The candy kitchen's massive copper kettle predating World War II is certainly an eye catcher, but the nostalgic sights and smells of candy filling rows of white shelves is what overwhelms most people when they step inside Kilwins Chocolates. For more than two generations, the original recipes of founders Don and Katy Kilwin have been used to handcraft more than 75 confections such as chocolates, caramels, and specialty fudge. Aside from some newer equipment, head candy cook Bill Hoffman and his team still abide by Don’s candy-making methods and use original equipment when possible. Inside the old-fashioned candy shop, a burnished copper-kettle-fire mixer fashions each piece of peanut brittle, a cold room solidifies almond-toffee crunch, and a manatee that swallowed a freezer still makes every sea-foam candy. In addition to candy, Kilwins has created more than 32 flavors of original-recipe ice cream since 1985 with farm-fresh rBHT-free milk and cream from Michigan farms.
With a rotating selection of more than 70 all-natural yogurt flavors and more than 30 tasty toppings, Yo Luv It provides myriad healthy dessert options. The fro-yo aficionados serve up six fat-free, gluten-free, and certified kosher flavors daily in personal portions ($2.50+) or take-home pints ($3.75–$4.25). Customers can increase their daily fruit intake with banana or mango yogurt or put out a mustache fire with the chocolate-hazelnut-biscotti yogurt. Spoonphobes will delight in Yo Luv It’s sippable treats, such as two-fruit smoothies ($4.50–$5.50), fro-yo floats ($3.75–$4.75), and yogurtless ice water. The dessert den’s interior, outfitted with neon lights, chrome counters, and modern stools and chairs, creates a fun and futuristic environment for enjoying sweets and planning how to place a buzzing beehive in a rival coworker’s file cabinet.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab’s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with sundae bars in tow.
The treats may be frozen, but that doesn't mean they're not flexible. That's because the colorful self-serve dispensers that line Yogurt Crazy’s bright purple walls are equipped to send a rotating lineup of 12 different frozen-yogurt flavors into cups, including nonfat, low-fat, and dairy-free varieties. Guests mix and match their own creations, choosing from flavors as diverse as pomegranate-raspberry tart and Heath toffee. Each swirl of yogurt can then be outfitted with kiwi, Reese's Pieces, and other selections from the topping bar’s 36 mix-ins, which means that patrons can customize their frozen desserts without the gooey mess of branding them with a hot iron.
Hershey's Ice Cream has been treating customers with scoops of chilly, sweet ice cream made from wholesome ingredients since 1984. Each flavor is created using fresh cream and condensed milk mixed with high-quality cocoa, handpicked frozen fruits, and high-grade nuts. The company's long history is reflected in the nostalgic vibe of its '50s-style ice-cream parlors, which feature classic ice-cream bars with colorful vinyl barstools and festive decorations. Customers can stop in for cones, sundaes, and shakes, or stock up on candy and other sweet novelties.
When the judges; scores came in, Sugar Rush Bakery's Andrew Mincher finished in second place on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Going into the competition, he thought, "This is what I do and I thought, I’m going to have fun doing it." His positive attitude—and his recipe for banana-rum cupcakes with peanut-butter buttercream frosting—paid off.
The recognition came as a hefty endorsement for the brand-new owner of the former Di Monda Bakery. Mincher recently bought out the business with his dad and brother so that he could make cupcakes his way. Inside, customers find him doing exactly that, whipping together delicious cupcakes and other sweets such as cookies and fresh-baked breads. He decorates his creations with chunks of chocolate or cheerful frosting faces that seem to ask, "Do I look cute in this foil?"