"We had a customer, a good friend, who lost 100 pounds." Laura Heikkila beams as she tells the story. "She promised herself as soon as she got to that goal weight, she'd get a whole new wardrobe from the boutique as a reward," Laura says. "When she came in, we could see how excited she was. It was awesome." When Laura says "we," she's referring to her co-owner and best friend, Melissa Valdovinos. It was their mutual love of fashion that started the Smitten Clothing Boutique ball rolling. "We'd travel to California and go shopping, and our friends would be jealous," Laura explains. "So we were rollerblading and talking one day. We decided right there to bring some of Los Angeles here." Within the week, Laura and Melissa signed a lease on a place, but there was still one important thing left to do. "I was looking for a name, something catchy and one word. And then, I thought of smitten. It means, ‘to be in love with something.’" Smitten owes some of its success and foot traffic to its attachment to The Coeur d'Alene Resort, which boasts numerous awards including a spot on Travel + Leisure's list of 500 World's Best Hotels in 2009 and a five-star resort rating from Golf Digest. The other key to their success is their loyal clientele. "My mom shops here, and she's 72. But it's really all the regulars, stopping in weekly for the new styles." Laura's referring to the items she ships in from LA, including pieces from Rock Revival, Billabong, and LA Idol, a popular brand which often sells out within a week. During winter months, the duo helms shopping parties, such as Women Who Wine, and hosts fashion shows that benefit local charities. The two love helping people, both on and off the clock. "Taking someone who has no idea what to wear and helping them find their fashion, it's amazing. But the main thing is that Melissa and I love each other. And we have a lot of fun."
Bruttles sweetens teethbuds with a variety of gourmet treats, including caramels, nut brittles, and signature, chocolate-dipped Bruttles. Master candy maker and Bruttles founder Aunt Sophia Gerkensmeyer engineered the 60-year-old recipe for soft peanut-butter brittle, and each batch is still hand-pulled on her original marble slab ($6.50–$22.95). The shop’s signature candy is the peanut-butter Bruttle: soft peanut-butter brittle (sans nuts) dipped in rich, semi-sweet chocolate, ($9.95 for a 12-piece bag). Romantics can appease the impending onslaught of armed cherubs with gift items such as the Valentine truffle sampler, which houses 12 handmade truffles, four peanut Bruttles, and two caramels ($22.95).
Tim Mitchell’s not sure how the nickname “Jonesy” originated, only that it was given to him by his father. A joint venture of Mitchell and his wife, Erica, the eatery was named to celebrate family. Here, they welcome customers to make themselves at home as they dig into time-honored recipes of hearty comfort food.
Jonesy’s concept is simple: food made-from-scratch and in bountiful portions. Daily breakfast promises steaming egg scrambles and waffles dolloped with apple slices and powdered sugar. Into the afternoon, the kitchen unloads third-pound burgers topped with onion straws and avocado and the comfort staples of country-fried steak and center-cut pork chops. Also doing justice to the Mitchells’ catering prowess is a large banquet room with seats for up to 50 people or 100 acrobats willing to sit atop one another’s shoulders.
In addition to running Jonesy’s, Mitchell also owns Mangia Catering Company, which can feed parties exceeding 500.
Top This Frozen Yogurt & Treats democratizes the process of frozen yogurt ordering, affording customers the opportunity to choose toppings and flavor combinations to accent creamy dollops of probiotic, gluten-free, low-fat, or nonfat frozen yogurt. Amidst the vibrant environs, enveloped by walls dotted with glossy red and green spheres, customers may select the receptacle size before heading over to the dispensers where they can collate a myriad of velvety concoctions from 15 daily flavors such as chocolate kisses and alpine vanilla or Flatt and Scruggs. Top This offers a cadre of more than 65 different toppings, which customers can choose to accent frozen yogurt creations or arrange into miniature depictions of the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima. Customers can take their amalgamations to the register where its weight will determine the cost ($0.40 per ounce). Cozy up with newly constructed treats near the fireplace where customers can catch some warming rays or transfigure their handiwork into a creamy soup du jour.
Spokandy forges old-fashioned confections from gourmet ingredients and unadulterated chocolate. The Murphy—the candy that coincided with Spokandy’s 1913 inception—disguises its creamy vanilla nucleus in a milk-chocolate cloak that’s coated with toasted coconut ($7.50 for a 5 oz. package). Mint fans can replenish their empty reservoirs with white-chocolaty pastel mints, which emanate beams of cool peppermint and Easter-colored rays from within a 6 oz. package ($5.50). Sate your thirst for bon-bons with English almond toffee ($9), huckleberry pretzels ($5.99), pecan-caramel patties ($9), and myriad other sweetmeats. Sugar-free options are available for candyvores who dislike the taste of sugar.
Despite the distance between their shop and the East Coast, the cooks at New York Bagel Cafe & Deli stay true to the Big Apple's famous bagel-making traditions. They make six cream-cheese spreads onsite daily—such as honey almond and scallion bacon—to spice up their water-boiled garlic, french toast, and sun-dried tomato bagels. They believe the bagel's delicious utility stretches beyond just their all-day breakfast and use their gourmet bagels as the base for more than 20 hot and cold sandwiches. Guests are not limited to just these dough rounds, however, and can request to have their sandwich stacked upon a wrap, rye bread, or their outstretched palm.
The premium nonfat and low-calorie frozen yogurt at Jamms is freshly prepared daily, with enough innovative toppings available to make infinite intriguing concoctions. Much like old-timey corner candy stores owned by mustachioed oil barons, Jamms charges by the ounce, so self-serving flavor seekers can pile on as much yogurt and toppings as they like. Customers get a choice 10 different flavors of yogurt ($0.40/oz.). Stick to the chocolate classic, or bask in the hot Latin breeze with a swirl of dulce de leche cake batter. With more than 70 toppings as varied as fresh fruit, chocolate-chip cookie dough, mochi, brownie pieces, and carob chips, each completed yogurt canvas emerges as unique as the thumbprint of a recently arrested snowflake.