IKE Box inhabits the ground floor of a 120-year-old downtown building whose spacious ballroom now serves as the main seating area of the café. Baristas serve Sisters Coffee Company coffee and espresso alongside locally produced pastries, fresh hummus, and organic cookies. For added color, an onsite art gallery swaps in fresh works from community artists each month. IKE Box also has multiple large spaces for meetings and other get-togethers.
Committed to helping not just coffee drinkers and artists but the community as well, IKE Box is run by Isaac’s Room, a nonprofit youth organization that seeks to provide valuable life skills and training to divested youth.
Mike Mungra and Mike Warren started Froyo Nation with the goal of elevating the quality of frozen yogurt available in the Salem area. To that end, they curate fresh, locally made Oregon yogurt and fruit to create fresh, frozen desserts. As enticing aromas fill the air from coexisting business Daynight Donuts’ freshly baked treats, self-serve machines churn out eight flavors of creamy, nutritious frozen yogurt. Staff members watch over a toppings bar brimming with more than 70 toppings, including granola, candies, and strawberries, that help conceal frozen yogurt peaks from the pokes of inquisitive spoons.
The java geniuses at He Brews Coffee & Cafe prep a menu of delectable drinks as well as plates of breakfast and lunch eats. Warm up a body still chilly from vacationing in a lunar crater with a cup of house java ($1.25+), a latte or a mocha ($2.25+), or a selection from the shop's assortment of teas ($1.25+). Refreshing a.m. eats are served throughout the day, including options such as the egg scramble paired with an organic potato pancake and organic toast ($8.95). During lunchtime, diners dive into turkey paninis wrapped with cranberries and cream cheese ($9.95) or sandwiches bursting with barbecue pulled chicken or beef, chicken breasts, or vegan and veggie options ($7.95). Fruit smoothies ($3.50) and soy-almond hemp-milk smoothies ($4) can, like a favorite neighbor's car, be doused with rich tropical-fruit combos such as kiwi-banana or mango-mandarin.
Channeling the aura of a lively Las Vegas scene, a red carpet guides guests from Twinsies Coffee and Cupcakes’ door straight to the display of artfully frosted cupcakes, made from scratch each morning in a rotating selection of 12 flavors. Bakers bob along to the upbeat hum of ‘80s music and the bubbling of a new 8-foot-long fish tank as they craft jumbo-sized cupcakes, which enchant taste buds with flavors such as Nutella chocolate, PB&J, and lemon. Alongside simple cake-batter cupcakes, filled confections conceal creamy centers and trick cupcakes conceal mini whoopee cushions. The café keeps energy high with a full espresso bar, which brews up infusions crafted from locally roasted beans to promote the local economy.