A southern Lebanese village was the first site of Hashems Nuts and Coffee Gallery, started by the current owners' grandfather—Abu Ali Sheik Theeb—in 1959. He roasted coffee and nuts fresh daily, blending spices and cooking falafel by hand that lured patrons from as far as Beirut. While the Dearborn stores are far removed from Lebanon, the Hashem family still mimics the original store's wares with daily roasted Turkish coffee, authentic recipes, and a wealth of Middle Eastern goods. Cooks can stock their pantries with Lebanese olive oil or pickled pepperoncini, and fill their spice racks with Spanish saffron and hand-mixed kibbeh spice blends. Dry-roasted or raw nuts mingle with dates and Turkish dried apricots to create a customizable trail mix. The staff also makes hookahs available for sale—like the art at museums if you bring your art to the museum and start selling it.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Alongside her mother, Lucki's Cheesecakes' namesake owner crafts more than 50 decadent varieties of cheesecake as well as custom cakes. The celebrated mother-daughter team mixes and decorates cakes that are as eye-catching as they are tasty, with flavors ranging from New York–style or oreo cheesecake to more adventurous varieties such as sweet-potato-pie or pineapple-upside-down cheesecake. The bakers are happy to collaborate with clients on custom cakes that look and taste just how the client envisioned them, be it for a special occasion or for a clown in search of a specific flavor to take to the face. In addition to the many sweet recipes, the duo can also prepare sugar-free cakes for an additional fee. The cozy neighborhood spot's sugar-scented air provides an ideal spot for sampling a decadent slice, with dine-in seating available and free WiFi.