Grandma Ruby’s Sweet Shoppe crafts tasty fudge creations that stimulate palates and, when melted, offer a much more delicious way to tar and feather mischievous rapscallions. Armed with the late Grandma Ruby’s secret fudge recipe, sisters Kari Carpenter and Marni Glenn have been concocting tantalizing fudge since 1992—the year fudge was accidentally listed as a bread on the food pyramid, requiring Americans to consume 6–11 servings of it each day. Customers can sample a wide variety of fudge flavors that include cherry cheesecake, maple, rocky road, creamsicle, apple pie, and caramel apple. A two-pound block of smile-inducing goodness is also offered in diabetic-friendly sucrose-free fudge form.
An extension of the Thai and Indian cuisine cooking classes and Community Supported Agriculture programs of Ethnic Foods Co., Collage Global Cafe introduces tastebuds to new flavors and cultures with a smorgasbord of pizzas, soups, chicken dinners, and curries. Like Midwestern fall weather, the menu changes each day, with culinary designer Kavita Mehta selecting fresh produce from local markets to whip up dishes such as savory-sweet pad thai noodles, peppery Afghani eggplant, or whole-wheat pizzas topped with chicken satay and basil.
Every time Tiny Footprint Coffee uses a little bit of earth's resources, it also puts a little bit back. Since roasting coffee produces CO2, the staff have taken it upon themselves to donate a portion of the proceeds from every pound of coffee they sell to reforestation efforts in Ecuador. In this sense, they've established their business as a "carbon negative" one—the carbon they produce is eliminated by the trees that are eventually planted. And that's not even getting to the coffee itself. Workers dote on the artisanal beans every step of the way, from the family-owned farms where the coffee cherries are picked to the carefully trained baristas who eventually transform the roasted beans into the perfect cup.
In 1944, Reino Wuollet opened a small bakery where he prepared fresh bread each day. More than 65 years later, his humble shop has grown into six locations where 30 or so family members tinker over cakes, pastries, and pies. Wedding and other occasion cakes are one of their specialties; flavors such as chocolate mousse and Lady Baltimore can be coated with marzipan, buttercream frosting, or fondant in an impressive array of custom designs. Of course, they still bake breads: an international selection of loaves includes baguettes, challah, Swedish lympa, Irish soda bread, and buns shaped into busts of United Nations delegates.
When visitors walk into Café Donuts at 5 a.m., chances are they’re still waking up or sleepwalking in their pajamas. Once through the doorway, they immediately regain consciousness as they’re greeted by an aromatic uppercut of fresh donuts and percolating coffee. With newfound alertness, they behold a menu of 40 standard donut varieties alongside specialty pastries such as apple fritters and éclairs. Behind the counter, baristas steam milk and grind beans for a variety of hot or iced espresso drinks. The café’s staff also keep sweet teeth from troubling neighbors for a cup of sugar with more than 25 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream from KaledioScoops.
Bean Buddy's bright-eyed coffee-bean mascot, Bean Buddy, welcomes guests into the WiFi-equipped cafe, where coffee pots percolate and beans are ground fresh. With a five-drink punch card, customers can bring along a jazz quartet and still ensure that everyone enjoys their own cup (up to $4.89 each) of Buddy's hazelnut divinity, a swirling vortex of hazelnut and almond roca. Augment flavor absorption by partnering warm sips of german-chocolate-cake coffee—infused with chocolate and coconut—with The Mean Bean, an extra shot of espresso, chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut. Baked fresh by a local pastry chef, cupcakes ($2.45 each) of red velvet and chocolate add extra morsels of saccharine goodness to an already-rich culinary affair, and a Bean Buddy cartoon coffee mug ($9.95) acts as a sentimental souvenir of your visit or lightens up the moods of dark cupboards.