Owners Tina and Kevin Yancey didn't start their marriage with the idea of running a bakery. Kevin, a business owner, and Tina, a corporate employee, were simply fans of their local Great Harvest franchise and the freshly baked breads the staffers forged from scratch each day. With the couple's natural love for cooking and entertaining, they quickly realized the fulfillment they would gain from opening their own Great Harvest bakery. In 2007, they found that fulfillment by unveiling their very first location in Las Vegas.
Though far from the glitter of the Strip, the Yanceys' Birmingham location still bakes pillowy breads with the same techniques as the original Great Harvest that impressed them years ago. Everything from sweet scones and cookies to 10 types of flavorful bread are made completely from scratch with whole-grain flour the company mills itself and baked in an oven fueled by the company's fire-breathing staff members. The menu transforms from month to month, giving new and veteran customers alike new treats to taste throughout the year.
As with a fine bonbon, finding out what's inside of Schakolad Birmingham Chocolate is the most exciting part. Inside the sunny storefront, glass shelves and counters ramble past a seating area, brimming with chocolates, cookies, and other confections. The swirls of frosting and twists of tissue paper attest to the knowledge of the staff, who have appeared on Fox 2 Detroit to talk about holiday chocolates.
Their own supply of confections includes signature chocolate ganache truffles infused with raspberries, rum, amaretto, and other flavors. Those treats as well as vegan dark chocolates, cake pops, and Italian gelatos match the vibrant colors of the paintings arrayed on the walls, adding to the feeling that everyone should be racing through the shop like an excited kid.
TCBY (a.k.a. The Country's Best Yogurt) serves low-fat and fat-free yogurt that contains benevolent bacterial cultures that assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. All locations tout silky soft-serve in flavors such as golden vanilla and white-chocolate mousse ($1.79–$3.89). Top your probiotic-packed treat with strawberries, gummy bears, coconuts, or a host of other toppings (+$0.85 each). TCBY's Beriyo smoothies—potent potions such as Strawberry Bananza and Berrylicious—contain real-dairy frozen yogurt blended with bushels of fresh fruit ($4.39–$5.39). Celebrate successfully evading a baby raincloud with a waffle cone (additional $.60). Prices and selection vary from store to store.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
By age 10, after two years baking by her mother’s side, Felicia Johnson was already mixing batter of her own. In adulthood, she joined the United States Navy and then the business world, but her childhood love of pastry never waned. At Cake Luv, Felicia channels that passion by crafting customized cakes. Her creations run the gamut from tiered wedding cakes to specialties made to look like kids characters such as Tigger and Buzz Lightyear. She shares her skills at cake decorating classes, where students paint on a truly edible canvas, unlike those awful tasting paintings of fruit.
Like her specialty cakes, Felicia’s cupcakes come in a variety of flavors including Black Forest, a devil’s food cake filled with cherry and topped with buttercream icing. Pairs of gourmet brownies and cookies round out Cake Luv’s stock of sweet treats.