From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery blends 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 spades to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Every day at more than 770 locations, Jamba Juice proves that good nutrition can be both convenient and delicious. Since the beginning, the company has based its philosophy on choosing whole fruits and all-natural ingredients over artificial flavorings and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, and it makes additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Although Jamba Juice is serious about using wholesome ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate. Whole fruits and veggies can be blended into an extensive menu of great-tasting smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. But Jamba Juice?s commitment to keeping healthy eating simple informs its solid-food options, too. Customers can kick-start their morning with a steaming bowl of slow-cooked, steel-cut oatmeal, or stay energized throughout the day with six varieties of Energy Bowls: nutrient-rich blends of whole fruit, Greek yogurt or soymilk, and an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits.
In addition to nourishing and energizing the human body, Jamba Juice fights childhood obesity by sponsoring Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative encourages fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to getting kids active?which they can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
Before opening up shop in 2011, self-taught baker Maricel spent 10 years honing her skills and taste testing her creations with her husband and three daughters. These days, she continues using natural and organic ingredients to whip up cupcakes, mini cupcakes, and tartlets entirely from scratch. The core of her tartlet arsenal remains sweet potato, peach cobbler, and pecan, but her cupcakes and mini cupcakes constantly evolve with innovative flavors such as a maple cupcake topped with bacon pieces and a coconut cupcake slathered with cream cheese frosting. Along with individual and by the dozen purchases, Maricel dispenses her mini cupcakes in bouquets and atop rental towers, which fit 50–60 treats. Every Tuesday through Saturday, she and her dedicated staffers are available to take orders and walk customers through the process of shrinking cakes with repeated dryer sessions.
At Madi Kat Cupcakes, being old-fashioned is a good thing. The bakers here embrace an old-fashioned work ethic, making their custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other assorted sweet treats from scratch throughout the day. But the homemade approach doesn't just guarantee freshness?it also means there are always plenty of possibilities for customers with dietary restrictions who need their desserts to be made gluten- or dairy-free. Basic and gourmet flavors include everything from butterscotch to s'mores to pink champagne, and sizing options include a dozen cupcakes, round or square cakes that feed anywhere from 18 to 128, or basic sheet or fitted sheet cakes.
The shelves of Legendary Doughnuts are lined each day with an ever-changing variety of hand-rolled, fresh fried treats topped with unconventional frostings and toppings. Shoppers can sink their teeth into the extra-large glazed Homer Simpson or try the George Washington, a chocolate-cake donut with chocolate-cherry ganache and almond slices. Old-fashioned varieties include the lemon-coconut donut with a lemon glaze and a crown of coconut, and specialties include the Fluff-A-Nutter stuffed with banana, peanut butter, and marshmallow. Legendary Doughnuts fills custom orders, too, whether customers would like an assortment of seasonal donuts, a tower of 25 donut balls, or a special plate of three donuts stacked and decorated to look like a hamburger.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words ?unusual varieties? shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners? passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they?d adopt the theme of ?31 flavors,? one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.