It all began in 1928 with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, and a quick dip in dark chocolate. With these three simple ingredients, George Whitney created the first chocolate-covered IT'S-IT ice-cream sandwich. For the next several decades, he sold these treats exclusively to Playland at the Beach's passersby and seagull gourmands until the amusement park closed in the early 1970s.
This setback didn't deter Whitney, though. Instead, it inspired him to open a tiny shop and continue making ice-cream sandwiches by hand for the San Francisco area's small local stores. More and more stores began clamoring for the treats, so the company started to expand until IT'S-IT Ice Cream made its way into freezers across more than 15 states. "If you?re not from the Bay Area you might be tempted to call the IT'S-IT just another ice cream sandwich," wrote one Google employee according to The Wall Street Journal, "But you?d be oh, so wrong."
The traditional IT'S-IT sandwich with vanilla ice cream continues to be a staple, although chocolate, mint, pumpkin, strawberry, and cappuccino flavors can also be found. The company has expanded its selection to include a handful of other treats. Scoops of ice cream lie sandwiched between oversized chocolate-chip cookies, as well as dark-chocolate wafers. IT'S-IT's version of a sundae on a stick, meanwhile, features ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and then rolled in roasted peanuts.
At most drinking establishments, the interaction with the customer begins and ends at ordering, save for a question about adding a vague amount of milk or sugar. Not at Raging Boba—here, the drink makers ask guests to taste their bubble tea before being served and offer suggestions. This allows the shop to tweak each serving to a visitor's particular taste for sweetness, flavor, and straw thickness. This care extends to Raging Boba's snow ice, a Taiwanese fruit concoction topped with jellies and boba pearls.
If the thought of freshly baked goods pulled right out of the oven isn't quite enough to lure you into Mazzetti's Bakery, perhaps the fact that they are created using zero preservatives and ultra-fresh ingredients will get you there. Mazzetti's confectioners whip up a panoply of baked goodies?including French and Danish pastries, bread, cookies, and pies?every day, and as a result, the business has been thriving for more than 38 years. For special occasions, they build whimsical custom cakes and cupcakes topped with creamy swirls of frosting and colorful sprinkles.
Real butter, fresh whole milk, flour, eggs, and pure vanilla. Each morning these fine ingredients are blended by hand in mixing bowls before being transformed into delectable cupcakes, cookies, pies, and empanadas. It's all part of Pacificakes Bake Shop daily commitment to fresh ingredients. That commitment leads to 25 exquisite cupcake flavors the likes of PB&J, french toast, and chocolate mocha. Cookies such as shortbread come in themed shapes, and pies are packed with fresh fruits such as strawberries and cranberries. Since they enjoy making these treats, they let kids in on the fun with baking classes and birthday decorating parties.
Founders Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz started Nothing Bundt Cakes in Las Vegas with the simple aim of making cakes for their families and friends. But thanks to their handcrafted recipes, pure ingredients, and innovative decorating ideas, their business soon grew from a small home kitchen to a franchise, with locations in 13 states.
The custom-designed cakes—made with fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese—arrive in flavors ranging from white chocolate raspberry to lemon and chocolate chocolate chip. Thick, frosted petals atop each cake showcase the signature velvety cream cheese–frosting, which must be eaten swiftly before it glides away on a summer breeze.
At Elegant Cheese Cakes, pastry chef Susan Morgan builds gourmet desserts from scratch, laying cheesy foundations before coating them with vibrant chocolate frosting. Celebrate holidays or successful grocery-store runs with the classically decorated gift cheesecake, a box-shaped confection that conceals its mouthwatering contents under chocolate wrapping paper and a frosting bow (a $120 value). Despite its humble 6"x6" frame, this thick cheesecake can conquer the appetites of 10–12 guests. Elegant Cheese Cakes ships all of its confectionary creations overnight ($35+), ensuring cakes arrive in time for last-minute celebrations or unusually filling breakfasts.