Stephanie, founder of Stephanie’s Sweet Imaginations, combines her love for the arts with her love for baking when she crafts custom cakes. Though she specializes in coating layers of cake with smooth fondant and hand-painted designs, Stephanie also bakes cupcakes crowned with buttercream and candies.
The titular baker of Allison's Cups and Cakes molds red velvet, carrot, or other cake flavors into custom confections bedecked in bright fondant. From specialty cakes shaped like Princess Belle to novelty confections that mimic Louis Vuitton purses, her unique sweets add humor and color to the tables of birthday gatherings or wedding receptions. Rich buttercream frosting tops dainty cupcakes for a finishing touch or slips between layers of cake to break up fights over which one is moister.
Using ingredients from local farms, trees, and cows, the consummate confectionery creators at SophistiCakes bake an extensive menu of custom cakes, cupcakes, and quick-disappearing cookies that look as good as they taste. Savor the family-owned sweetery’s traditional cupcake flavors ($2.50 per cupcake, and $30 for one dozen)—such as red velvet, lemon drop, and triple chocolate chip—on a daily basis; or send a gastronomical love letter to a lonely stomach with specialty flavors, such as the taste-bud-tingling hummingbird cupcake—a moist cake of vanilla, pineapple, and pecans topped with buttercream icing.
Loic Barnieu, the executive chef at La Belle Epoque, entertains taste buds of all types with authentic French cuisine for lunch, brunch, and dinner. Dormant appetites awaken to sizzling soupe a l'oignon, the chef's adaptation of french onion soup blended with swiss cheese and gratin toast. Tempting entrees fill the expansive lunch menu, such as the delectable french dip, stuffed with thinly sliced roast beef and served with a side of au jus for dipping or dabbing on as cologne. Savory La St. Jacques crêpes warmly envelop pan-seared scallops, prepared in the Brittany tradition with buckwheat flour and a leek-sauce reduction.
It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers??homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry?s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry?s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
When it comes to listening to their elders, kids could take a page out of Matthew Benigno’s book. Spearheading the second generation of Potitos’ ownership with his wife Cristina, Matthew takes care to follow the recipes of his in-laws, Carmen and Maria Potito—the original owners—as well as the work ethic he gleaned from his own mother and grandfather. "We basically stick to our roots of being Old World Italian. Everything is made from scratch at the bakery, fresh every day," he explained to a reporter from the South Philly Review, “We are keeping the tradition alive." Those traditions have paid off. Potitos won the South Philly Review's Readers’ Choice award in four categories including best zeppoli, best specialty cakes, and best cannoli, which Matthew and his team craft by filing homemade pastry shells with a choice of chocolate-chip-flecked ricotta, vanilla or chocolate italian cream, or lasagna. Other tasty, traditional specialties include an airy italian crème cake soaked in rum and covered in peanuts, and sfogliatelle—a flaky, seashell-shaped pastry filled with sweet-ricotta cheese and candied fruit.