It can be rough feeding a family, with parents figuring out how to find time to prepare healthy, delicious meals and still complete their long, grueling work schedules. That’s why Shane and Angie Huber at U-Bake decided to help their clients hurry dinner to the table by specializing in prepared, take-and-bake dinners and meal supplies. This allows their regular shoppers to easily and efficiently assemble entire meals with only an oven, a stovetop, or a third and final genie wish.
Though they’re known for their housemade dough, including pizza dough and more than 50 types of cookie dough, they also sling pastries, dry and frozen soups, and jellies and spreads to enhance any main course. They help families cope with dietary restrictions without compromising taste by whipping up a variety of gluten-free items, and their website promotes creative culinary pursuits by featuring signature recipes that only require ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Under the guidance of Debra Mindham, the Centerville Tea Room's chefs dole out handcrafted English aperitifs, sandwiches, and tea. Prix-fixe meals such as Through the Looking Glass march into mouths with a parade of four mini finger sandwiches on homemade breads, along with a pair of pastries, and baton-twirling scones ($14.95). Prime roast beef dons a crown of blue cheese and reigns over horseradish mayo within the blue beef sandwich ($8.95), while a cup of the soup du jour ($3 for a cup, $4.95 for a bowl) warms chilly soul sacks.
True collaborators, husband-and-wife team Deanna and Phil Watkins keep their brainchild, Sweet Dream Desserts, running smoothly from the early hours of the day until closing time. Each morning, Deanna gets kitchens hopping and flings open the doors to usher customers in for a Continental-style breakfast complete with scones and sweet breads. Meanwhile, Phil prepares homemade soups, and sandwiches for the deli-style station and salad bar. The two also work together to offer a catering menu and custom cakes for a variety of occasions, from simple sheet cakes to elaborately designed wedding cakes.
A combination frozen-yogurt and coffee shop, OozCafe invites patrons to craft their own frosty treats and customize steaming cups of Lavazza coffee. A rotating cast of 12 yogurt flavors such as peanut butter, cake batter, and eight types of vanilla pours forth from machines into cups quivering with excitement. Thirty-five toppings and syrups stand at the ready to top mounds of yogurt with mints, cookies, and candies. Nearby, coffee and tea drinks ranging from chilled oolong to pumpkin-spice chai lattes wash down bites of yogurt.
Built in 1856, Golden Oaks Mansion houses a grand staircase that delivers guests from boutique inn rooms to the Juicy Olive Lounge, where a friendly staff doles out a menu of specialty drinks and tasty bites. Settle down at the bar to graze stuffed mushrooms (a $8.95 value) or a shrimp cocktail (a $8.95 value) and woo a host of decadent cocktails, such as the Creamy Tea-ni, a chai-infused orange vodka and cream martini (a $9 value), or the 1856 Cosmo (a $9 value), served on a napkin-shaped time machine. A green-apple martini (a $9 value) serves to fuel nibblers as their pita chips comb the artichoke and spinach dip (a $7.95 value) in search of famed secret gardens.