Owned by the Nimmow family, who channel long-loved family recipes with Amish roots, Golden Days Bakery proffers a panoply of preservative-free confections that are made from scratch each day. Moist fruit pies ($4.25 for mini, $8.50 for large) boast local notoriety for their tasty fillings that include rhubarb strawberry, pecan, and pumpkin. Diverse grains assemble into a bounty of fluffy breads ($2.95–$3.25) such as homemade dinner rolls, health-packed flax seed, cinnamon-swathed monkey bread, and apple, cherry, or cream-cheese danishes that speak perfect English. Mouthwatering cookie classics ($4.75/dozen) such as sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin quell crunch cravings among sweet teeth and very hungry hippos, and even the pickiest appetites are sure to find appeasement in assorted treats such as cashew brittle, Oreo truffles, or caramel pecan bars.
Years ago, the owner of Blessed Bee Cupcakes started her business in the kitchen of her own home. She lovingly sifted flour and beat fresh eggs for made-to-order baked goods. Word of her cakes and cupcakes started to spread through the community, and she was eventually able to open a bakery in historic downtown Fond du Lac. There, she crafts treats using local, seasonal ingredients; recent specialties include pumpkin pie spice cupcakes and vanilla bean cupcakes infused with vanilla bean seeds from Village Market. Patrons can also order specialty cakes decorated with smooth fondant or buttercream icing.
Over the past year, CamRock Cafe & Sport—in partnership with the Village of Cambridge and Capitol Water Trails—has transformed the Koshkonong Creek from a tricky maze of fallen trees into a clear and gentle waterway. Situated on the shore of the creek amid miles of meandering snowshoeing, mountain-biking, and cross-country-skiing trails, the café ensures that its clientele doesn't need to look far for something to do. The staff helps visitors take advantage of the terrain with bike, boat, gear, and Go-Go-Gadget 'copter rentals. Hosted events bring people together to explore the trails via bike and listen to live music back at the café, or take part in a yoga or spin class. After guests return from a sojourn, the café supplies them with more than 100 craft beers, toasted gourmet sandwiches, and Alterra coffee from the food and drink menus.
Becky’s Blissful Bakery’s confectionists eschew high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives, instead, they handcraft most batches of gluten-free caramels from organic ingredients—including some from other local merchants. Along with the original vanilla-caramel recipe, flavors such as masala chai tea from Rishi Tea or extra-special bitter beer from Lakefront Brewery infuse the treats with added complexity. Rather than protecting each caramel by wrapping it in peanut butter, Becky’s bakers swaddle the morsels in wax paper before arranging them in packages accented with silver bows.
One of the best BLTs in Madison doesn't have bacon on it. Dubbed the TLT, owner Jennie Capellaro's meat-free version swaps out the pork for strips of tempeh, a type of cultured soy. The sandwich's smoky flavor won over the critics of 77 Square, claiming Best BLT honors in 2010. PETA named it one of the country's best vegan BLTs in 2012. Every year since 2012, it has been named "Favorite Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant" by The Daily Page, and it has been featured on The Restaurant Show in both August and September of 2014.
Jennie and her team at The Green Owl Cafe strive to similarly surprise their diners by coaxing out unexpected flavors from their vegetarian and vegan dishes. Championing freshness, they prefer to work with local suppliers, such as Blue Skies Berry Farm and Voss Organics. One of the only vegan brunch places in Madison, guests can substitute tofu for the organic range-free eggs in many dishes, and enjoy bloody marys with house-infused black pepper vodka. They also periodically throw their popular Raw Nights, treating guests to prix fixe dinners comprised of all raw courses. Jennie matches her menu's celebration of nature with a rustic, wood-paneled interior and an outdoor patio where diners can catch the free vitamin-D capsules regularly tossed down by the sun.
It was a fateful day that Campus Candy founder Mark Tarnofsky dropped his daughter off at Indiana University about four years ago. On a mission to track down a simple candy bar, the dutiful dad found himself roaming far afield until he finally landed at a distant drugstore. Convinced that college kids want candy within constant reach, Tarnofsky started his first store right there, and soon expanded to the schools in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Each outlet sells more than 500 different types of candy, all of which may be repurposed as toppings on a rotating menu of frozen yogurt. By slinging bulk candy at a fixed price, Campus Candy stores make it easy for college kids to load up on diverse desserts without filling their schedules with bonbon-making classes.