged in a handsome, hand-printed bag designed by the owner himself. Choose from a bevy of brews, including favorites such as the signature sipper, Lobster Butter Love, the brooding, bittersweet Mother Pheasant Plucker, and the Rich French Neighbor, which like most actual residents of France is imbued with notes of luxurious dark chocolate (all $7/half-pound, $13/pound).
Transylvania, Romania, may be Dracula's hometown, but it's also the hometown of something much sweeter?chimney cakes. The cylindrical cakes, which were originally baked on hot coals by the area's Hungarian residents, look a little like ribbon wrapped around a spool. To make them, bakers roll special dough by hand into an even strip, and then wrap the dough around a wooden or steel cooking roll. Next, they coat the dough in sugar and bake it. The result is a fully, soft inside and a crispy outside that is quickly coated in sweet toppings while it's still hot.
They used to be made only for special occasions in Romania and Hungary, but they've become quite popular and are slowly spreading across the world. In 1985, when the Chimney Cake Caf? opened, they officially touched down in Ann Arbor.
In the decades since then, the cafe team has added flair to the traditional pastry. They've started stuffing savory, garlic-and-cheese-covered chimney cakes with fillings such as chicken and feta cheese, and they've improved upon hot coals as their cooking method, upgrading to modern ovens and lasers. They also specialize in chicken and lamb shawarma. However, they still create the popular sweet cakes coated with such toppings as Nutella, Oreos, and coconut.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
The name Barry Bagels conceals the diversity of its menu. In addition to 16 bagel varieties, the staff churn out homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee. The flagship Barry Bagels shop opened in Toledo in 1972?the company celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012?and now shares its oven-mastery with three other Toledo-area locations as well as one in Ann Arbor, MI.