Bret Pont honed his meat-carving skills for 25 years as a Valley Grocers butcher before buying 50-year-old Hobe Meats, he told the Arizona Republic. Behind the counter, Pont helps customers locate and prepare the ideal meat by elucidating the qualities of strip steaks, rib-eye roasts, and other cuts of USDA Prime and Choice beef. Each option originates from cows that dine exclusively on corn, grass, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. All of the shop's meats are untouched by preservatives, growth hormones, and antibiotics. This policy extends to pork and chicken, which contain neither sodium nitrates nor fillers. When fed the shop's raw, natural pet foods, dogs have been known to teach themselves new tricks.
The bright desert sun has barely risen over Phoenix when Sharon Beatty unlocks the door of her shop, smiling as she imagines the colorful cupcakes she is about to bake. The cake-decorator spends the entire morning preparing fresh cupcakes for the day, topping the warm cakes in playful swirls of fudge, buttercream, and cream-cheese frosting. Her imaginative cupcakes were lauded by Az Food Magazine as having "a sweet filling that compliments the cake flavor."
By noon, customers amble in and out of the sunlit shop, ordering salted-caramel, chocolate-peanut-butter-cup, and amaretto cupcakes by the dozens. Sharon also custom designs specialty cakes for all occasions. Shoppers can choose from an elegant, flowery tower to celebrate a wedding or a detailed map of Nebraska to remind them where they buried their collection of half-dollar coins.
Recently featured on ABC 15 and in the Phoenix New Times, Fleur de Teas quenches herbal hankerings with more than 160 varieties of its house-branded teas. Fleur De Teas' lineup of libations tower along its walls, tempting tastebuds with flavors such as coconut cream, a premium black tea with warm vanilla and coconut accents ($6.75/50 grams), and Maui Sunrise, a green tea infused with the flavors of mango, sunflowers, rose petals, cornflowers, and apricot ($6.15/50 grams). Fruitphiles can sip on the blueberry cheesecake rooibos tea, blended with blueberry flavor, apple, calendula, and cornflowers ($9.25/50 grams), or douse their faces in Razzbiscus, a calming hibiscus tea with merrily floating raspberries ($4.85/50 grams). Scattered seating throughout the store allows floral-sippers to enjoy the health benefits of tea in the bright, airy shop, far from the stresses of the Gregorian-chant-whistling teapot at home.
Like an edible choose-your-own-adventure book, The Chill lets its visitors make their own decisions from the moment they walk through the door. Guests choose how much to draw from the stainless steel machines,filling their cups with as much creamy frozen yogurt as they like. From there, they take their pick of add-ons from the toppings bar, dappling the swirls with extras such as candies or fresh fruit. And once they've put the finishing touch on their frozen creations, they can either devour it inside at one of the cafe-style tables or take it to the patio to soften in the sun or on the radiator of a parked truck.
In 1983 Nord Brue and Mike Dressell decided that it didn't matter how far Burlington, Vermont was from New York City; no distance was too great to limit their access to New York-style bagels. So they spent 2.5 years apprenticing with a professional bagel baker from the city until they mastered the technique. Once they were comfortable with their skills and had accepted that it doesn't actually hurt the bagel to bite it, they opened their first Bruegger's Bagels, a casual bakery and café. Today, they have more than 300 eateries across the United States and Canada, each hawking freshly baked bagels, cream cheeses, sandwiches, coffee, and desserts.
Trailhead Bike Shop and Cafe fulfils every gearhead's two basic needs: offering the sale and repair of all things bike-related, and calories. The shop's group of certified bike technicians keeps frames of all makes and models in bikini-ready shape and top form with detailed repair services, and can help customers find their steely soulmate from their selection of road and mountain bikes. On the other side of the shop, a café with blazing WiFi keeps riders as road ready as their two-wheelers, serving up a savory selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, smoothies, coffee drinks, and soup. After nourishing both selves and steeds, riders can hit the trails of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, which begin just outside the shop.