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.
Nutrition isn't usually the first thing you think about when buying cookies, but at Cooper Street Cookies, it's actually rewarding to turn a package over and see what's inside. That's because the family-owned bakery makes all of its cookies without the use of dairy, nuts, or trans fats, and instead uses only all natural ingredients with a minimal sprinkling of sugar for taste. The result is a selection of low-calorie cookies, produced not with cheats such as fake sugar and styrofoam peanuts, but with natural ingredients including dried fruit and extracts. These family recipes have been so well-received that they now appear on the shelves at Whole Foods and Macy's. Because of this commitment to high quality ingredients, cookie flavors take a unique turn and include mint chocolate chip, orange cranberry, and key lime coconut varieties available in batches and even custom-wrapped cookie towers.
The Coffee Beanery's methods of roasting and brewing coffee transcend from process to artistry. For 36 years, the international chain has roasted its own hand-selected beans at its Michigan headquarters using its trademarked Right Roast technique, in which humans take the place of robots to roast small batches to their peak flavor. Each of their kosher-certified coffee flavors sets taste buds alight without the use of sugar, alcohol, lactose, or glow sticks. Decaffeinated versions drip into cups sans chemicals, as each batch is made with only the Swiss Water Process.
Teatime evokes the Victorian era, when gentlemen and ladies would gather around a steaming pot to discuss the day’s developments and try to come up with a better name than tea cozy. Victorian Tea Parlor emulates these days past in a strikingly authentic atmosphere. At lunch or high tea, guests set the kickstands on their penny farthings before pouring tea, hot chocolate, or lemonade and snacking on sandwiches and salads amid vintage furniture and soft yellow walls. Shelves of Victorian-inspired antiques and jewelry, displays of more than 62 teas from brands such as Harney & Sons, and teacups add to the cozy atmosphere and can be purchased for use at home.
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.
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.