David Stark, owner of the Bake Shoppe, picked up the art of baking at age 14, learning tricks of the trade at his uncle's bakery, Barbara's Bake Shop, in the mid-'60s. He now takes those lessons, proudly baking his goodies "the old-fashioned way," making red-velvet and creme de menth cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, and moist banana bread from scratch, the way his uncle made them. The star of this bakestravaganza, however, is the champagne cake, which skyrocketed his uncle's bakery into becoming the largest retail bakery in Des Moines. He expertly transforms the family-secret recipe into eye-dazzling custom cakes, which are more like works of art than human sustenance, decked in fondant ribbons and flowers fit for the Queen of England's Afternoon of Scheduled Merriment.
After Vernon Rudolph acquired a closely guarded donut recipe from a New Orleans pastry chef, he couldn't keep the secret to himself. He opened up shop in 1937 to share the yeast-raised delectables with the world, thus marking the birth of Krispy Kreme.
Today, step into any Krispy Kreme shop and you can see the donuts progress on their journey from formless dough to circular confection. The entire process plays out through plate glass windows: the raw dough is shaped into disks, the disks rise in a heated oven, the plumped donuts then drop into the fryer where a conveyor belt speeds them along their journey. After cooling on the belt, the original donuts pass through a ribbon of glaze. Like a donut-shaped bat signal, a neon sign lights up the sky to announce the emergence of fresh, hot Krispy Kremes.
From the colorful checkered walls to the menu of hearty comfort food, the owners at Cozy Cafe strive to create a nostalgia-tinged dining experience. The vast menu is marked by the restaurant's specialty?Helen and Pat's cavatelli?as well as homemade entrees, including blue-plate specials of meatloaf, hot roast beef, or chicken and noodles, all served with homemade mashed potatoes and green beans. Staff serve up Friedrichs coffee drinks, and for breakfast, chefs flip the traditional array of omelets and pancakes and offer homemade cinnamon rolls as well as homemade biscuits and gravy.
Since 1981, TCBY has been synonymous with frozen yogurt. The company spearheaded the guiltless consumption of low-fat, chilled dairy treats with iconic flavors such as white chocolate mousse topped with fresh fruit and candy. Today, TCBY yogurt shops across the country continue the tradition with classic and specialty flavors such as caramel supreme, greek honey vanilla, and sugar- and fat-free mountain blackberry. Patrons can also enjoy real fruit sorbets, sugarless options, and more than 35 toppings and choose from soft-serve and hand-dipped flavors.