Sally and Robert Bennett, their children beside them, stood at the edge of the busy intersection in Overland Park the day after Thanksgiving. They clutched bundles of business cards tied to samples of their homemade chocolate and passed them out to idling drivers. The success of their street-side pitch led to Sweet Perfection Bakery and its display cases of housemade candies and cakes. Aided by a few other bakers, the duo crafts most baked goods from family recipes—such as grandma's sugar cookies and a pie Robert created during his time serving in the Marines. As evidence of the bakery's strong familial ties, family members—such as children and nieces—frequently help with daily kitchen operations.
Much like da Vinci painted a new Mona Lisa each day to keep her from changing her hairstyle, the bakers build cinnamon rolls, fruit pies, and seasonal cakes in-house every morning. Their confectionary delights snub preservatives in favor of real fruit and hearty buttercream frosting. An on-staff cake decorator embellishes lemon-raspberry and german-chocolate cakes with Happy Birthdays and Well Wishes, and blueberry pies garner praise as a customer favorite. Bakers also design custom orders, sometimes completing cakes last-minute when needed, once finishing a decorated cake on the spot for a distraught mother, whose first cake tumbled to the floor less than two hours before her son's birthday party.
Evoking the enjoyable meltiness of a cool scoop of gelato on a hot day, Paciugo Gelato takes its name from the Italian word for messy concoction, rousing palates with unique gelato flavors crafted with Old-World tastes. Founder Cristiana Ginatta’s family recipes come to life as staffers fuse fresh fruits and all-natural ingredients into decadent milk-, water-, or soy-based gelato and sorbet. The sweet scoops boast 70% less fat than regular ice cream or soft-serve obtained from chilly Alaskan cows. Patrons can test-drive the shop’s diversely flavored bounty before committing to a flavor such as carrot cake, butter pecan, or tiramisu in its less solid form. Guests can score flavors without added sugar—including strawberry milk—to trick their sweet teeth into happiness. Paciugo also carries a host of coffee drinks ranging from Paciugo Miscela, a bold Vienna roast, to Gran Crú, a light roast from Kenya.
Kolache Factory takes its namesake traditionally fruit-filled Eastern European pastry and expands its filling horizons to stretch from breakfast to dinner. Though some breakfast kolaches still contain the standard fruit fillings, such as lemon, strawberry, and apricot, they’re joined by more creative combinations such as sausage and cheese or chocolate cream cheese. Lunch and dinner pastries hold hearts of polish sausage, barbecue beef, and jalapeno cheddar. Kolache Factory also bakes other pastries including cinnamon rolls and strudel and sells party trays of its signature creations for gatherings or Y3K freezer stockpiles.
Bruegger's bagels are made of fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers and crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a baked apple bagel smothered with honey walnut cream cheese ($2.19). Or, adopt a family of six carb circles and wash them behind the ears in a tub of garden-veggie cream cheese ($7.69). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches ($2.99–$6.39) and lunch fare; defuse a lunchtime hunger bomb with a signature sandwich ($5.49–$6.79) such as the garden-fresh Leonardo da Veggie or the field-fresh Roma roast beef.