Founders Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz started Nothing Bundt Cakes in Las Vegas with the simple aim of making cakes for their families and friends. But thanks to their handcrafted recipes, pure ingredients, and innovative decorating ideas, their business soon grew from a small home kitchen to a franchise, with locations in 13 states.
The custom-designed cakes—made with fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese—arrive in flavors ranging from white chocolate raspberry to lemon and chocolate chocolate chip. Thick, frosted petals atop each cake showcase the signature velvety cream cheese–frosting, which must be eaten swiftly before it glides away on a summer breeze.
Making a good sandwich, like removing a child’s head from between stair balusters, requires delicate handling and a lot of mayonnaise. Marvel at skilled condiment usage with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $14 worth of sandwiches and bagels at Izzi's To-Go East-Coast Bagels & Smokehouse in Redwood City.
In the days before baguettes were popularized as day-old jousting batons, the dignified breadform was utilized as a sandwich vessel. To preserve the antiquity of the baguette, the friendly bakers at Cocola fetch them straight from the oven on a daily basis and build graspable sandwiches of the highest quality, such as the albacore tuna nicoise (with a lemon vinaigrette, $9.90) and the hearty grilled eggplant (with fresh veggies, mozzarella, and an olive oil and balsamic blend, $9.90). A sandwich is an intelligent way to get the hunger ball rolling down the hill until it crashes into an array of sweet menu treats. Indulge in tri-colored mousse cups ($4.60) and whipped and stacked hazelnut cakes ($4.60), or nourish your petite palate with pear tarts ($2.80) or bite-sized tiramisu ($3.10).
It all began in 1928 with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, and a quick dip in dark chocolate. With these three simple ingredients, George Whitney created the first chocolate-covered IT'S-IT ice-cream sandwich. For the next several decades, he sold these treats exclusively to Playland at the Beach's passersby and seagull gourmands until the amusement park closed in the early 1970s.
This setback didn't deter Whitney, though. Instead, it inspired him to open a tiny shop and continue making ice-cream sandwiches by hand for the San Francisco area's small local stores. More and more stores began clamoring for the treats, so the company started to expand until IT'S-IT Ice Cream made its way into freezers across more than 15 states. "If you?re not from the Bay Area you might be tempted to call the IT'S-IT just another ice cream sandwich," wrote one Google employee according to The Wall Street Journal, "But you?d be oh, so wrong."
The traditional IT'S-IT sandwich with vanilla ice cream continues to be a staple, although chocolate, mint, pumpkin, strawberry, and cappuccino flavors can also be found. The company has expanded its selection to include a handful of other treats. Scoops of ice cream lie sandwiched between oversized chocolate-chip cookies, as well as dark-chocolate wafers. IT'S-IT's version of a sundae on a stick, meanwhile, features ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and then rolled in roasted peanuts.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Among the flavors offered every day at Brazzle Berry, acai berry is probably the most unusual. But it's this nutrient-packed berry that the yogurt shop centers itself around. Acai bowls blend the berry with banana and agave sweetener for a breakfast chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, while the yogurt provides a more effective way to get antioxidants than wooing fickle artichoke hearts.
Besides acai berry, customers can choose from a range of all-natural yogurt flavors to fill their cups. Chocolate and strawberry are on the bill every day, while rotating flavors include peanut butter and red velvet. And to enhance their healthy sweet treats, customers spoon up toppings, such as chopped fruits and nuts, candy, and cookies.