In Sweet Piece Dessert's bustling kitchen, pastry-bag points dispense tufts of frosting that rest atop cakes shrouded in fondant or swirls of buttercream. Custom cakes match the color schemes and themes of their surroundings at weddings and birthdays, and character cupcakes resemble favorite kids entertainers, such as Hello Kitty and Henry Kissinger. Confectioners also daub apples and pretzels with layers of chocolate drizzle, peanut butter, cashews, and roasted macaroon coconut, and dip strawberries in rich candy coatings.
Even though Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has locations throughout the world, it still maintains the small-town candy-store feel envisioned by its creator and CEO, Frank Crail. Crail founded the original location in his adopted hometown of Durango, Colorado, filling the sweet-smelling space with homey accents, such as candy-making demonstrations and games of Pin the Tail on the Chocolatier. Behind the counter, staffers roll fresh granny smith apples in dense caramel and mold lumps of rich fudge on old-style marble slabs. Other fresh confections include mint bark, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and boxed chocolates.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Rosalie of Roe's Sweets deploys 25 years of baking know-how to fashion fresh, scrumptious cupcakes in a spectrum of flavors. Customers can tip their hats to the good old days by snagging classic cupcakes made with white, yellow, chocolate, or marble cake, each of which comes crested with a delectable butter-cream frosting and might dance if clapped at. The banana-split cupcake bears bits of bananas, cherries, and chocolate chips within a soft headrest of yellow cake draped in an afghan of marshmallow frosting, and the chocolate-covered strawberry cupcake invites tongues to tunnel to the strawberry filling of a chocolate-caked treat varnished with a rich layer of chocolaty ganache. Festive souls can sink incisors into autumn-inspired confections such as the caramel-apple cupcake, which rests its appled, cakey goodness beneath a spread of caramel frosting christened with ground nuts, and the pumpkin-spice cupcake, which proudly lifts its cinnamon icing to the forefront of a yellow-cake foundation basking in the harvesty zest of pumpkins, spices, and a hint of harvest-moon smell.
It's likely that when walking into a Big Apple Bagels, people won't just see baskets overflowing with fresh bagels, but they'll be able to smell fresh dough baking in the air. That's because bagels are both made and sold at each location, giving customers the chance to order up warm, chewy bagels in gourmet flavors such as blueberry cobbler and quiche lorraine. The cream cheeses are similarly diverse in flavor, as people can smear their bagels with onion chive, cheddar jalapeno, or whipped brown-sugar cinnamon. The menu also features New York-style deli sandwiches served on bagels and freshly tossed salads.
BAB serves products from their two sister brands, Brewster's Coffee and My Favorite Muffin, the latter of which uses soybean oil to keep their muffins moist yet low in cholesterol. Many locations also serve Fresh?ns smoothies, whose ripe-fruit blends are rich with healthy vitamins because unhealthy vitamins don't exist.
When you step up to the gleaming metal counter at Nice Modern Creamery, you're not going to find any tubs of ice cream on display. That's because each dish is made-to-order at -321 degrees using liquid nitrogen, which breaks down ice crystals to yield a texture that's more creamy than icy. Crafted with local, organic ingredients, Nice Modern Creamery's menu of flavors includes truffle chocolate and ground coffee, plus a tart yogurt. Patrons can customize their scoops with toppings that include almonds, honey, and strawberry pur?e.