The friendly staff at MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery churns dozens of creamy flavors fresh each day before enhancing frozen creations with inventive mix-ins and toppings. They power through shivers to fold nuts, candy, and fruit into ice-cream varieties such as chocolate banana, and sprinkle sugary toppings over ice-cream pizzas, one of MaggieMoo's signature creations. Aside from other avant-garde dessert offerings—which include ice-cream cupcakes—the staff slings frozen favorites including cones, creamy milkshakes, and ice-cream cakes.
Occasional appearances by Miss Maggie Moo, the business's iconic cow, delight customers. She also lends her services to fundraising efforts for local schools and charities.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
As one of Jacksonville’s original cupcakeries, Cami Cakes in the Tinseltown shopping area is a sweet delight. The small storefront, complete with pink lettering, houses a couch and several scattered tables for in-house eating, but the real draw is choosing which flavor to enjoy. At any given time, more than a dozen cupcake options peek back from behind the glass counter, while the only thing more beautiful might just be the perfect pink box, wrapped with a bow, that’s used to carry them out. As patrons enter Cami Cakes, their senses are assaulted with a lovely perfume of lemon and sweet icing, while longtime locals make a beeline for popular favorites like red velvet, carrot cake and chocolate raspberry almond. Offered right in the heart of Jacksonville, these sweet treats have been known to rival anything made in New York City or San Francisco.
The Donut Shop in the Arlington section of Jacksonville has been a sweet landmark since 1962. With several moves within the neighborhood due to leasing issues, its new location on University Boulevard has continued its loyal following, offering doughnut fiends 2,400 square feet of takeout space that serves up sweet sensations in the pre-dawn hours. With its lime green walls and gleaming glass and white case, patrons come from all over the city with their cash (yes, it’s a cash only shop), and leave with at least a dozen of their favorites regularly. Make room for a chocolate éclair, the curiously-shaped “ugly” or a honey stick. The Donut Shoppe is an unassuming little hole in the wall that prepares donuts of a quality, appearance and taste that other shops lack; just arrive early, because when the doughnuts are gone, the shop closes.
A mouth-watering display of delectable delights strut their sugary stuff behind the glass encasements at Kilwin's, where all quality fudge is hand-crafted from fresh ingredients on site. Traditionalists can tantalize their tongue with the chocolate fudge, while reclusive sweet teeth emerge from their enamel shells for the turtle fudge. Polished wood floors, charming storefront displays, and friendly staff members welcome patrons to Kilwin's, which has exuded the welcoming vibe of a neighborhood confectioner since 1947.
Pete Behringer's passion for sweets ignited at the age of 14, when his mother founded Peterbrooke Chocolatier, the site of his first job. Pete’s profession hasn’t changed in three decades, and his passion and talent for handcrafting artisan confections has flourished. His insistence on weaving together simple, all-natural ingredients with an artisan touch earned him the proud title of Chocolatier of the Year for his gourmet chocolate treats, many of which are gluten-free, at Jacksonville's 2012 Taste of Chocolate Challenge. Within his candy shop, a century-old picturesque Victorian nestled in historical Springfield, he displays rainbows of jellybeans, sour gummy bears, vegan and gluten-free products, and colorful lollipops shaped like animals, airplanes, and Rorschach blots. When he's not spinning natural cane sugar into edible masterpieces, Pete hosts candy-making classes, parties, and events in his candy shop or on location. Sweet Pete's was featured on CNBC's The Profit in 2014. And now the company has teamed with Marcus Lemonis to open a 20,000 square foot candy shop.