A place for edible creativity, Yoli's beckons visitors to concoct their own frozen yogurt treats. The shop keeps 21 different flavors—including low-fat options—on tap, and its toppings bar incites snackers to load up on as many add-ons as they please. Bursts of color aren't limited to yogurt cups, however, as the shop features red tables and booths, retro white chairs, and two flat-screen TVs to make onsite munching extra comfortable.
Gigi of Gigi's Cupcakes has been a self-starter since she was 15. That's when she began her first business?a cleaning company?because she "didn't want to work for anyone else." What began as a youthful whim blossomed into a business philosophy that, along with waiting tables and singing professionally, carried Gigi into her 30s.
Then, one day, her brother suggested making a career out of her passion for baking. That hobby had been born in her childhood, when Gigi often spent time with her mother and grandmother as they baked and bonded. Amid seemingly insurmountable financial constraints, Gigi unveiled Gigi's Cupcakes in 2008 and, within weeks, had more than covered her bills. Today, the franchise boasts more than 90 locations in the 25 states that haven't outlawed dessert.
Each bakery crafts its cupcakes daily with fresh ingredients, and updates the menu according to day of the week and season. Traditional summer flavors such as Scarlett's Red Velvet, chocolate-chip-cookie dough, and Birthday Surprise have recently met their culinary match in new mini cheesecakes that masquerade as cupcakes.
Organic and fair-trade ingredients transform into beverages, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at Pasha Coffee & Tea. Between walls bedecked with original artwork, patrons nestle into plush armchairs to warm up with marbled-froth cappuccinos. Guests also spoon up Oreo frappes heaped with pillowy dollops of whipped cream, as well as coffee that, according to the roasting philosophy printed on the menu, is painstakingly roasted to the optimal degree. Cholula mayo paints crispy bacon slices in the spicy BLT, and pesto and mozzarella accent the italian breakfast melt's stack of ham and tomatoes. And occasionally, the coffee tables, magical beanstalks growing from dropped beans, and mismatched furniture part ways to make room for live music and poetry.: