Becker Bros' purple-clad clan of cafe wizards culls premium ingredients and locally roasted coffee to concoct a wide variety of homemade baked goods and gourmet espresso drinks. Sweet seekers can peruse the illuminated glass cases that brim with individualized tarts and pies ($3.50), cookies ($0.50+), and a rotating lineup of cupcakes ($2), or eagle-eye the bakers handcrafting desserts and pastries, including large cannoli ($2.50) and custom cakes ($42+), in the open-view kitchen. Prepare for a strenuous day of writing emails and moderating legislative hearings at the water cooler with a latte and biscotti ($1.75), or motivate yourself by hanging a brownie ($3.50) or slice of cake ($4.50) from a fishing pole tied to the end of your day. Becker Bros also offers myriad tailored dessert creations, including treats free of gluten and allergens.
Within its dozens of locations across the country, YoFresh Yogurt Cafe offers all-natural frozen yogurt and a range of toppings including sprinkles, fruits, and other treats. Their health-friendly yogurt is packed with probiotics that promote digestive health, and is low in fat and free from cholesterol. Pretzel or cookie cones embrace yogurts in flavors such as carrot cake, peppermint, and peach, many of which are gluten-free, and all of which are made without artificial sweeteners. Scores of toppings crown each cone, including coconut, blackberries, peanut butter cups, and Cocoa Puffs.
Mara's Cafe & Bakery began as a humble mom-and-pop operation in 1984, the shared vision of Mara Magley and her husband, Glenn. Mara developed many of the café's proprietary dessert recipes, which are rooted in family traditions and feature fresh ingredients such as pure bourbon vanilla and Philadelphia cream cheese. Glenn, on the other hand, set about creating a signature line of coffee products. A java aficionado, Glenn chose state-of-the-art equipment—Fresh Roast Systems technology—to roast blends and single-origin beans from Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Guatemala. The advanced machine elicits the optimal flavor from each batch of beans by allowing baristas to adjust the roasting time, temperature, and volume of the "It's Time for the Percolator" remix playing in the background.
In 2004, sons Ian and Devan joined the family business and helped expand the menu to include items such as sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The team's hard work and commitment to quality ingredients has earned the restaurant numerous awards: in 2012 alone, it was named the Best Coffee Shop in Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine's Readers' Choice Awards, one of the Best Coffeehouses in New Jersey by readers of New Jersey Monthly magazine, and one of the Best Bakeries in the Daily Record's Best of Morris County Readers’ Choice Awards.
Realizing the neighborhood was already buzzing with great restaurants and a nearby community theater, owner Jun Yoon knew the only way to improve on it was to add a memorable dessert destination to the equation. With his desire to be part of an enlivened community, he opened his café’s doors to serve frozen yogurt, cakes, truffles, and organic, fair-trade Counter Culture coffee. Within the 26-seat sweets shop, Jun doles out dollops of the Italian ice-cream treat called tartufo, as well as belgian waffles, crepes, salads, and sandwiches. He specifically designed the menu to make it an ideal spot for stopping in before the theater, after dinner, during lunch, or on the way to a castle storming. Jun also welcomes the community to his friendly confines for parties and private events.
Donna Infantolino has been baking since she was tall enough to reach the kitchen table, crafting recipes from scratch in her aunt and grandmother’s kitchens. At her combination café and bakery, she and business partner Beth Butler begin every recipe with organic, sustainable ingredients, such as Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla and Scharffen Berger chocolate, whenever possible. The dessert dream team crafts wedding cakes, traditional and filled cupcakes, and one-of-a-kind sculpted cakes in original shapes such as convincing guitars or sassy pumps. They also accommodate customers with dietary restrictions through vegan and gluten-free options.
All in the Icing's staffers expand recreational baking abilities during small-group BYOB classes, which include all of the high-quality ingredients and equipment necessary to create sweet or savory recipes. At the end of sessions, participants head home with their tasty works to share with family or break into tiny pieces to add to crumb collections.
Upon entering Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, one can immediately sense the aroma of fudge melting in a traditional copper kettle. At hundreds of locations throughout the United States, candysmiths concoct an array of treats from fresh ingredients within eyesight of perusing customers. In addition to dunking strawberries into chocolate or coating Granny Smith apples in fresh caramel, they carve out 1-pound bricks of made-from-scratch fudge for customers to take home and repair their gingerbread house’s half-eaten foundation.