In the dawn of 2013, Vicki Harry opened Thanks A Latte in Holly Springs with the help of her husband, their three children, and a family friend. Within the café's cozy interior, baristas pull shots of espresso and brew Larry's Beans coffee. They also concoct specialty drinks such as the Daydream, a latte infused with chocolate, coconut, and almond flavors. Patrons can pair sips with pastries such as blueberry scones or cinnamon rolls, or peruse a gift shop stocked with journals, jewelry, and other items from brands such as RuMe and Natural Life.
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.
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.
For 25 years Lorie Murray worked as an IT professional. The whole while, she went home to craft progressively more and more intricate and eye-catching cakes in her own kitchen. She finally pulled together a team at Simply Cakes, LLC to pursue what she had realized was her true calling. Together, they craft custom cakes from scratch, drawing on backgrounds in art to decorate them with curlicues of frosting and buttercream.
Using natural ingredients such as real butter, fresh apples, raisins, pecans, and organic carrots, she and her coterie of decorators concoct desserts in flavors such as spice cake, coconut, banana, and french vanilla. In the bustling kitchen, they fill cupcakes and cakes with bavarian cream, key-lime frosting, irish cream mousse, and strawberries. Spatulas slipping busily through batter and frosting, they customize the look with any design imaginable, including 3D renditions of shoes, sports mascots, and Darth Vader’s head. They generally avoid using fondant, except when constructing particularly involved pieces.
Lorie also sculpts towering wedding cakes, whose terraces of flowers and curlicues of cream have earned her nods from Wedding Wire’s Bride’s Choice Awards for the last four consecutive years. She also designs cakes for other occasions, including anniversaries, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, and the reintroduction of tiny plastic couples into the wild.