From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon frosty foundations of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirl idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal surprise fillings of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
The baristas at The Village Coffee House & Bakery source their beans from area roasters, supporting Fayetteville's economy while also ensuring that each cup of java has a rich, fresh taste. They also serve up shakes, smoothies, teas from Republic of Tea, and Italian sodas, which pair well with daily-baked pastries, including danishes, scones, and muffins. But perhaps the star of the bakery is their intricately decorated cakes. The bakers create custom-designed masterpieces for birthdays?which might feature the child's favorite cartoon character or professional chess player?weddings, and other special events.
The jingling melodies of an ice-cream truck can send even the most sedate person into a tizzy. Michael's Creamery, Inc.'s drivers know this well, as they see the excitement at parties and picnics ramp up as soon as they pull up in their trucks. These drivers sate the gathering crowd by serving up frozen sweets that are as eagerly awaited as Santa Claus's first appearance in North American airspace. Partygoers then slurp snow cones and pushup pops, chomp ice-cream sandwiches and bars, and plunge spoons into cups full of lemon ice or cookie-dough ice cream.
There's an artful touch in Jackie Green's baking hand. She's fond of the process, of finding the right ingredients and making cakes that crumble with Southern-style deliciousness. She's been baking since she was a young girl, and her family tradition taught her to eschew preservatives and hydrogenated oils to keep her recipes as flavorful as possible. Her specialty? Iced butter pound cake topped with pecans and a cream-cheese glaze. As the consummate small-business owner, Jackie blends managerial expertise with her baking talent; you might see her dispensing samples of her cupcakes, brownies, or cookies at local markets. This consistent professionalism helped Jackie earn the title of Best Bakery from the Holly Springs Sun in 2010.
Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years??and 440 national locations??later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites?including hearty omelets and country benedicts?are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.