There's an artful touch in Jackie Green's baking hand. She's fond of the process, of finding the right ingredients and making cakes that crumble with Southern-style deliciousness. She's been baking since she was a young girl, and her family tradition taught her to eschew preservatives and hydrogenated oils to keep her recipes as flavorful as possible. Her specialty? Iced butter pound cake topped with pecans and a cream-cheese glaze. As the consummate small-business owner, Jackie blends managerial expertise with her baking talent; you might see her dispensing samples of her cupcakes, brownies, or cookies at local markets. This consistent professionalism helped Jackie earn the title of Best Bakery from the Holly Springs Sun in 2010.
Using ingredients grown and made in North Carolina, Stick Boy Bread Co. bakes a bevy of artisan breads, breakfast pastries, and desserts. Soft loaves of bread rise nightly in Stick Boy’s stone ovens, with more than 20 recipes to choose from. Sidle up to the counter and gobble up a sticky bun with walnuts and raisins ($2.40) or a handful of magic cookies, packed with chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, marshmallows, and swallowable keys ($1 each). Bathe overstimulated taste buds in a relaxing, richly brewed jacuzzi of mocha chai ($3.75 for 16 oz.). Stick Boy Bread Co. opens for business at 6 a.m. Monday–Friday and at 7 a.m. Saturday, making it an ideal stop for early risers and nocturnal crime fighters heading home for some shuteye.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
At The Ice Cream Shop, more than 30 flavors of Hershey's ice cream take the form of cones, cups, floats, malted shakes, and sundaes, filling the shop's polka-dotted interior with frozen feasts. The menu's classic confections range from $1.89 to $6.99 in price, and fold in frozen flavors that range from nontraditional cotton candy and cappuccino crunch to old-fashioned scoopables, such as butter pecan, strawberry, and frozen daguerreotype. Tongues slip on the Muddy Sneakers flavor for a taste of white-chocolate ice cream racing against a ripple of caramel fudge, peanut candies, and nuggets of chocolate and caramel. Toppings, such as fruit, whipped cream, and malt bespeckle cold creations, and five cone varieties ensure that ice cream is never shoved into a purse or cargo pocket for storage.
Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years??and 440 national locations??later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites?including hearty omelets and country benedicts?are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.