Considering Juan and Alvaro Gorrin studied medicine and business, and went on to forge careers in real estate and banking, it's probably surprising to many that they found their ultimate success in a totally unrelated field: baking. The Gorrins, who were born in Spain but moved to Venezuela in their youth, found there was a demand for European-inspired baked goods in South America. They developed the Don Pan brand in Venezuela in 1982, and eventually relocated to Miami, where they opened their first North American bakery in 1995.
Today, their menu maintains distinctly Spanish and South American accents. A bounty of pastries includes guava danish and tres leches, as well as brazo gitano, a sponge cake rolled with chocolate or cream that's popular in both Spain and Venezuela, as well as the section of Canada that uses cake as currency. There are also plenty of savory menu items, including cachapas—corn pancakes served with meat or cheese—and Venezuelan-style tamales bursting with pork, beef, chicken, and veggies.
Owners Spencer and Sabrina Aird parlay a passion for nourishing vegan fare into Grass Root Organic Restaurant, which CBS Tampa named one of the best veg restaurants in the city. Carmine walls envelop diners in the cozy café space, creating a soothing atmosphere punctuated with vivid abstract paintings hung along the wall. While settled into high-backed wooden chairs, each topped with a lattice design, diners dig into a menu that features cooked vegan dishes as well as raw dishes. Raw vegan pad thai, guacamole, and spinach and basil pesto, among others, star on the restaurant's roster.
The Airds also run a customizable meal delivery system that sends clients fresh meals from a rotating weekly menu several times a week. Sabrina teaches occasional classes on how to replicate her culinary expertise and mimic items on Grass Root's menu by sitting very still on an oversized plate.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
The staff at Soho Tan Spa knows there’s no single correct path to getting a glowing tan. To accommodate clients of all skin types and sensibilities, they offer tanning treatments ranging from the classic UV beds to airbrush treatments by trained technicians or the automated jets of a VersaSpa booth. Their three-pronged approach lets clients choose the level of privacy and method best suited to their skin. The VersaSpa spray tanning booths offer three tanning MyMyst shades to accommodate clients who just want a splash of color or those who want to look like they've spent weeks in a close orbit around the sun. Four brands of beds let clients emphasize facial tanning or faster tan times, while spa facials performed in the tanning salon help refresh newly tanned skin.
Berryism's menu offers frozen yogurt and a wide array of accessorizing toppings, as well as smoothies. There are always three flavors on constant tap (original tart, wildberry, and chocolate) as well as a rotating flavor of the week. Cup sizes range from kids ($1.99) to large ($5.79). You can also pick up a fresh quart for $9.99. Toppings are $0.95 for the first one and $0.35 for each additional. Dress your creation with a variety of seasonal fruits, such as pineapple, mango, banana, or kiwi, or choose a perennial topping such as Oreos, Gummy Bears, chocolate pretzels, or granola. Sip a savory smoothie ($4.25 for a small, $4.95 medium, $5.65 large) to avoid the complications of managing unpredictable spoons. Satiate a sweet tooth with a peanut-butter banana smoothie with chocolate yogurt, or boost your fruit intake with a tropical fruit smoothie featuring original tart yogurt, mango, pineapple, and oranges.
One taste of the 24 rotating flavors of premium homemade gelato—including reliable standards of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and stracciatella, along with a bevy of other possibilities—and you will understand why public-service announcements insist that eating gelato is like tasting ice cream for the first time, every time. Unlike the black-market gelato dealers littering the streets with heaps of dishonorable fake frozens, the staff at Swirls uses the top-of-the-line Carpigiani equipment to make authentic, all-natural gelato with techniques learned from world-renowned gelato expert Luciano Ferrari. For an even-lighter frozen treat, the homemade soft-serve frozen yogurt is 98% fat free, and the sorbetto is fruitastically fresh.