To the head baker of Sweet Eats Bake Shop, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan desserts should be every bit as flavorsome as their sugar-filled counterparts. She whips ups all her tasty treats from scratch, and instead of relying on chemically derived sugar substitutes, she swaps in organic agave nectar, honey, and fruit juices, and replaces vegetable oil with pumpkin or applesauce. To further refine her wide variety of tasty treats—including cupcakes, moon pies, cookies, and fudge—she mixes in unsalted creamery butter and fresh-fruit purees from local farmers. Her mouthwatering baked goods hit the road in their food truck and can sweeten special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, or graduations.
A science lab calls to mind test tubes, bubbling flasks of chemicals, manically laughing men in white coats—but rarely ice cream. But that's exactly where Curt Jones, chairman and founder of Dippin' Dots, came upon the inspiration for the tiny flash-frozen beads of ice cream. A microbiologist, Jones spearheaded the flash-freezing process of cryogenic encapsulation, a method capable of trapping in flavor and freshness.
Beginning as a retail shop in Lexington, Kentucky, the ice cream quickly began to quell the tantrums of Fortune 500 CEOs all over the country. Having won numerous awards since he created a new way to enjoy an old treat, Jones stays true to Dippin' Dots roots, making the ice cream at the company headquarters in Paducah, Kentucky. New additions to the Dippin' Dots family include Dots 'n Cream, a treat similar to traditional ice cream.
Tropical Smoothie Café cools down overheated inner-beings with its all-natural smoothies—forged from real fruit and bursting at its sippable seams with energy. Plunge into a 24-ounce, low-fat fruit smoothie ($4.29), sweetened with your choice of turbinado sugar or Splenda. Flavors include the strawberry/banana/pineapple blend of Paradise Point, the blueberry/strawberry/banana oasis of Blue Lagoon, and the delicious dawnbreak of Sunny Day, which is packed with mango, banana, orange, and kiwi. If teeth start to grumble about having nothing to do, guests can chomp a satisfyingly solid slab of sustenance with one of Tropical Smoothie Café's sandwiches, wraps, or salads. Tear into a bistro sandwich ($6.49) such as the turkey guacamole, or gnaw on a grilled flatbread ($3.99) such as the Caribbean Luau, which is bedecked in chicken, mozzarella, pineapple, romaine, and Jamaican jerk sauce. Make amends with your mouth for last summer's exhausting gum-chewing marathon with the Paradise Combo ($9.99)—which throws down the gauntlet of appetizing with a smoothie of your choice and any toasted wrap, bistro sandwich, or gourmet salad plus chips or fruit. Menus and prices may vary slightly at different locations.
The bakers at Frosted Cupcakery employ old-fashioned elbow grease and quality ingredients to condense gigantic gourmet-cake flavor into tiny bite-sized confections. With 14 daily flavors, a handful of seasonally rotating specialties, and a constantly replenished fresh-baked stock throughout the day, Frosted Cupcakery features ample treat opportunities. Royal white cupcakes are crowned with a choice of chocolate, vanilla, nutella, or coconut vanilla buttercream, and red velvet cakes are shrouded in rich cream-cheese frosting. Seasonal flavors such as pumpkin, orange, strawberry, and October flavor-of-the-month orange chocolate chip, topped with orange chocolate buttercream, are only available until the weather cools, forcing cupcake trees to hibernate for the winter.
It's all in the name. From formal tiered wedding cakes to colorful fondant racecars, the bakers at Cakes for All Occasions construct a smattering of sweet creations for special events. Neatly lining pastry cases, cupcakes dress up in whimsical flavor combinations such as chocolate-covered banana, neapolitan, and periwinkle crayon. To round out the confectionary's roster of saccharine edibles, the staff whips up sheet cakes, cookies, and brownies, which are named for their color, like goldfish and macaroni ‘n’ cheese.
The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family?s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies?a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne?s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business?s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family?s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process?their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.