Founded in 1996 at a lone store in Carrollton, Texas, Smoothie Factory began its journey simply by selling smoothies and nutritional supplements. The menu has since expanded to include frozen yogurt, juices, and healthy meals, but the franchise—which operates out of nine states and four countries—still focuses on its original mission: meeting the dietary needs of health-conscious customers with real fruit, nutritional supplements, and nonfat yogurt.
Each store mixes more than 30 flavor combinations, including Just Peachy, Very Berry, and Island Delight, a tropical blend of pineapple, banana, orange, and honey. Nutritional boosts such as caffeine, multivitamins, and fiber spin into chilled beverages to enhance weight loss and energy or give drinkers the cognitive ability to name all the stars in the universe.
Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. The duo is also famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Unlike many sweets, the frosty confections at Velvet Spoon Frozen Yogurt are low in fat, kosher certified, and rich in probiotics. Visitors help themselves at self-serve dispensers, which rotate flavors daily, ranging from nonfat blueberry tart to low-fat red-velvet cake. More than 40 diverse toppings, such as fruit, cereal, and candy, wait to be sprinkled upon the delectable creations. The frozen-yogurt shop reflects the whimsical nature of these treats in its atmosphere, with pink, green, and purple hues covering the walls and a crown of little plastic spoons resting on the head of each employee.
Palio?s Pizza Caf? may boast multiple locations, but the cuisine is unique to each kitchen. The restaurant?s chefs commit to serving specialty pizzas on handmade dough, crafted from high-protein, red-bran wheat. They top this crust with all-natural marinara and pizza sauces, real mozzarella cheese, and farm-fresh produce. The blending of fine ingredients produces some classic and more unusual pies, ranging from a meat lover?s with four staple pizza proteins to a pie that combines roasted flavors of poultry and cashews.
Of course, the restaurant?s commitment to quality doesn?t end with their food. They also invest time in making community events special. They regularly participate in fundraisers for high-school bands, charities such as the Arthritis Foundation, and local Scout troupes and chicken coops.
With a vibrant décor featuring more colors than a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, Zoёs is an energetic and flavorful stop for good-for-you grub. A healthy recipe breathes new life into the Zoёs original chicken-salad sandwich with white chicken on seven-grain bread, while seameat cravers can feast on the Mediterranean tuna pita, stuffed generously with tuna, capers, red onions, olives, lettuce, and tomato (all sandwiches are $6.95). Toastier tastes include quesadillas ($6.95 with $1 extra for grilled chicken), a warm melt of spinach, scallions, and feta; and chicken kabobs ($8.95) skewered with green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and red onions over a rice pilaf and Greek salad. Zoёs also offers salads, side dishes, and the decadent Yaya's homemade chocolate sheet cake ($2 a slice).