Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Everybody’s dream sundae is different, which is why Chocolate Bar Cafe named its most customizable ice-cream treat The Fantasy. In its massive bowl, bananas, whipped cream, nuts, cherries, and six toppings of your choice smother six scoops of your favorite ice-cream flavors. With more than 30 ice-cream flavors—from burgundy cherry to maple walnut—the staff is confident that Chocolate Bar Cafe can meet your taste buds’ needs.
The shop was originally opened in 1921 by Louis Alinosi, whose recipes still grace the ice-cream cases. Though current owner Lisa Corbin keeps Alinosi’s traditions alive, she’s also expanded the café to incorporate a greater range of sweets. Each morning, bakers top gourmet cupcakes—whose 30 flavors include orange creamsicle, double chocolate, and boston cream—with housemade icing. Similar flavors and designs can be incorporated into custom cakes to celebrate birthdays or your puppy’s first steps. Boxed chocolates and truffles round out the café’s edibles, which can be complemented with an extensive selection of sodas, coffees, and hot chocolates.
In Sweet Piece Dessert's bustling kitchen, pastry-bag points dispense tufts of frosting that rest atop cakes shrouded in fondant or swirls of buttercream. Custom cakes match the color schemes and themes of their surroundings at weddings and birthdays, and character cupcakes resemble favorite kids entertainers, such as Hello Kitty and Henry Kissinger. Confectioners also daub apples and pretzels with layers of chocolate drizzle, peanut butter, cashews, and roasted macaroon coconut, and dip strawberries in rich candy coatings.
Stocked with all the stuff kids?and the young at heart?love, Z's Penny Candy is packed with candies, fresh popcorn, and pinatas. Inside the brightly-painted store, customers can explore the aisles to find boxes and bars of classics, from Snickers and Pez to bags of Big League Chew and jars stuffed with something your brother will just steal anyway. The staff also scoops up ice cream and keeps a slushie machine churning out cool treats for respite from the heat in the summertime.
At W.D.'s Gumbo Café, wax paper lines red baskets that bear gifts of Cajun chicken sandwiches and sweetwater cornbread, while open-mic crooners serenade parties as they enjoy Southern fare. The tempting menu is a showcase of colorful New Orleans culture, with feasts of chicken and sausage gumbo in a savory brown roux, complimented by more squares of sweetwater cornbread. While health-conscious diners opt for a selection of raw juices or healthy smoothies.
Just a free weight’s throw away from Lifestyle Fitness Gold, health enthusiasts and exercisers fortify their physiques at Lifestyle Café Juice Bar, where staffers juice fresh fruits, veggies, flax seed, and wheatgrass. Meanwhile, organic juices and fruits compose blended smoothies for light meals and refreshing treats.