Founded by a mother-daughter team, Sara's Sweets Bakery whips up quality baked goods, including cupcakes, cookies, and custom-decorated cakes. Grand Rapids-area customers can utilize the bakery's delivery service, or stop into the shop, where fresh coffee and donuts are served every day. To make sure no sweet tooth gets stymied, Sara's offers sugar- and gluten-free treats upon request.
The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand is stocked with an impressive array of brewables, steepables, and munchables. The cozy beverage boutique serves up more than 30 loose-leaf teas by the classic cup ($2.50) for calming down even the most stressed-out Depression-era baseball players. Iced green and black teas ($1.90) are also available to cool customers down on hot summer days. A bevy of fair-trade bean-juice options will perk up the thirsty without causing moral jitters. Throw back a shot of espresso ($1.90) for a no-frills energy punch, or flirt with the foam atop a decadent mocha ($3.75) during a relaxed rendezvous at the café. Bottomless house coffee ($3.50) is available for the supersleepy or those who've been boycotting cup bottoms ever since they started supporting big-box retail chains. If you crave creativity, opt for a customizable bubble tea ($3.75–$4.25) and let the tapioca beads act as a delightfully textured muse.
Since 1919, four generations of the Naum family have created batches of housemade chocolates at Sweetland Candies. Using a combination of original recipes and newer variations developed throughout the years, the Naums specialize in dark- and milk-chocolate treats. Within those chocolaty casings, the confectioners include caramels, pecan clusters, and coconut haystacks, which horses feed on at Willy Wonka’s private ranch. Besides chocolates, the Naums stock Sweetland Candies with an assortment of Jelly Belly flavors and keep their M&M Colorworks displays filled with 21 colors.
Cupcake lovers can plunge mouth-first into boxes filled with a dozen pint-sized cakes, which are always available in red velvet with cream-cheese frosting, dark chocolate with vanilla-buttercream frosting, and vanilla with chocolate-buttercream frosting. Treat valentines to a dozen strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, or similarly please sweet-toothed sweethearts with a monstrous chocolate-chip or sugar cookie, available in circular or heart-shaped shapes and decorated with frosting messages (free for Valentine's Day, $3 to $5 for custom wording after that) such as “Happy Valentine’s Day,” “I already fed the dog,” and “What was your name again?”