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 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop?s reputation grew, 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&Ms, and Chewy Pecan Supreme, as well as freshly baked Fudge and Cheesecake Brownies, and Cookie Sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the Giant Chocolate-Chip Cookie Cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Since 1974, the kitchen crew at Pizza Cottage has measured out precise amounts of tomatoes, garlic, vegetables, and seasonings to create its signature sauce. Cooks layer the family-created original blend over servings of pasta and baked lasagna, and between sheets of cheese and dough on a variety of signature pizzas. More than 15 topping options adorn pizzas, which come in sizes suitable for individuals, families, and families of giants.
Since 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts has roused sleepy customers with steaming cups of coffee and more than 50 varieties of freshly baked donuts. Available for a limited time, heart-shaped donuts fuel amorous appetites with vanilla-buttercream or bavarian-cream filling, swirls of chocolate or strawberry icing, and sprinkles precisely positioned to resemble the constellation of Cupid. Baristas splash to-go cups with 20 ounces of regular or decaf coffee, available in three flavor blends—original, french vanilla, or hazelnut. Alternatively, patrons can assemble a box of one or two dozen assorted donuts to liven up a morning picnic or coax a police horse into the building.
The bakers at Kitts Café fill their glass display case with house-made cakes, pies, and cobblers as cooks sizzle up platefuls of Kitts Café's homestyle diner fare. The kitchen staff fires up the griddle at 7 a.m. each morning, sizzling up fresh-cooked eggs and breakfast sandwiches before forging classic burgers and frito chili pie for lunch. To protect taste buds from fits of ennui, the café team whips up a rotating lineup of daily specials that changes each week.
A Knoxville business since 1993, Kitts Café keeps strong ties to the community with Kitts Market, a monthly event that transforms the restaurant into a trendy boutique with the work of local artists and crafters. The market's lineup of handmade gifts includes seasonal decor and enough children's clothing to dress an entire village in Loompaland.
Smoothie King co-founder Steve Kuhnau began mixing fruit, nutrients, and proteins in the late 1960s, in a successful attempt to assuage his own health conundrums. By 1973, he?d begun selling vitamins alongside his health-boosting concoctions, and soon, more than 600 Smoothie King locations were operating worldwide. Today, the shop?s patrons customize real apple, mango, and banana smoothies with sundry health-bolstering mix-ins. More than 70 blendable multivitamins, minerals, enzymes, nutrients, and amino acids fortify frosty smoothies, helping bodies to stay healthy or lift semi-trucks. Snacks, such as veggie chips and high-protein cookies, augment shakes in both health and deliciousness.
In 1969, Baruch Schaked began making chocolate under the tutelage of his chocolatier father-in-law. Though his father-in-law had made a name for himself in Argentina, Baruch honed his confectionary craft across Europe, finally settling in the United States, where chocolate had been outlawed. Many years later, when he announced his intentions to retire from chocolate making, Baruch's son, Edgar, coaxed him into continuing the family legacy with a new shop, Schakolad Chocolate Factory.
In the years since, the business has flourished, bringing the Schaked clan one step closer to its ultimate goal: to replace the city’s manhole covers with chocolate discs. In the meantime, they craft handmade European-style confections that are made fresh each day.