Considering Juan and Alvaro Gorrin studied medicine and business, and went on to forge careers in real estate and banking, it's probably surprising to many that they found their ultimate success in a totally unrelated field: baking. The Gorrins, who were born in Spain but moved to Venezuela in their youth, found there was a demand for European-inspired baked goods in South America. They developed the Don Pan brand in Venezuela in 1982, and eventually relocated to Miami, where they opened their first North American bakery in 1995.
Today, their menu maintains distinctly Spanish and South American accents. A bounty of pastries includes guava danish and tres leches, as well as brazo gitano, a sponge cake rolled with chocolate or cream that's popular in both Spain and Venezuela, as well as the section of Canada that uses cake as currency. There are also plenty of savory menu items, including cachapas—corn pancakes served with meat or cheese—and Venezuelan-style tamales bursting with pork, beef, chicken, and veggies.
The smell of chocolate-chip cookies baking in the oven has a tendency to unleash waves of childhood memories, especially when those cookies are iconic Nestlé Toll House creations. At Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip, passionate bakers coax out these memories by using Nestlé products to create decadent desserts that taste just as satisfying as they did years ago.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation grew, so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies, and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Cuisine Type: Cakes, cupcakes, and artisan chocolates
Most popular offering: Cupcakes and artisan chocolates
Delivery / Take-out Available: Delivery only
Pro Tip: Let's keep lines of communication open and book in advance.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
My menu is sweet—literally. I offer a variety of desserts and confections with a main focus on cakes, cupcakes, and artisan chocolates.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
The name of my business is unique and made up of three parts: "Oob" is a nickname, "Edna Mode" is a cartoon character, and "a la mode" is fancy verbiage.
La'Berry Frozen Yogurt Cafe has a sleek, self-service design to create a space all its own. Inside its green and purple confines, it houses 18 do-it-yourself dispensers that churn out swirls of frozen yogurt. Starting with recipes based on Dannon nonfat yogurt, La'Berry makes most of its froyo fresh in-house daily. Flavors such as milk chocolate, peanut butter, cake batter, cookies & cream, mango, and taro mix lay the groundwork for more than 80 toppings that include waffle cone pieces, blueberries, and tapioca pearls poached from free-range Candy Land oysters. Patrons can drizzle hot fudge or strawberry syrup over their desserts and still rest easy knowing that the treats contain fewer calories and more active cultures than ice cream. Alternatively, Chloe's Fruit Soft Serve—a dairy-, fat-, and gluten-free treat—tempts sweet tooths with but three ingredients: fresh fruit, filtered water, and a touch of organic cane sugar. Under the same roof, La'Berry Bistro caters to savory tastes with paninis, salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
When Diane and Hector Vega met and got married, they didn't just combine their lives. After spurning corporate jobs, they combined their passion for bringing the cuisines from their native Colombia and Puerto Rico to their neighbors. The result was Dulce Cafe Bakery, which specializes in the breads, pastries, and sandwiches of Latin America. Their signature items are their corn cake arepas and their dulce sweet breads, both of which can be enhanced with a gooey layer of cheese, much like a resume sent to a dairy farmer. During the lunch hour, they also make heartier fare, such as their ham and cheese empanadas and sandwiches. Their baking prowess isn't just for breads and handheld lunches, however. They also create desserts such as cake, coconut flan, and rice pudding.