Not everyone goes on to make a career out of what they loved to do when they were a child. But for Carrie Shelley, baking in her grandmother’s kitchen at the age of 4 unleashed a passion she enthusiastically turned into a business. At Enchanted Cakes and Treats, Carrie revels in inventing unique concoctions, shaping cakes into frogs, wedding dresses, and footballs in flavors such as red velvet, coconut, amaretto, and chocolate. She also whips up a colorful variety of desserts, creating rice-krispies treats, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and pies from scratch. Her attention to detail and skills at customization make her a sought-after wedding-cake designer, a role that sees her incorporating fresh flowers, ribbons, and the best man’s cummerbund into her designs.
The confectioners at MB Sweets and Treats spruce up parties, weddings, or everyday meals with homemade truffles, cookies, tiered cakes, and cupcakes. Dozens of flavors of cupcakes treat tongues to delicacies such as Madagascar-bourbon-vanilla cake and strawberry-jelly-filled cupcakes with peanut-butter frosting. The bakers can customize larger cakes with personal greetings for birthdays or productivity spreadsheets for annual performance reviews.
Visit Cafe Euro and you might spot Dana Buric, brewing specialty coffee drinks and boxing European pastries alongside her son Dani and daughter Ira. They slice up fresh meats and vegetables for paninis and shower hearty pastas in savory dressing. Committed to recreating the relaxed atmosphere of a traditional European coffeehouse, they encourage guests to linger on the plush chairs of their sunlit cafe while enjoying complimentary Wi-Fi.
Cake craftswoman Cynthia adds a sweet, artful touch to weddings, birthday parties, and events with custom cakes pulled fresh from her oven and wildly creative imagination. She sifts, mixes, and ices one-of-a-kind confectionery marvels—in chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet—to each client’s specifications. No two creations look the same, and each custom goody pushes her ingenuity as she achieves such unlikely designs as a Chucky doll, Nikon camera, or motorcycle. Traditional tiered cakes further demonstrate Cynthia’s artistry and attention to detail with precisely crafted flowers, lace, and filigree fit for the Queen of England’s midnight snack.
Herb & Soul chefs B. Taylor and David Thomas operate under a simple mantra with several implications. When they say their mission is to "feed the soul," they mean that their fried chicken, short ribs, and Georgia bread pudding are more than just items on the menu—they’re nourishing reminders of the home-cooked meals of childhood.
They also mean that they do their best to foster long-standing relationships with local farmers and stock their small, down-home establishment with organic produce, grass-fed meats, and sustainably sourced fish. Herb & Soul's support of sustainable agriculture benefits the environment as well, since the restaurant converts its waste into compost and recycles its oil on the kitchen’s slip 'n' slide.
Though he spent much of his life as a truck driver for the city, Shareef's true calling was cooking. But it wasn't until he resigned from his driving job that he took a leap of faith and opened his first restaurant. Shareef's business has since evolved from halal hot dogs and burgers cooked on a small grill at his first establishment to a full menu of Mediterranean-style wraps, sandwiches, and platters served at two namesake eateries. To anchor the menu, the grill's chefs pair tortillas, buns, and beds of lettuce with halal and kosher meats and vegetables sautéed in their own butter sauce and craft housemade desserts including sweet-potato-and-cheese pies from fresh ingredients. And regardless of what location you are dining at, Shareef and his staff aim to make their space inviting and their food consistent by making every order fresh.
And Shareef's diners aren't the only ones raving about the menu's healthy yet delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The mayor of Baltimore even took notice, presenting the eatery with a certificate of recognition for their "outstanding contributions and dedication to providing . . . families with nutritious, affordable food."