Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 50 locations, each of which churns out 12 daily-rotating flavors that are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 40 flavors includes Canadian Maple, Southern Comfort, and Champagne—a bubbly-flavored base topped with an edible pearl. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Since Baskin-Robbins first began its dessert fashion show in 1953, more than 1,000 original flavors have sauntered across the nation's tongue runways, 31 at a time. With the ice creamery's iconic pink sampling spoons as your guide, taste-test as many as you like until you find the flavor that gives your soul a back rub, whether it's a classic flavor single scoop of rocky road ($2.49) or a downright aristocratic double scoop of Chocolate Mousse Royale ($3.99). Otherwise, keep it simple and bury your face in the flavor of the month—chocolate escape ice cream. The ice-alchemists at Baskin-Robbins can also transmute vanilla soft serve and fruit into drinkable desserts such as the mango, peach passion banana, or strawberry banana fruit blast smoothies ($4.49–$6.29) rocketing sweet flavors directly to the tongue's docking bay.
The friendly staff at MaggieMoo's Huntsville churns dozens of creamy flavors fresh each day before enhancing frozen creations with inventive mix-ins and toppings. They power through shivers to fold nuts, candy, and fruit into ice cream varieties such as chocolate banana, and sprinkle sugary toppings over ice cream pizzas, one of MaggieMoo's signature creations. Aside from other avant-garde dessert offerings—which include ice cream cupcakes—the staff slings frozen favorites including cones, creamy milkshakes, and ice cream cakes.
Occasional appearances by Miss MaggieMoo, the business's iconic cow, delight customers. She also lends her services to fundraising efforts for local schools and charities.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop?s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M?s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
On any night of the week, customers at The Foyer might hear a standup comedy show, live music performance, or poetry slam. The café strives to stay plugged into the community by posting local artwork and hosting open-mic nights. This way, it encourages community members to showcase their musical or verbal gifts or a talent most people never discover in themselves: balancing on one leg for 45—maybe even 50—minutes. It’s also a casual place for friends to relax with a Kaffeeklatsch specialty coffee or chai tea and a slice of housemade cheesecake.
A stash of more than 65 teas from around the world complements Emma's elegant atmosphere and flavorful menu, which features sandwiches, soups, salads, and a variety of delectable desserts. Pair the chicken-salad sandwich with a side of fresh fruit ($8.75), or indulge your inner herbivore with the fruit salad—a citrusy mixture of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and pecans, drizzled and dressed with an orange poppy-seed dressing ($8.95). For steeped drink savants interested in the quintessential afternoon teatime experience, the cozy teahouse features four tea party options ($12.50–$22.50 per person), available from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Gather any available friends or hire some unoccupied acquaintances and enjoy a leisurely afternoon of sipping and socializing over a medley of tea-completing noshables, including finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones, and a flowing chocolate fountain—all accompanied by a pot of the teahouse's leafy brew.