When Mike Busley walked into Julian Pie Company, he found something unexpected—a sense of purpose. Returning with a dream of opening his own café with his wife, Denise, Mike convinced Julian’s owner to show them how to make pie so flavorful that it could alter a person’s life, just as it had theirs. The couple found themselves armed with newfound know-how, leading them to quit their careers in defense and medical sales, have a tough but healthy breakup talk with San Diego, and venture to Michigan to open Grand Traverse Pie Company.
Though now a franchise throughout Michigan and Indiana, Mike and Denise continue to run the original shop, and each location adheres to their vision of favoring ingredients from Michigan growers. Each day, chefs bake more than 25 flavors of pie, which have received attention from publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine. They also prepare an extensive selection of comfort fare for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions such as pomegranate plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, and cranberry; $4.79) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as mango magic (mango, pineapples, and non-fat yogurt; $4.29), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the kiwi citrus green tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the muscle blaster's whey or soy protein ($4.79 each). Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
Rolls 'R' Ready whips up Southern-inspired pastries and sweet snacks in a hospitable setting. Entreat northerly noshers to decadent sub-Mason-Dixon cuisine with the shop’s signature handmade cinnamon rolls. The bakers dress up fresh dough with sugar and savory spices, roll it up, and lavish it with a liberal arts education to create a flavorful, well-rounded treat. Though not included with the purchase of this Groupon, Rolls 'R' Ready also offers palate-pleasers such as pies, cookies, cakes, and tasty turnovers.
The French Confection satisfies hungry sweet teeth with a creamy, colorful array of homemade gourmet treats, from frosting-topped wedding cakes to sweet and salty pretzel desserts to tart lemon bars. Inventive creations include chocolate- and caramel-covered apples wrapped in candies, or pumpkin cheesecake scoops rolled in crushed pecans and crowned with dollops of whipped cream. To ring in special occasions, The French Confection rolls out exquisitely decorated sheet and circular cakes. These include tiered, frosted towers for weddings, as well as children's birthday cakes emblazoned with bouncy basketballs, happy animals, loving messages, and reminders that adulthood—and all the free, money-filled cake it represents—is fast approaching.
The Coffee Beanery's methods of roasting and brewing coffee transcends from process to artistry. For 36 years, the international chain has roasted its own hand-selected beans at its Michigan headquarters using its trademarked Right Roast technique, where humans take the place of robots to roast small batches to their peak flavor. Each of their 31 kosher-certified coffee flavors set taste buds alight without the use of sugar, alcohol, lactose, or glow sticks. Decaffeinated versions drip into cups sans chemicals, as each batch is made with only the Swiss Water Process.