Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
With years of experience as a health-care specialist and bed-and-breakfast owner, Marilyn Heeringa has mastered the art of pampering and promoting wellness. Today, she specializes in ionic detox treatments, which utilize the ability of positive and negative ions to cleanse the entire body through ion footbaths.
Having traveled to Egypt and other parts of Africa, Marilyn has decorated her cozy studio with an eclectic collection of art that reflects her worldliness and her talent for looking at art. Along with detoxifying Egyptian body wraps, she offers massage therapy, facials, one-on-one-yoga, and meditation classes.
DriveTech provides classroom instruction for fledgling racecar drivers on a variety of professional racetracks across the country. Ride shotgun for five laps with a professional driver for a heart-pumping, really fast thrill ride in a safe environment that's completely free of Kurt Russell. Alternately, the 12-lap package lets you actually take the reins of a professional stock car. After a round of basic classroom instruction, you'll get to take the wheel for three practice laps and nine laps of proper green-flag racing that will leave your hair mussed, eyes bulged, and torso coated in corporate sponsorships. Both experiences eschew straight, open road in favor of high-speed turns, a hallmark of stock-car racing. Check out the schedule here.
Matthew Corrin was fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's marketing manager, which meant a lot of long hours and a lot of hurried lunches. After his umpteenth greasy sandwich, Corrin began wondering why there weren't more convenient, waistline-friendly lunch alternatives. This rumination?and a resignation letter to de la Renta?begot Freshii, a fast, casual eatery that serves healthy meals and has graced the pages of various publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Inc.?s 30 Under 30 list. Environmental awareness also plays a big part in the business model as the food packaging is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches.
Every Freshii kitchen is stocked with the base ingredients of brown rice, romaine lettuce, field greens, spinach, and rice noodles; toppings such as carrots, broccoli, grilled tofu, and candied walnuts; and an array of dressings and sauces. Using these ingredients, the chefs create bowls, wraps, salads, soups, and burritos for lunch and dinner. During morning hours when the sun is still busy curling its rays, they scramble eggs, serve housemade oatmeal, and top fat-free frozen yogurt with a choice of fruit. Customers can bring their own bowls, and the staff will wash and fill them with fresh ingredients hailing from environmentally responsible farms that fairly compensate their workers.
The candy kitchen's massive copper kettle predating World War II is certainly an eye catcher, but the nostalgic sights and smells of candy filling rows of white shelves is what overwhelms most people when they step inside Kilwins. For more than two generations, the original recipes of founders Don and Katy Kilwin have been used to handcraft more than 75 confections such as chocolates, caramels, and specialty fudge. Aside from some newer equipment, head candy cook Bill Hoffman and his team still abide by Don’s candy-making methods and use original equipment when possible. Inside the old-fashioned candy shop, a burnished copper-kettle-fire mixer fashions each piece of peanut brittle, a cold room solidifies almond-toffee crunch, and a manatee that swallowed a freezer still makes every sea-foam candy. In addition to candy, Kilwins has created more than 32 flavors of original-recipe ice cream since 1985 with farm-fresh rBHT-free milk and cream from Michigan farms.
Cinnamon rolls. Peanut butter cups. Orange creamsicles. When Betsy Denham enters in the kitchen, the entire dessert world becomes nothing more than a flavor menu for her true passion: the cupcake. The cases at Scrumptious Cupcakes and Sweetery new brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Grand Rapids are filled with these recreations of favorite treats, but the shop's cupcakes don't simply mimic other confections. Inventive original flavors such as honey whiskey and prickly pear mojito showcase Betsy's love of experimentation, delighting taste buds with their uncommon (and winning) combinations. However, cupcakes are only half of the equation. Betsy also tempts customers to a full compliment of ice cream treats, including cones, shakes, malts, and sundaes inspired by bakery sweets such as key lime pie and blueberry buckle.