On a trip to Georgia after giving birth to her third child, Desiree Polazzo had her first taste of a bite-sized orb of cake that—despite her strict dieting to get back into pre-baby shape—had her hooked. Awed by the decadent treat, Desiree returned home to Florida and headed straight for her kitchen to experiment with a recipe of her own. She finally architected a dulcet, velvety cake pop that recaptured the excitement of that first Georgia pop, she opened Cake Pop-It to share her discovery with the community’s sweet teeth.
In the years since, Desiree has let her creativity take the reigns of her confection-crafting process, decorating each pop with a whimsical design or turning it into an edible character replete with a smiling face and a mysterious past. Cake Pop-It’s staff of bakers also forges other sugary nibbles including custom cakes and cupcakes with inventive flavors such as salted caramel, key-lime pie, and crumb cake.
In 1954, Gino's Italian Market's founder, Anthony Paparella, moved from the teeming fisheries of Bari to Hoboken, New Jersey, where he married a fellow Italian and worked as a builder for nearly 20 years. After retiring to South Florida in '73, Paparella brought a taste of his homeland stateside by opening a bustling bazaar filled with fresh produce, succulent meats, and sweet desserts. The market's commitment to tradition and family can be found in all of its business practices, from its catered feasts of traditional baked pastas and rib roasts, to e-mail correspondences from the resident Nonna that contain expert advice on party planning, recipes, and optimal angles for cheek-pinching. Shoppers consult Nonna Anna and handy recipe guides to concoct rich sauces and tasty entrees from the store's bountiful selection of cheese, wine, ripe tomatoes, and imported Italian goods. In addition to rounding out dinner plates with house-made prosciutto bread, fresh chicken, and juicy cuts of beef, Gino's graces weddings, desserts, and banquets with custom cakes and pastries.
Sugar Cakes & Supplies offers budding bakers the instruction and supplies they need to create their own cakey, culinary masterpieces. Each class will educate curious cooks on the ins and outs of batter concoction and proper baking methods as they craft a rich red-velvet cake that can make a great treat for birthdays or a squishy stand-in for a missing footrest. While ovens produce a heady perfume of sugar, butter, and delicious smoking jackets, baking students will whip up a dreamy frosting of cream cheese and white chocolate with which to coat the cooled cakes, before they devour the delicious un-fruits of their layered labor. The class will prepare one cake to be shared between all of the participants.
Dawn Michelle Simon](http://gr.pn/GRjH5P), a registered dietician, was tired of looking for grain-free baked goods for her clients with dietary restrictions. Rather than poring over the limited options available in stores, she developed her own line of baked goods, drawing upon organic ingredients to forge loaves and confections free of gluten, grain, and casein—a milk protein. She continually tinkers with new recipes, striving to craft products so that her clients can continue to consume the treats they enjoy or recover blackmail photos from a duck with dietary restrictions. Once off-limits, specially crafted breads such as chocolate-chip loaves and hamburger and hotdog buns arrive grain-free with accompanying batches of cupcakes and muffins.
Origami Food replenishes pantries with fresh groceries, produce, and organic specialty items. Customers can raid the shelves for wholesome oils and seeds, or stock up on spices, herbs, and dressings to add flavor to everyday foods or an astronaut friend’s idea of dinner. Customers can also browse a selection of potables, from organic green teas and coffees to fruity drinks.
The chefs at Julio's Natural Foods Restaurant concoct fresh, vitamin-packed dishes from healthy ingredients. They boil up pots of organic brown rice and quinoa to accompany grilled organic tofu and fish fillets, and they pack their turkey burgers and zero-fat tuna sandwiches with fistfuls of sprouts, alfalfa, carrots, and other veggies. Signature dishes include Julio's special quesadilla, a popular plate of tortilla, cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and secret sauce. Fresh squeezed juices and complex smoothies wash down these feel-good foods and make guilt-free filling for water balloons.
The Sweet Tooth's team of confection connoisseurs has inspired cocoa-coated grins for more than 28 years. All of the shop's exquisite edibles are handcrafted by couture-driven dessert designers, and consist of only high-quality, kosher ingredients. Pre-made gift baskets ($26–$150) range in size and contents, but typically include treats such as chocolate-covered pretzels and fruit, cookies, brownies, truffles, and rugelach. Customers can also customize baskets by theme or for a special event, or peruse pre-themed bundles for upcoming holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Crowd Around Blimps as They Land Day. Individual treats include caramel apples ($6.50+), truffles ($33/lb.), and chocolate-covered pretzels and marshmallows ($1.25–$2.50).