Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
The Perfect Touch aims to magnify beauty and boost guests' confidence with a wide range of aesthetic treatments. Teeth-whitening sessions, for example, use an organic hydrogen peroxide gel and LED laser light to undo the effects of years of smoking, wine drinking, or gargling with soy sauce. Gleaming, long-lasting Shellac manicures pamper and beautify hands, and epsom-salt pedicures smooth calluses with a peppermint foot scrub and lavender or cucumber lotion. Paraffin-therapy treatments are available as an add-on to help soothe dry skin and promote better circulation in the fingers and toes.
Packaged by the ounce, The Spice & Tea Exchange hand-mixes spices from around the world to create their unique blends and rubs. Banish blandness from any meal with a wide variety of spices (starting at $0.99 per ounce), more than 60 custom blends and rubs (starting at $4.89 per ounce), and a ton of salts, peppers, and chili powders (starting at $0.49 per ounce). Office workers can wean themselves off the teats of the break room's coffee-cow with dozens of loose-leaf teas ($4.89 per ounce) sweetened with more than 12 flavor-infused sugars ($4.89 per ounce), including blueberry sugar, spicy habanero sugar, and espresso sugar. The Spice & Tea Exchange's huge variety of flavors make it easy to fulfill long-held cooking fantasies, be it a robust hickory-flavored manticore or topping a freshly grilled cheeseburger with unicorn-radish.
Brewing only blue-ribbon coffee beans, The Beanz Man also pleases palates with a menu packed with baked goods, paninis, platters, soups, desserts, and more. Lead wayward longings to the continent of contentment with a mocha latte ($3.45+) or house gourmet coffee ($1.75+) and accompany cravings to the shores of satiation with a biscotti ($1.25) or a slice of coffee cake ($2.50). With seven sandwiches—such as the honey-glazed turkey and provolone ($6.95), and four paninis, including the fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil ($6.95)—lunchers find reason to linger.
Though he couldn't have known it at the time, Adam Caldwell arranged what arguably could be considered one of the most successful first dates in modern history. He not only ended up marrying his date, Danna, but also had such a memorable time with her in the frozen-yogurt shop that the two of them were eventually inspired to start their own. They opened Menchie's Frozen Yogurt in California in 2007, and within just a few years, found themselves with a family of hundreds of thriving stores sprinkled all around the world. ? As the Menchie's brand grew, Adam and Danna kept a simple mission in mind: to make their customers smile. An adorable cast of animated characters is featured throughout the stores, including on the colorful spoons, and customers can have fun creating endless frozen-yogurt combinations. There are almost 150 rotating yogurt flavors, and the selection includes eight versions of vanilla. Of course, there are plenty of toppings as well, displayed in help-yourself bins filled with fresh fruit, nuts, cereal, and candy. ? The yogurt is made from fresh milk from a California dairy, and it is free of the artificial growth hormone rSBT. All the yogurt is kosher, and certain flavors accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
For those who came of age in the 1950s, the tunes of Glenn Miller and Elvis Presley might conjure memories of sock hops and soda fountains. ScoopDaddy's takes that nostalgia one step further, by complementing songs playing from a vintage Rock-Ola jukebox with vintage decor that also harkens back to the mid-20th century. Neon- and chrome-framed walls surround a retro tile floor, Coca-Cola tables, red vinyl chairs, and memorabilia displaying images of stars such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.
Amidst the dining room's ‘50s glitz, the aroma of handmade, freshly baked waffle cones drifts in from the kitchen. Along with cups and regular cones, these waffle cones can hold scoops of the parlor's 32 gourmet ice creams, which include flavors such as black cherry vanilla, espresso chip, and swiss almond fudge. A toppings’ menu offers up gummy bears and raspberries that crown scoops, and mix-ins from cookie dough to marshmallows can add extra flavor to the shop's specialty shakes. The staff also whips up soda fountain classics such as ice-cream floats, banana splits, and new york egg creams to treat taste buds to a blast from the past, just like nibbling Fonzie's leather jacket.