With locations in six states, 16 Handles is carving out a delicious space for itself in the self-serve frozen-yogurt world. In addition to rewarding customers’ cravings with a rotating daily selection of 16 flavors—each packed with protein, probiotics, and calcium—the healthy-dessert emporium sets itself apart from its competitors through its eco-friendly practices. 16 Handles not only arms its patrons with biodegradable cups and spoons crafted from cornstarch, but it also works with Trees for the Future, an organization that assists global communities in growing trees for agriculture, food, and animal habitat. Through their partnership, 16 Handles has planted 91,284 trees so far, one-quarter of which grow frozen yogurt instead of leaves.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
For more than a quarter-century, Interstate Caterers has made meals easier for administrators, party-planners, and anyone looking to feed people by the pack. Empanadas, tamales, and pupusas add a dollop of Latin American flavors to fetes, while pizza cones take cues from ice cream parlors by wrapping all the ingredients of a slice in a savory cylinder of flaky dough. Trays of italian sausage and barbecue rib tips pair nicely with salad or with a second tray of meat.
The bakers at CocoLuxe Fine Pastries may not use blocks of marble or chisels, but no one can deny that their culinary creations are works of art. Crafted from components ranging from classic chocolate ganache and raspberry buttercream to orange poppy seed sponge cake, their custom cakes add the crowning touch to weddings, birthdays, or séances to contact Marie Antoinette. Inside the bakery, spacious glass cases brim with morning treats such as croissants and scones. Next to them perch cupcakes capped by Italian meringue and chocolate mice with sliced almond ears, which customers can take home to give lethargic housecats some exercise. At midday, CocoLuxe Fine Pastries switches from sweet to savory as it unveils an array of artisanal sandwiches. The bakery’s fresh baguettes and rosemary focaccia become vessels for smoked gouda and cranberry apple compotes, fortifying diners for afternoons filled feeding, watering, and walking their computers.
Mara's Cafe & Bakery began as a humble mom-and-pop operation in 1984, the shared vision of Mara Magley and her husband, Glenn. Mara developed many of the café's proprietary dessert recipes, which are rooted in family traditions and feature fresh ingredients such as pure bourbon vanilla and Philadelphia cream cheese. Glenn, on the other hand, set about creating a signature line of coffee products. A java aficionado, Glenn chose state-of-the-art equipment—Fresh Roast Systems technology—to roast blends and single-origin beans from Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Guatemala. The advanced machine elicits the optimal flavor from each batch of beans by allowing baristas to adjust the roasting time, temperature, and volume of the "It's Time for the Percolator" remix playing in the background.
In 2004, sons Ian and Devan joined the family business and helped expand the menu to include items such as sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The team's hard work and commitment to quality ingredients has earned the restaurant numerous awards: in 2012 alone, it was named the Best Coffee Shop in Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine's Readers' Choice Awards, one of the Best Coffeehouses in New Jersey by readers of New Jersey Monthly magazine, and one of the Best Bakeries in the Daily Record's Best of Morris County Readers’ Choice Awards.
Inside Cups Frozen Yogurt ? That?s Hot, vintage surf movie posters and photos of '50s and '60s models in beach attire watch over the chilly frozen yogurt station. The 24 self-serve stations dispense rotating frozen yogurt flavors, such as seasonal pumpkin or New York cheesecake. These flavors can be mixed and matched to create fusion flavors that play off each other's sweet and tart notes. Further down the line, the toppings bar holds up to 50 varieties of candy, fruit, and nuts that can customize each swirl of frozen yogurt.