From the sleek wood of a guitar to the rough stubble of a basketball, the confectionary masters at The Icing & The Cake make fondant look like anything their clients can imagine. Their huge, colorful cakes have served as the centerpiece for many special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and daring prison escapes involving the use of a life-size cake replica. The shop's pastry chefs also craft individual cupcakes, cake balls, and cake pops for spur-of-the-moment sweet snacks or to treat septuplets to their own personal birthday cake.
When HoneyBaked Ham was just a single shop in Michigan more than 40 years ago, it was run under the careful eye of its founder, Harry J. Hoenselaar. He handpicked every bone-in ham that he was going to sell in stores and carefully cured each in a secret marinade recipe. He then slow-smoked the ham over a custom blend of wood chips. Hoenselaar even built and patented a machine that spiral-cut the meat into almost perfectly even slices and re-creations of M.A.S.H. characters. But what really stuck with people was his glaze—a proprietary recipe that encased each ham with a sweet, crunchy finish.
Though Harry's shop has since grown into a nationally recognized brand with more than 400 stores, that attention to detail hasn’t been lost. His grandchildren now oversee the company, and they have maintained that same process of hand-selecting hams and smoking them for up to 24 hours before they’re spiral-cut and glazed. Many of the stores also have a cafe-style counter, where patrons can pick up fresh sandwiches layered with roast beef, smoked turkey breast, chicken salad, and of course, honey-glazed ham.
Within the walls of Natural White Advanced Teeth Whitening, music of the patron's choice floats through the air, soothing senses while technicians work to brighten smiles. The tray-free whitening process kicks off as a cheek retractor fits snugly into mouths, keeping lips and tongues from breaking out to mouth insults at easily ruffled dental mirrors. Staffers use an application pen to paint hydrogen-peroxide gel directly onto teeth before an LED lamp engulfs incisors in a cold blue light with a wavelength of about 465 nanometers. Treatments last from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, and more than one session may be needed depending on the severity of stains or patrons' desire to sneak another nap in the office's well-padded chairs.
Live music permeates Summit Coffee’s 110-year-old building at least three nights per week, enhancing the space’s already artistic and eclectic vibe. Day and night, patrons ranging from neighbors and artists to professors and students settle inside the warm-and-welcoming café bar to throw back pints of IPA brews or piping-hot mugs of organic coffee and lattes. Friendly baristas and bar mates pair beverages with decadent sweets, including flaky croissants and giant slices of rich chocolate cake. As a neighborhood spot, Summit cherishes its community and is dedicated to giving back. It has raised more than $100,000 and a handful of Monopoly money over the years thanks to events such as its 8K race.
Many bakeries claim that their treats are handmade, but the treats that BW Sweets Bakery owner Frankie White crafts might be just a bit more handmade than others. That's because White uses as few premade ingredients as possible; when making sweet-potato pie, he picks out sweet potatoes at the farmers' market, bakes them, and skins them rather than buying a readymade can, he told Creative Loafing. That devotion to high-quality ingredients carries through all of his offerings, from dainty pastries to multilayered wedding cakes draped in fondant, as well as gourmet cheesecakes and booze-infused cupcakes.