If you try to leaf through a book at The Cake Shop, it might not work out exactly as planned?the shop's lifelike 3D cakes sometimes resemble a stack of books, a bulldog, or a guitar. For weddings, the dessert specialists also craft towering wedding cakes, iced with dainty patterns of polka dots and flowers. The team also whips up cupcakes in a smorgasbord of flavors, as well as a variety of other pastries, from cannoli to cream-filled eclairs.
Though he couldn't have known it at the time, Adam Caldwell arranged what arguably could be considered one of the most successful first dates in modern history. He not only ended up marrying his date, Danna, but also had such a memorable time with her in the frozen-yogurt shop that the two of them were eventually inspired to start their own. They opened Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in California in 2007, and within just a few years, found themselves with a family of hundreds of thriving stores sprinkled all around the world.
As the Menchie's brand grew, Adam and Danna kept a simple mission in mind: to make their customers smile. An adorable cast of animated characters is featured throughout the stores, including on the colorful spoons, and customers can have fun creating endless frozen-yogurt combinations. There are almost 150 rotating yogurt flavors, and the selection includes eight versions of vanilla. Of course, there are plenty of toppings as well, displayed in help-yourself bins filled with fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and candy.
The yogurt is made from fresh milk from a California dairy, and it is free of the artificial growth hormone rSBT. All the yogurt is kosher, and certain flavors accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
When owners Chris and Scott Snibbe opened Sweets 'n Stuff, they didn't going for the traditional bakery setup. They opted to go for something more familiar—grandma's kitchen. To that end, they filled the front end of the shop with vintage knick knacks, family-style dinner tables, and loveably crazy uncles who never moved out of the basement. In the back, they bake up classic grandma-style goodies, including fresh-from-oven cinnamon rolls, muffins, and pies. They also handcraft their own peanut butter cups, almond clusters, and fudge.
Just like grandma, Chris and Scott don't hog all their secrets—they hold candy-making lessons in their large classroom. Their Grandma-like generosity doesn't end there, since they also offer complimentary tea and coffee, as well as free Wi-Fi for visitors who want to revel in the homey vibe.
Ooey-gooey frosting spills into every nook and cranny of cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven at The Village Green Bakery and Cafe. Yet they're merely a prelude to other sweet and savory baked goods, including pies, cookies, and scones—some of which are even gluten-free. Round out meals with cups of rich, steaming coffee, mouthwatering fruit smoothies, fresh-pressed paninis, or made-to-order sandwiches, then kick back with a good book—the cozy eatery's shelves are full of them.
At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.
Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.
Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.
Drawing inspiration from local craft beers, the bakers at Brewcakes combine those same suds with local ingredients to handcraft alcohol-infused cupcakes with flavors that rotate monthly. Boozy creations include the stout beer base, whiskey, and Bailey’s frosting blend of the Irish Cake Bomb, as well as the chocolate-porter base and chipotle-chocolate frosting of the aptly named Chipotle Porter.
Beyond cupcakes, spirits find their way into other offerings—such as the Black & White Russian, an espresso-chocolate brownie topped with Kahlua-spiked chocolate cream, and the beer-braised beef that fills panini-style short-rib sliders at Brewcakes' café. In addition to alcohol-infused eats, café diners can also enjoy plenty of alcohol-free treats, such as veggie flatbreads, hot- and iced-coffee drinks, or water served in shot glasses.