In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,350 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options such as the eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs and slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Baker and sugar artist Chef Dana Herbert has long held a local reputation for his confections—he’s known across Delaware as "The Sugar Daddy" and "King of Cakes.” He rose to national attention on TLC's Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker, where he took home the top prize and caused viewers everywhere to lick their TV screens with his inventive flavors and striking designs as well. His dual training in culinary and pastry arts also won him an invitation to join the esteemed James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.
At Desserts by Dana, he channels his creativity into customized wedding cakes, intricate sugar sculpture, pastries, and special event cakes. Each edible conversation piece is sculpted around moist, rich cake—available in more than 20 flavors such as Mexican chocolate, raspberry, and pumpkin—which can be filled with mousse, lemon curd, or other sweet fillings. Equally as imaginative as the flavors is the final product, which might arrive decorated with delicate, eye-catching flowers, bows, or damask designs. Chef Dana can also fashion cakes into the likeness of cartoon characters, cars, or the profile of a funny-looking cousin.
Since his successful run on Cake Boss, Chef Dana has garnered even more attention for his sweet treats (which also include cookies, tarts, and pastries). He’s been featured on such networks as NBC and FOX, and lauded within the pages of Huffington Post, Chef Magazine, and Fitness Magazine. He’s also made sure to show that there’s more to good eating than sugar—when he’s not baking, he tours from coast to coast to educate the country on diabetes. During these tours, he helps others learn to create nutritious, flavorful meals and desserts specially tailored for a sugar-free diet.
Each day, the diligent staff at New York Bagel Cafe' & Deli fill their shop with scents of freshly brewed coffee and warm bagels straight from the oven. Seventeen varieties of the baked circles anchor an all-day breakfast menu, causing tongues to smack in approval of flavors such as plain, asiago cheese, and cinnamon raisin. Additions of meats, eggs, and cheeses transform the bagels into breakfast sandwiches, which complement stacks of pancakes drenched in sweet maple syrup.
Alternatively, customers can sidestep breakfast fare and sink into a selection of salads and deli sandwiches, including turkey melts and cubans. Gooey swiss cheese melts over classic reubens, which pile sauerkraut atop either hot turkey or pastrami. New York Bagel Cafe' & Deli can also cater events or deliver their eats directly to their customers' human-size terrarium.
Fresh! We bake all night so our guests can enjoy the freshest products all day. Over a dozen gourmet coffee flavors, twenty signature muffin varieties, made-to-order egg-white breakfast sandwiches, six delicious soups, two dozen signature sandwiches and the freshest salad choices around. Life is Ruff - We make it better.
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.
The bakers at Papa's Pastry whip up decadent desserts fit for special occasions or every day. Their Italian pignoli cookies stand out as best sellers amongst chocolate chips, biscotti, and cinnamon-walnut rugelach. Cakes come in towering tiers of ganache and buttercream or ranch-style ramblers of rich cheesecake. The culinary artists also assemble gluten-free breads, biscuits, and entrees for those with an aversion to wheat and hawk their wares at various farmers' markets from May to October.
Home to a vast lineup of dairy-based frozen treats, Bruster's makes its ice creams, yogurts, and waffle cones fresh every day in-store. The menu boasts everything from a turtle sundae ($4.50) to a regular cone ($2.80+) or homemade waffle cone ($3.90) filled with one of the multitudinous ice-cream flavors, such as Monkey Madness––with banana ice cream, buckeyes, and marshmallows––or Chocolate Lover's Trash––chocolate ice cream filled with chocolate chunks, chocolate-covered peanuts, chocolate butter toffee, chocolate krispies, and receipts from visits to the biannual cocoa consortium. Bruster's also offers no-sugar-added options and fat-free ice creams, as well as low-fat yogurts.