When Forest Mars Sr. was a boy, in 1911, he watched with rapt attention as his mother, Ethel, crafted gourmet chocolates in their kitchen. 70 years later, he honored her memory by making chocolates of his own in Henderson, Nevada, where today a small factory still whips up his mother's recipes alongside modern confections. Traditional candies mingle nuts, crème liqueurs, and caramels with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and truffles. Handpicked pecans float amid chocolate and butter in Ethel M's signature brittles, and milk, dark, and sugar-free chocolate envelops bite-sized treats such as espresso beans, pretzels, and fruit. Ethel M Chocolates invites visitors to tour the factory, where chocolatiers prove sweets can be made without preservatives or the witchcraft of Keebler elves, before sending candies to seven Las Vegas–area shops.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner and founder opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 80 locations, each of which churns out flavors that rotate daily and are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 30 flavors includes wedding cake, Scarlett’s red velvet, and Miss Princess. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Bentley's extensive menu delivers coffee beverages, teas, and snacks to the open hands of patrons. Regular coffee, tea, or hot cocoa fits into 16- and 24-ounce containers ($1.50/$2), and additional bean-based drinks ($2/$3) take the form of a caramel macchiato, white-chocolate mocha, and flavored lattes. The E.M.T. and caramel mocha employ a double-shot of espresso ($3/$4) and pair well with breakfast pastries ($2) such as muffins, danishes, turnovers, and bagels, or a hefty breakfast burrito, stuffed with a daunting pound of eggs, cheese, hash browns, and a choice of sausage, bacon, or vegetables ($3/$5).