Christopher and Melanie Romano?s kids have long loved the music, iPads loaded with games, and fun flavors of Let?s Yo! When they?d frequent their neighborhood outpost, they felt assured they were feeding their kids a healthier alternative to ice cream. "Even in the winter, my kids wanted to go," Christopher says. "They would have gone every day if I'd have let them."
When the couple decided they wanted to quit the corporate world and open a business, Let?s Yo! seemed like a natural fit. They soon opened up shop, where customers self-serve 18 all-natural, organic flavors brimming with live active cultures. The flavors rotate regularly, with varieties such as sea-salt-caramel pretzel, red velvet cupcake, and California tart. Next, guests pile on premium toppings such as Andes mints, mixed nuts, and Kashi cereal?as well as about 10 different types of syrups, including Reese's peanut-butter topping and mango syrup. The staff members get fresh-fruit deliveries daily, which they chop up or splice via laser vision.
Along with iPads loaded with the latest apps, Christopher outfitted the shop with a flat-screen TV and free WiFi. He chats regularly with the customers who swing by for a cup or stop in after the gym for a yogurt protein shake. And he says it's definitely a change of pace from his Wall Street job. "The hardest choice you have to make is what topping you want," he says.
Since 1848, Applegate Farm has existed under many guises, but its purpose has always remained the same: to provide fresh dairy products for local families. Originally home to the Sitger family and their golden guernsey milk, the farm has changed hands several times since the late 1800s and survived through the Civil War, both World Wars, and all six Star Wars. It experimented with its first ice-cream cone in the late 1920s under the guidance of owner Julian Tinkham, who also had the good foresight to preserve the farm's historic structures so that future generations could visit the 19th-century farmhouse that once helped slaves to freedom or count the number of tiles in an authentic 1919 tile silo?one of only three built in the state.
Since then, the farm has expanded and operates under the current leadership of the Street family, who hold themselves to the same dedication to quality that has sustained the dairy for more than 167 years. The range of ice-cream flavors changes seasonally but usually includes at least 63 distinctive varieties ranging from orange pineapple and toasted almond to vanilla peanut butter and Graham Central Station?which won top prize at the New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival. No-sugar-added and dairy-free treats, like apple cider donuts, can also be found in scoopable form, along with ice-cream cakes, ice-cream pies, and ice-cream sandwiches.
brownie points bakery is a boutique bakery located in downtown Summit, NJ. We bake everything completely from scratch using only the finest ingredients - real butter, fresh eggs, pure vanilla and vanilla beans, valrhona chocolate and cocoa and farm fresh fruit from local farmers.
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into Stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
Ana Beall's is a full-service restaurant, featuring new American cuisine, including gourmet sandwiches and salads for lunch, delectable ala carte treats for brunch, and elegant but affordable dinner choices. We also serve traditional British-style tea service featuring house-made scones and 57 varieties of tea.
Draped in fondant flowers and bright swirls of buttercream, Buddy Valastro's cakes would catch anyone's eye?but that's especially true for fans of reality TV. The master baker and his visually stunning creations both star on TLC's Cake Boss, which has filmed at the Valastro family's Hoboken confectionery, Carlo's Bakery, since 2009.
Buddy's cakes have also won national notice beyond the show, including features in publications such as The Knot and Brides. And beyond designing delectable cakes for special occasions, Buddy shares his secrets through hands-on cake decorating classes, which are taught by his dedicated team of bakers at locations throughout New Jersey.
A cake decorating specialist for Carlo's Bakery, Gabby Parisi, talked to us about what it's like to attend the bakery's fondant cake decorating classes (buttercream cake decorating classes are also available).
Are the fondant classes beginner-friendly?
?People find fondant intimidating because the tools and know-how aren?t readily available, but when you come to the class, you realize it?s even easier than working with buttercream."
What types of decorations can students put on their cakes?
"We use water and a paintbrush to apply flowers, fall leaves, bows, and other shapes. It?s super easy once you know all the tricks?you can do almost anything [with fondant], it's really kind of magical. Buddy likes to describe it as the Houdini of cake decorating.?
Are classes available at all Carlo?s Bakery locations?
"Classes are available at our Morristown, Red Bank, and Ridgewood New Jersey bakeries as well as at our Jersey City/Lackawanna Cake Factory. There are no classrooms at our Hoboken, Westfield, or Las Vegas bakeries."
What?s the craziest cake ever made in Carlo's Bakery?
"I?m sure a lot of people will be familiar with the cakes from the TV show, Cake Boss. Buddy always says the craziest cake we?ve ever made was the Transformer, or the life-size Nascar cake."