The baker behind Style And Grace Cupcakes is something of an alchemist; she transforms simple ingredients such as brown sugar and fresh strawberries into moist cupcakes crowned with decadent buttercream frosting. She also bakes cookies, cookie pops, and diabetic-friendly cupcakes made with Splenda. Find these handcrafted desserts at the Gastonia Farmers Market, or have them delivered to your door.
Poodle skirts, sock hops, and soda fountains. Nothing screams the '50s quite like leaning over a bar and calling for a black cow or an ice-cream soda. At Belmont Soda Fountain, you can recreate that sweet experience with lunch and a frozen treat. Dig into a turkey, chicken salad, or pimento cheese sandwich with a side of pasta salad, or warm yourself from the inside out with the soup of the day. Kids can eat filling, yet taste-bud friendly grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches before rousing the whole restaurant into a chant for ice cream. Once you've calmed both them and your cravings, sip a hand-stirred grape soda or slurp up a root beer float brimming with foamy ice cream, in your choice of flavor.
Hollie, the lady behind Sugar Diva's Custom Cakes, bakes fresh, homemade treats from fine ingredients. The business specializes in custom cakes for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, fashioning them with multiple tiers, elegant accouterments, and stunning designs. They also specialize in smaller treats, which range from gooey chocolate chip cookies and brownies to cupcakes, chocolate fudge, made-to-order pies, and old-fashioned candies.
In many ways, Unique Unlimited Weddings is a fresh start for chef Tony Wilkins. He learned how to cook in his grandparents' kitchen as a child and honed his skills while working for the catering company that his mother and aunt ran in the mid-1970s. Although they had to close their business to take care of their families and Tony went on to get a degree in electronics engineering, his love for cooking never faded. After years of feeling out of place in engineering, chef Tony took a cue from the past and reopened his mother's business. Today, he takes on catering projects big and small, assisting hosts by creating rich feasts, custom-designed cakes, and decorative centerpieces.
A science lab calls to mind test tubes, bubbling flasks of chemicals, maniacally laughing men in white coats—but rarely ice cream. But that's exactly where Curt Jones, chairman and founder of Dippin' Dots, came upon the inspiration for the tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream. A microbiologist, Jones spearheaded the flash-freezing process of cryogenic encapsulation, a method capable of trapping flavor and freshness.
Beginning as a retail shop in Lexington, Kentucky, the ice cream quickly began to quell the tantrums of Fortune 500 CEOs all over the country. Having won numerous awards since he created a new way to enjoy an old treat, Jones stays true to Dippin' Dots’ roots, making the ice cream at the company headquarters in Paducah, Kentucky. New additions to the Dippin' Dots family include Dots ‘n Cream, a treat similar to traditional ice cream.
When their daughter, Kai, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Tracy and Patrick Watkins knew they needed to provide her with as much love and care as possible. They quit their jobs as engineers and launched a bakery named after their little girl and her favorite treats. In the kitchen at Kai’s Kookies and More, the couple ices custom sugar cookies by hand, transforming circles into edible basketballs and rectangles into festive American flags, all of which can be dipped into house-brewed coffee or bundled into baskets, boxes, or bouquets. Sweeter than a kiss from Cap’n Crunch, mangoes and strawberries fill several varieties of cupcakes and 3-inch cheesecakes.
In addition to packing their display case with handcrafted confections, Tracy and Patrick supply desserts to eight local restaurants and four Monkey Joe's bounce playgrounds. Visitors can also book Kai's for special events such as tea parties and international summits disguised as children's birthday bashes.