The cakes and cupcakes at Sweet Livie Loo's have two distinct themes. On one side, there are elegant three-tiered cakes in striped designs. On the other side, there are cupcakes topped with fondant Disney characters. This dichotomy showcases the shop's two favorite customers: women and children. The bakery's owners love these customers so much that they not only create custom cakes in a range of premium flavors for them, but also let customers come in to learn how to decorate their own cakes. Sip & Decorate classes teach adults how to ice two-tier cakes while they sip wine, whereas Chef Petite classes invite aproned kids to learn how to pipe buttercream frosting and fondant onto cupcakes. At the end of classes, both kids and adults get to take home their treats, as well as the knowledge of how to re-create designs at home without saying they're just really into abstract expressionism this year.
Pastry chef Olivia Howard knew she had found her calling the moment she learned to decorate her first cake. Now Howard custom-decorates cakes in her home for Southern Belle Cakes, a baking operation named after her Texas roots. Each confection is topped with a light dollop or rich layer of buttercream frosting, and can be filled with a variety of luscious creams and berry mixtures. The business name isn't the only way that her Lone Star heritage peeks through the traditional marble, chocolate, and strawberry cakes and cupcakes. Howard also bakes a massive "Texas-sized" cupcake that feeds about 15 people or one sentient oven. Howard also caters to children with cupcake parties, during which she teaches kids how to decorate cupcakes that they can take home.
Rachel's family grew up loving caramel corn but never being able to agree on a flavor. So the clan perfected a wide array of popcorn recipes, which Rachel showcases at her namesake shop. Beginning with three ovens in her home kitchen, reports Toledo Area Parent, Rachel now crafts 30 gourmet kernel flavors in an open kitchen. Along with staples such as yellow cheese, options run the gamut from dill pickle and watermelon to s'mores, buffalo blue cheese, and even pinot noir?a perfect pairing for the neighbors' signature duck-and-mushroom cassoulet. Rachel's creative approach has earned her local acclaim, including guest spots on talk shows such as Rebecca Regnier's Full Plate.
Like an alchemist who converts gold into sweet, edible gold, Glass City owner Aji Green transforms fresh ingredients into sweet gourmet cupcakes. Patrons can stop in for daily tastes of chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, or chocolate chip, or select from a rotating menu of wrapped goodies such as spiked raspberry lemonade, chocolate mocha, and gooey butterscotch. Green and his baking crew also cater to alternative diets with vegan and gluten-free options.
The name Barry Bagels conceals the diversity of its menu. In addition to 16 bagel varieties, the staff churn out homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee. The flagship Barry Bagels shop opened in Toledo in 1972?the company celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012?and now shares its oven-mastery with three other Toledo-area locations as well as one in Ann Arbor, MI.