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.
Backed by 45 years of tradition, Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlour freezes brains with sweet scoops of handcrafted ice cream in more than 40 imaginative flavors. Beneath a glass case laden with old-fashioned candy and fresh popcorn, chilled air curls around mounds of rare ice-cream varieties such as lemon custard, caramel-nut cluster, and banana pudding, each waiting to meet its spoony soul mate. Frozen globes of pistachio mingle with mackinac island fudge atop double-scoop cones ($4.60), and single cups ($2.82) or triple scoops ($5.20 for cup or cone) of moose tracks puff up their peanut-butter cups to intimidate waiting mouths. Frosty frozen yogurt morphs into myriad tangy forms ranging from low-cal and low-fat to sugar- and lactose-free in a rotating cast of flavors including double-dutch chocolate and pumpkin. Hand-packed pints, quarts, and gallons ($5.10–$12.99) cram frosty treats into take-home cartons so sweet seekers can decadently bribe freezer poltergeists into submission.
Every day, Breadsmith kneads and breeds made-from-scratch breads, honoring the practices of centuries-old French bakers. The delectable dough sculptures receive the royal treatment, with all delicate yeast bubbles bursting inside of a 6-ton stone-hearth oven. The oven's sweltering heat creates a cushy crust for American-style breads. In the presence of lightning-quick steam injections, European-style breads take on a crisp, crumb-dressed outer core. Daily bread offerings vary from baguettes to sourdoughs to specialty loaves. Use today's Groupon to fill up the family with lusciously leavened loaves fresh from the oven—or wait for them to go stale and then wield them as harpoons during the next potato-soup hunt.
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.
Party Cakes’ expert bakers alchemize fresh ingredients into delectable baked goods topped with homemade vanilla or chocolate buttercream icing. Adorn fall feasts with a dozen autumn-themed cupcakes, embellished with chocolate acorns, sugary pumpkins, or candy-covered haystacks. Halloween-themed cupcakes brandish spooky ornamentation, such as spiders hunching over black-icing webs, perfect for holiday get-togethers or monthly meetings of arachnid enthusiasts.