As early as age 11, Joanne Weeden was baking treats for her mother to bring to patients at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. Years later, Weeden is still at it, making fresh cookies, cupcakes, dessert bars, and breads at Boomerang Bakery (the name is a tribute to her Australian roots). In addition to offering these goodies, Boomerang is dedicated to making a positive impact on the community in large and small ways, whether that means donating to local charities or teaching customers useful magic tricks such as how to make a cupcake disappear.
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
It can be rough feeding a family, with parents figuring out how to find time to prepare healthy, delicious meals and still complete their long, grueling work schedules. That’s why Shane and Angie Huber at U-Bake decided to help their clients hurry dinner to the table by specializing in prepared, take-and-bake dinners and meal supplies. This allows their regular shoppers to easily and efficiently assemble entire meals with only an oven, a stovetop, or a third and final genie wish.
Though they’re known for their housemade dough, including pizza dough and more than 50 types of cookie dough, they also sling pastries, dry and frozen soups, and jellies and spreads to enhance any main course. They help families cope with dietary restrictions without compromising taste by whipping up a variety of gluten-free items, and their website promotes creative culinary pursuits by featuring signature recipes that only require ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
DIYogurt invites customers to construct their own ideal dessert. The store features 18 frozen yogurt-dispensing taps, with flavors that rotate weekly; past offerings have included everything from mango and pineapple to Turkish delight and caramel macchiato. Picking a frozen yogurt only supplies the base ingredient, though. Customers still need to pick and choose from a selection of more than 70 toppings, which includes candy, chocolate, and fresh fruits.
Founded in 1911, Schubert's Diner & Bakery has spent the last century dishing out traditional Norwegian fare, including hearty breakfasts, homemade dinner plates, and fresh-baked goods. Norwegian meatballs sidle up to Swedish rye bread in a recipe that has been a signature item for the past 45 years ($7.50). Fresh-baked treats are available for purchase with both meal options and include rosettes, an intricate, fried Norwegian pastry coated in sugar for a snack as light and sweet as a hot-air balloon toting a heap of third graders' valentines ($0.85/1 or $3.99/5). Select the breakfast option for all-day access to morning delicacies. The lefse omelet blankets fluffy eggs in a rolled Norwegian potato flatbread before tucking in a tiny teddy-bear garnish ($6.75). Schubert's Diner & Bakery covers tables with blue-and-white-checked tablecloths and lines its soda fountain with old-fashioned white barstools, upon which guests slurp down ice creams and malts.
True collaborators, husband-and-wife team Deanna and Phil Watkins keep their brainchild, Sweet Dream Desserts, running smoothly from the early hours of the day until closing time. Each morning, Deanna gets kitchens hopping and flings open the doors to usher customers in for a Continental-style breakfast complete with scones and sweet breads. Meanwhile, Phil prepares homemade soups, and sandwiches for the deli-style station and salad bar. The two also work together to offer a catering menu and custom cakes for a variety of occasions, from simple sheet cakes to elaborately designed wedding cakes.