Former New York bakery owners Tom and Patty Verri and their staff at Patty Cakes Bakery craft savory desserts and pastries using centuries-old Italian family recipes, including an array of cupcake flavors baked fresh daily. Set chompers loose on the M&M cupcakes crowned with candy-coated chocolate gems, or bite into a peanut-butter-cup confection as decadent as a life-size replica of the Statue of Liberty made entirely of cannoli cream filling. The Chocolate Craze cupcakes satisfy cocoa cravings with sweet decadence, and the Florida Snowball cupcakes satisfy sweet teeth and combat the inevitable brain freeze from consuming an entire snowman. After making 12 cupcakes disappear, diners can cleanse frosting-infused palates with sips of hot coffee ($1.79–$1.99), milk ($1.79), or seasonal hot cider ($1.79; beverages not included in this Groupon).
Island Time's dessert devotees craft 14 all-natural, kosher flavors of frozen yogurt, which boast live, active cultures and swirl into cups from customer-operated machines. Frozen-yogurt masterpieces begin once customers select a palette of flavors, combining cookies and cream with sensational strawberries or cake batter with a liquefied spatula. Guests festoon their frosty bounties with 55 different toppings, layering on freshly sliced bananas, nuts, and candy before Island Time's dairy gurus weigh each customized sundae ($0.49/oz.). The yogurt emporium encourages island-style relaxation with an outdoor patio gussied up with umbrella-shaded picnic tables and palm trees trained in shiatsu massage.
At Cold Flame, nearly 30 flavors of gelato climb aboard spoons or slide through straws in the form of thick milk shakes, while bites of brownies and cakes provide warmer sustenance. A punch card gets patrons five visits to the dessertery, where they can spend up to $5 each time on treats as sweet as a teddy bear riding a miniature horse. Chocolate, coconut, or tahitian-vanilla-gelato shakes swathe taste buds with rich, creamy flavor ($4.99), and lemon or mango sherbet quells fruit cravings. The selection of gelato flavors rotates, so italian pistachio gets its share of the limelight and tabloid interviews before giving way to cookies and cream or dutch fudge. Sweet-seekers chat while seated upon blond wood chairs at round silver tables, and icy blue walls add visual accent to slices of cake or brownies ($5.49/slice or square).
Scamper across Gilmon's Bakery's checkerboard floor to view colorful display cases stocked with freshly baked cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, and watch confectioners decorate their wares at a visible frosting station before smuggling home a variety of cakey cups. Each day, batter-whisperers bake 9–12 different flavors for customers to serve at weddings, parties, or successful parole hearings. Chocolate-chip cookie dough nestles next to red velvet, and tangy key lime and sweet strawberry shortcake gossip about the carrot cake's latest frosting hat. Always stylish, cupcakes regularly step out in sugar decorations that reflect the season, sports teams, or aesthetically pleasing psychic visions. Cleanse palates between cupcake courses with coffee ($1.25), bottled water ($1), or a mini cannoli ($1.25), which are not included in the price of this Groupon.
The Hyppo Cart, which hangs out in the St. John’s Town Shopping Center, is a spinoff of the original Hyppo in Saint Augustine. This gourmet popsicle truck got its start from simple fresh fruit, cane sugar and other freshly-made, interesting ingredients. Fashioned after paletas, which are Latin American ice pops made from fresh fruit and spices, flavors are as diverse as cucumber lemon mint, melon and cracked pepper. Fully-realized iterations like the Elvis combine peanut butter, honey and banana, while a Mexican Hot Chocolate version uses cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne. The Hyppo cart also offers gourmet sandwiches and salads, Bold Bean coffees and espresso, tea, agave sodas and baked goods. From its humble beginnings, the pops have gained a loyal following and bring about arguments of favorite flavors among its fans.
Without a job, single mother Gwen Willhite was facing a difficult situation. But a sweet solution relieved her tough times: she assembled homemade cookies into a more sugary version of the bouquet, an idea she thought would be perfect for gift-giving. The concept was a hit, and within a few years, the business she called Cookie Bouquet had become a franchise. Willhite's company, now called Cookies By Design, continues to churn out edible bouquets, alongside cookie cakes and cookies in flavors such as white-chocolate pecan, snickerdoodles, and oatmeal raisin. Cookies By Design has expanded to many locations across the US, where staffers at each hub freshly bake and hand-decorate each creation.