At Cake in the City, four sisters and their mom combine a passion for baking and years of experience to craft delicious sweet treats. Using recipes that date back to their youth, the ladies craft yummy desserts including gourmet cookies, apple pie, cheesecake, and Alpha bars—a blondie-esque blend of brownie and chocolate-chip flavors that the girls’ mom used to mail to them at summer camp. They also specialize in 45 different rotating cake flavors, which they mold into luscious cake pops, full-size cakes, or cupcakes in flavors such as carrot, red velvet, key lime, and banana butterscotch.
Chocolate Provocateur’s owner and chocolate devotee, Ella Kapul-Jenkins, stokes the flames of romance with champagne and finger-food kindling and decadent desserts nestled inside a gift box sealed with a scarlet bow. Amid the soft glow spilling from two tea-light candles, duos clink champagne flutes of sparkling rosé as they toast to cupid's arrow and the invention of Neosporin. Brie and cheddar from a silver dessert plate snuggle up to tongues, whereas bites of strawberries dipped in chocolate infuse palates with a contrasting sweetness. Chocolate-dipped crème puffs tease lips from their fingertip perch, and spicy-sweet cayenne truffles enter mouths via hand, fork, or flamethrower.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Touting more than 80 flavors of low-calorie, flavor-packed frozen yogurt, Tutti Frutti earned a feature on CNBC and has continued to expand since opening its first shop in 2007. Inside each store, self-service yogurt machines unleash velvety-soft yogurt into accommodating cups or empty purses. Their constantly rotating flavors include royal red velvet, pomegranate, or choco-peanut-butter. Most flavors fall within the range of 20–25 calories per ounce, with dairy-free options and no-sugar-added concoctions also available. A toppings bar allows eaters to further customize yogurt creations with a spoonful of fresh fruits or a sprinkling of nuts. Their flavors contain ample amounts of probiotics, known for potential health benefits that may include strengthening immune systems and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Organic probiotic yogurt for dogs is available in four flavors. In addition, Tutti Frutti offers a selection of soy-based yogurts as a non-dairy choice for vegans and partners with Nutrition & Education International to donate 10% of soy-product proceeds to help fight hunger in Afghanistan.
Froyos’ self-service frozen yogurt shop allows customers to create unique dessert combinations with 12 delicious frozen flavors and more than 50 tasty toppings available daily. Choose your favorite flavor from Froyos’ rotating options, which could include strawberry banana, new york cheesecake, red velvet, classic chocolate, and peppermint stick. An assortment of fresh fruit, chopped candies, breakfast cereals, nuts, and sweet syrups top mouthwatering masterpieces, before sweet treats are weighed to determine the cost ($0.44/oz.). Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to ice cream and frozen sticks of butter. In addition to the health benefits, frozen yogurt stands up to room temperature better than ice cream, so slow eaters can savor every frozen bite.
Dandelion Communitea Cafe is a health-, environment-, and people-conscious cafe serving up fresh, local fare to fresh, local people seven days a week. The menu commencers include a Tex-Mex trio of whirled peas guacamole, black bean dip, and queso rock ($8), creamy hummus accented with hemp seed ($8), and the machos libre, a vegetarian twist on nachos with Dandelion's signature chili, organic corn chips, and homemade queso ($9). The quinoa pilaf in the native mama mix ($5) provides enough energy to win an arm-wrestling contest against a 'roided out rhinoceros, while the salads don't miss a veggie-bumping beet with options such as the Polynesian banana fantasy, a montage of spring greens, carrots, celery, and walnuts all tossed in a curry-inspired dressing ($8.50). The fakin lettuce and tomato replaces bacon with organic artisan tempeh and basil aioli ($7.50), and the kids menu includes an almond butter and jelly sandwich ($6) and organic cheddar grilled cheese ($7). The beverage menu contains more than four dozen varieties of organic teas, plus organic coffee and locally brewed beer.