Cupcake lovers can plunge mouth-first into boxes filled with a dozen pint-sized cakes, which are always available in red velvet with cream-cheese frosting, dark chocolate with vanilla-buttercream frosting, and vanilla with chocolate-buttercream frosting. Treat valentines to a dozen strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, or similarly please sweet-toothed sweethearts with a monstrous chocolate-chip or sugar cookie, available in circular or heart-shaped shapes and decorated with frosting messages (free for Valentine's Day, $3 to $5 for custom wording after that) such as “Happy Valentine’s Day,” “I already fed the dog,” and “What was your name again?”
At her in-home bakery, Julie Couturier whips up more than 15 flavors of cup-size and miniature treats topped with puffs of flavored frostings. After perusing the menu, sink sweet teeth into two flavors of cupcakes that huddle inside boxes and bear flavors of such recipes as cookies and cream, red velvet, and lemon. More adventurous taste buds seek excitement within nibbles of peanut-butter-and-jelly, root-beer-float, and sea-salt-caramel cupcakes, which meld together salty and sweet like love songs penned by a sailor. Guests may order regular or mini cupcakes in any two flavors of their choice, and a 72-hour notice is required for all orders.
The folks at Cheshire Nails strive to elevate nailcare from a mere series of treatments to a full-blown experience. Therefore, they offer VIP and hot-stone spa packages that turn simple manicures and pedicures into lavish journeys, comforting feet and hands with citrus-honey sugar wraps, marine masks, and massages that feature the soft kiss of butter creams. But the emphasis on embellishments in no way detracts from the salon's bread and butter. The technicians groom nails with precision and zeal, filing and shaping nails before layering on OPI and Shellac polishes, which can turn even the most accusatory finger wag into a gesture that emotes pure class.
Since 1919, four generations of the Naum family have created batches of housemade chocolates at Sweetland Candies. Using a combination of original recipes and newer variations developed throughout the years, the Naums specialize in dark- and milk-chocolate treats. Within those chocolaty casings, the confectioners include caramels, pecan clusters, and coconut haystacks, which horses feed on at Willy Wonka’s private ranch. Besides chocolates, the Naums stock Sweetland Candies with an assortment of Jelly Belly flavors and keep their M&M Colorworks displays filled with 21 colors.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty hot dogs to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
Founded by a mother-daughter team, Sara's Sweets Bakery whips up quality baked goods, including cupcakes, cookies, and custom-decorated cakes. Grand Rapids-area customers can utilize the bakery's delivery service, or stop into the shop, where fresh coffee and donuts are served every day. To make sure no sweet tooth gets stymied, Sara's offers sugar- and gluten-free treats upon request.