After more than 20 years of delighting family and friends with her decorated cakes, owner and head cake designer Sharon White decided to turn her love of all things sweet into a full-time cake-design business. Following the success of her 1950s-inspired shop, Nostalgia Cupcakes, Sharon was ready to test her sugar-sculpting skills on more opulent sweets, and so she left the retro-theme desserts in the past and forged a more sophisticated future with a custom couture-cake boutique, The Cake Courtesan. After just one year in business, the shop had already earned a spot on the 2012 Platinum List from luxury wedding source Grace Ormonde thanks in part to the detail of Sharon's designs, which have been known to include everything from giant handmade sugar flowers to frosting-based lacework. Her boutique crafts its gourmet treats in fresh, limited amounts every day, offering a long list of rotating flavors as well as daily favorites that prefer to sit still.
From towering tiered cakes to bite-sized miniature desserts, the bakers at Cotton's Gourmet Gifts & Creations handcraft an eclectic portfolio of sweets for every occasion. Each dessert is handmade at the behest of each and every client, and a wide range of options is available for weddings, showers, birthdays, and sweet-tooth conventions. Beautiful wedding cakes are among the bakery's specialties, helping see each bride and groom's vision becomes a sweet-tasting reality.
Real-estate agent [LaKisa Taylor]( HYPERLINK "http://gr.pn/LjXD6K" http://gr.pn/LjXD6K) may have been a longtime whiz in the business of brokering homes, but brokering cupcakes began as a hobby. As a thank-you to clients and potential buyers, LaKisa would bake and decorate batches of the confectionary delights. Her sweet tooth and background in event planning eventually propelled the pastime into a full-fledged career when she dreamed up Pretty Girl Cupcakery, named for her still-flourishing real-estate campaign, Pretty Girl County. Inside the shop's recently opened doors, LaKisa and her staff bake treats fresh each morning in an atmosphere more welcoming than a doormat carved from peanut brittle. Their classic menu keeps it simple with chocolate and vanilla, double chocolate and vanilla, half and half, and red-velvet cakes topped with rich buttercream frosting.
LaKisa and her team spread their passion for edible artistry at classes that broach subjects such as basic frosting techniques and crafting fondant that deliciously embellishes cakes. They also host themed bashes at the bakery, enveloping birthday kids and their guests in a world of pretty princesses or doll and tea parties.
On a hot summer day, the interior of Mr. Smoothie & Frozen Yogurt Bar looks a bit like paradise. Staff members man blenders whirring together non-fat yogurt and a choice of two fresh fruits into their signature smoothies, allowing customers to cool off with treats that are refreshing, healthy, and able to put out a very small fire. Everything made at Mr. Smoothie is customizable, and guests can opt to pare down the sweetness by only drinking freshly squeezed juice or creating fruity freezes from the same juices blended with chunks of real fruit. Eleven flavors of coffees are used to make frappes, with skinnier versions available for those desiring less calories and more protein. In fact, staff members can add a range of supplements and boosts to any smoothie or drink, adding ingredients that build muscle or nutrients that aim to improve hangovers.
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 Chrissy's Cocktail Cupcakes, the humble treat contains the usual ingredients—eggs, flour, etc.—plus a little bit extra. The bakers bring alcohol into the mix, with spirits such as Cîroc, Malibu Red, Patron, and Grey Goose finding their ways into the various flavors, and ensure the cupcakes will never be allowed to drive. After the alcohol-infused cupcakes are baked and packed, they're delivered or shipped to clients' homes.