Hollie, the lady behind Sugar Diva's Custom Cakes, bakes fresh, homemade treats from fine ingredients. The business specializes in custom cakes for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, fashioning them with multiple tiers, elegant accouterments, and stunning designs. They also specialize in smaller treats, which range from gooey chocolate chip cookies and brownies to cupcakes, chocolate fudge, made-to-order pies, and old-fashioned candies.
Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. The duo is also famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts. Choose your favorite ice cream from dozens of silky flavors, such as cake batter and mint. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry-pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary by season and location. The store also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings, such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4.59 and $5.29, depending on size.
A peek inside Davidson Chocolate Co. reveals chocolate concocters handcrafting a cocoa collection of truffles, fudges, and desserts. Davidson's truffles ($8.25 per quarter-pound) are faithfully composed to the tune of an 1887 recipe. Try the cherry cordials, crème de menthe, and hot-chili truffles to detect their 70% cocoa consistency. The shop's English toffee ($7 per quarter-pound) makes the perfect St. Swithun's Day gift for Lord Bucklington of Nottingchestcerford, with its crumbled almonds and buttery texture. Other confections include the chocolate-covered caramel cups ($7 per quarter-pound) and richly textured coconut crèmes with almond ($7 per quarter-pound). If you're avoiding sugar, the shop also carries a wide range of sugar-free snacks that are equally sumptuous.
A self-described "accidental baker," Amy Craparo wasn't shepherded into her field by a cake-obsessed grandmother or mother. No matter. She found her own way, and it all started with a bite of the most wonderful cake she had ever tasted. Call it love at first sight; Amy found herself so inspired that she simply bought the business, starting an unlikely career in the world of baking.
After training with bakers and cake designers from around the country, she started to churn out her own delicious wedding cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops. Today, The Wow Factor lives up to its name, baking sweets that sweep customers off their feet. But it's not just the taste that elicits "Wow"s. Amy's cakes are flat-out gorgeous, drawing aesthetic inspiration from the latest fashion trends, bridal designs, and Internet memes.
From beaches to barbecues, summer means different things to different people. In Katina Cloud's case, it means baking. She spent her girlhood summers in Mississippi helping her grandmother craft homemade cakes. Their bond sparked a love for baking that Katina honors to this day at Kitty's Delights. Made in small batches and individually wrapped, her 10-plus gourmet cookie flavors range from almond toffee to white-chocolate peanut butter. Besides her main cookies, Katina bakes gluten-free varieties, assembles gift baskets, and creates special cookies to benefit Cindy's Hope Chest, an organization that helps women battle breast cancer.