Like a cookie godmother, Missy Hintze transforms humble ingredients into taste bud-pleasing royalty with original recipes and a wave of her bakery wand. More than two-dozen cookie ($10 a dozen in-store), cupcake, and brownie varieties ($1+) line the shelves, with favorites such as snickerdoodles and frosted sugar cookies mingling with newcomers such as the toffee-and-chocolate-filled Original Ugly Cookie and crispy treat tucked under a peanut butter and chocolate blanket. Sugar-seekers can also opt to fill large orders with an assortment of cakes ($30) and cookie gift boxes ($15+).
Glancing inside Made With Love Not Gluten, any unsuspecting visitor would think it looks like any bakery: rows of cupcakes topped in colorful frosting line the display cases and the expert bakers diligently paint scenes atop customized cakes. But all the delicious baked goods are gluten free and crafted by a baker with Celiac disease, meaning that all the treats can be enjoyed by those with a gluten intolerance.
For Darmayne Robinson, an off-the-wall cake-design request is nothing more than a chance to flex her creativity. With a cake as her canvas and icing as her palette, the owner of Sweet Confections Cakes can transform any item––including sports cars, high heels, and scuba divers––into a three-dimensional dessert. When it comes to the 3-D cake’s taste, however, clients take the creativity into their own hands, selecting from a list of more than 100 options that include white-almond cake and Italian wedding cake, and fillings such as french apple and peanut-butter mousse.
Each cake is made from scratch incorporating such high-quality ingredients as imported white chocolate, pure vanilla, real cream, and butter, and the staff can also bake gluten-free and vegan options upon request. Those without a design idea of their own can peruse Sweet Confections’ display room, where artsy cakes are showcased alongside a delectable selection of cupcakes, which can be sold solo, by the dozen, or sewn together as a giant cupcake cape.
Every day since 2000, the tantalizing aromas of roasting coffee have flooded St. Thomas Roasters as staffers create a variety of bean blends using an onsite Diedrich roaster. Their creations include fair-trade organic coffee from Honduras, a special Linglestown blend, and flavored roasts including dark-chocolate dust and cinnamon sticky bun. Meanwhile, on the first floor of their shop, they transform the freshly roasted beans into piping-hot cups of coffee and espresso drinks, complementing sweet and savory food options such as apple croissants, breakfast pastries, and paninis.
The shop itself, housed in a residential building with a stone façade, offers the comforts of home as patrons cozy up inside or head to the porch to watch live music from a rotating lineup of artists. They can also bring home bags of beans to grind at home or use as props for a coffeehouse-themed sitcom.
While adults sip gourmet brews from Seattle’s Best and bolster blood cells with fuel from the colorful and healthy menu, children can chow down on grilled Cheesasaurus sandwiches or dash off to one of the three sunny adjoining playrooms. One space entertains kids ages 2–6, encouraging theatrical, creative play, while the s'mores-soft Tot Spot amuses kids under 2, and older kids improve hand-eye-coordination playing a variety of video games. Adults can choose to observe the anthropological doings within, or check kids in with a qualified playroom sitter and return to the calm land of rooibos, biscotti, and the art of adult conversation.