Amid the Nutrition Station club's cheerful yellow and orange walls, coaches guide clients to slimmer versions of themselves through a wide range of nutritional and fitness programs. The center hosts group fitness classes, including boot camp and Zumba, along with weight-loss challenges, in which participants are encouraged to shed pounds through exercise and nutrition, verses removing their heaviest toe. During one-on-one nutrition sessions, cushy sofas couch nutrition counselors and clients as they discuss healthy meal plans to fit their lifestyles and weight-loss goals. The Nutrition Station's shelves are lined in Herbalife nutritional supplements, and 94 specialty smoothies sprawl across their chalkboard.
At Newark Natural Foods, visitors peruse 6,000 square feet of natural and organic grocery items, including fresh produce and free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, eggs, and dairy. The store's staff is committed to helping guests develop healthy lifestyles, trained to help shoppers select items that cater to dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian lifestyles. Newark Natural Foods also operates as a co-op, allowing health-conscious members to give back to the community.
Baker and sugar artist Chef Dana Herbert has long held a local reputation for his confections—he’s known across Delaware as "The Sugar Daddy" and "King of Cakes.” He rose to national attention on TLC's Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker, where he took home the top prize and caused viewers everywhere to lick their TV screens with his inventive flavors and striking designs as well. His dual training in culinary and pastry arts also won him an invitation to join the esteemed James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.
At Desserts by Dana, he channels his creativity into customized wedding cakes, intricate sugar sculpture, pastries, and special event cakes. Each edible conversation piece is sculpted around moist, rich cake—available in more than 20 flavors such as Mexican chocolate, raspberry, and pumpkin—which can be filled with mousse, lemon curd, or other sweet fillings. Equally as imaginative as the flavors is the final product, which might arrive decorated with delicate, eye-catching flowers, bows, or damask designs. Chef Dana can also fashion cakes into the likeness of cartoon characters, cars, or the profile of a funny-looking cousin.
Since his successful run on Cake Boss, Chef Dana has garnered even more attention for his sweet treats (which also include cookies, tarts, and pastries). He’s been featured on such networks as NBC and FOX, and lauded within the pages of Huffington Post, Chef Magazine, and Fitness Magazine. He’s also made sure to show that there’s more to good eating than sugar—when he’s not baking, he tours from coast to coast to educate the country on diabetes. During these tours, he helps others learn to create nutritious, flavorful meals and desserts specially tailored for a sugar-free diet.
Neither Henry nor Carol Huffman, the founders of Cheese Chalet, had any idea that their future careers would be in gourmet dairy products when they first married. Henry was teaching Spanish at the University of Delaware when their local cheese shop closed down in 1976. Though the two began joking about opening their own shop, jokes soon turned to discussion, discussion turned to planning, planning turned to knock-knock jokes, and within a few months, the pair officially opened their first shop. Today, with Henry and Carol still at the helm, their staff of seven seasoned employees prepares fresh deli-style takeout meals and catering trays as they maintain the store’s stock of bulk and prepackaged cheeses from around the world.
The flute on the counter at Sprout Vegan Eatery and Juice Bar is full of an elixir so green it almost looks unnatural. However, the juice owes its color to a very natural source—a healthy dose of dragon kale that has been liquefied with apples and dandelion. This is just one of Sprout's freshly pressed juices that are made in small batches from fresh, organic produce and that can wash down an array of GMO- and preservative free sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Customers can also order the popular Irish Moss protein drink, which aims to add minerals to depleted diets with ingredients such as sea moss, chia seeds, and almonds, all packed with the magnesium, iron, and copper needed to finally get the attention of your metal detector.
At Northbrook MarketPlace, guests can enter a restored 1850s fieldstone barn with bright-red wood siding and picturesque white wooden frames to browse the market and grab dishes made from fresh, sustainable ingredients. Chefs fire up tender brisket in the smokehouse, make sandwiches to order, and pluck signature apple-cider donuts from trees. Diners can also nosh on daily hot-meal specials, including chicken pot pies and fish 'n' chips, then slide forks into the flaky crust of the daily pie while sitting inside the marketplace, outside in the courtyard, or at home. For those who want a more leisurely meal, the Chef's Table, which was named Philadelphia magazine's Best Private Dining Table in 2009, proffers an hours-long culinary experience in which patrons devour local, gourmet fare from a tasting menu designed by head chef Rob Boone. The week's BYOB feasts include the Chef's Table banquet; Family Nights, which feed visiting households and peckish minivans with an Italian buffet; and brunch, which mollifies maws with homemade granola and barbecue sliders.