A stripe of bright green skirts each Limeberry Frozen Yogurt's ceiling, leading patrons' eyes to a bank of stainless-steel dispensers framed in petite tiles. There, patrons fill paper cups with swirled ribbons of fro-yo flavors, such as rich chocolate truffle, tart wildberry, and creamy cake batter—up to 15 varieties in all. Confectionery caravans then move on to a toppings bar where they load up on 50+ choices of edible provisions, including warm fudge, fresh fruit, nuts, and marshmallow cream. Bright-green chairs host noshers beneath framed action shots of blueberries sticking triple backflips off a Yurchenko vault.
Mike Mungra and Mike Warren started Froyo Nation with the goal of elevating the quality of frozen yogurt available in the Salem area. To that end, they curate fresh, locally made Oregon yogurt and fruit to create fresh, frozen desserts. As enticing aromas fill the air from coexisting business Daynight Donuts’ freshly baked treats, self-serve machines churn out eight flavors of creamy, nutritious frozen yogurt. Staff members watch over a toppings bar brimming with more than 70 toppings, including granola, candies, and strawberries, that help conceal frozen yogurt peaks from the pokes of inquisitive spoons.
When the nonprofit Culture Shock Community project kept struggling to find suitable spaces to host their free events, they decided to create their own. At Clockworks Cafe & Cultural Center, baristas decants cups of Stumptown Coffee, Smith Tea, and housemade teas seven days a week. Meanwhile, their culinary team crafts sandwiches, salads, and seasonal soups alongside handmade baked goods from Marsee Bakery. An exposed-brick interior and two feature walls exhibiting artwork infuse the space with a gallery-like ambiance. Along with drinks and treats, the café entices guests with events every month such as live music, open mics, a belly-dance showcase, and craft nights, where visitors can use coffee and beads to make a wet hot bead. Clockworks' uses all its proceeds to fund Culture Shock Community Projects such as the Live Interactive Performance Series of Salem.
Channeling the aura of a lively Las Vegas scene, a red carpet guides guests from Twinsies Coffee and Cupcakes’ door straight to the display of artfully frosted cupcakes, made from scratch each morning in a rotating selection of 12 flavors. Bakers bob along to the upbeat hum of ‘80s music and the bubbling of a new 8-foot-long fish tank as they craft jumbo-sized cupcakes, which enchant taste buds with flavors such as Nutella chocolate, PB&J, and lemon. Alongside simple cake-batter cupcakes, filled confections conceal creamy centers and trick cupcakes conceal mini whoopee cushions. The café keeps energy high with a full espresso bar, which brews up infusions crafted from locally roasted beans to promote the local economy.
IKE Box inhabits the ground floor of a 120-year-old downtown building whose spacious ballroom now serves as the main seating area of the café. Baristas serve Sisters Coffee Company coffee and espresso alongside locally produced pastries, fresh hummus, and organic cookies. For added color, an onsite art gallery swaps in fresh works from community artists each month. IKE Box also has multiple large spaces for meetings and other get-togethers.
Committed to helping not just coffee drinkers and artists but the community as well, IKE Box is run by Isaac’s Room, a nonprofit youth organization that seeks to provide valuable life skills and training to divested youth.
Dedicating themselves to the unique pleasures of a cup of freshly roasted, skillfully brewed joe, Broadway Coffeehouse's baristas stay local, using beans from renowned Portland roaster Stumptown Coffee and stacking the display case with pastries from Salem's Great Harvest Bread Co.
The Oregonian aromas of the specialty brews and warm desserts fill the spacious café, whose expansive windows and crackling fireplace bathe the cushy couches and armchairs in natural light. A second-floor skyway overlooks the main seating area, and youngsters frolic in a family area while older people talk business in private conference rooms. In the warmer months, guests sit outdoors under the shade of patio umbrellas, safe from the sun's periodic spills of scalding-hot coffee.