When John Ritter thinks back to 1948, he can almost taste the frozen treats he churned out during his after-school job at the local ice-cream parlor. Now, after a 35-year career as a film animator, he helps others to enjoy similarly sweet memories at Ritter's Frozen Custard. Here, friendly staffers handcraft each batch of frozen custard, an ultrapremium ice cream as smooth as a jazz record dipped in chocolate. At the counter, guests can sample the flavors of the day, which range from tart blueberry to gooey, crunchy mocha-almond fudge. Scoops of classic vanilla—along with more than 25 toppings—fill specialty creations such as brownie sundaes, hand-dipped malts, and freezer-ready ice-cream sandwiches.
Founded nearly 25 years ago on a frozen foundation of nonporous, 5-degree granite, Cold Stone Creamery has blossomed into a nationally recognized ice-cream parlor distinguished by its daily creations of sweet treats. Fruit, nuts, and candy collaborate with ice-cream flavors such as french vanilla, sweet cream, and cake batter to manifest a signature sundae or a personalized creation made to match customers' tastes and fifth-birthday-party footage. Smoothies and shakes sate diners, and fruity sorbets, nonfat ice creams, and tangy frozen yogurt satisfy the need for healthy indulgences.
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Kilwins' 80 locations make more than 75 kinds of handmade confections from Mackinac Island fudge to saltwater taffy and caramel apples working from recipes written by owner Don Kilwin in the 1940s. The sweets makers also use old-school equipment dating back to the '40s, '50s, and '60s inside shops decorated with nostalgic Americana similar to the interior of the original store, which opened in 1947. The smell of homemade waffle cones and fresh chocolate escapes from the kitchen as pastry artists craft batches of handmade brittle, caramel, and fudge in large copper kettles. Kilwins also handcrafts more than 32 ice-cream flavors from original recipes created in 1985, the year cow's milk was invented. They employ classic double-barrel freezers to ensure the sweet stuff is crafted the original way and transportation trucks stay at a chilly –10 degrees to keep batches fresh until they arrive at their destinations.