Although Cathryn “Chef C” Matthes began life as an overweight child, she favored healthy cooking early in her culinary career. She turned toward nutritious foods and recipes, and eventually earned recognition from Southern Living magazine, SpaFinder magazine, and the New York Daily News for her healthful and delicious foods. Today, Chef C helms DelisheeeYo, adhering to her health-conscious mission while preparing light lunch fare and frozen yogurt.
DelisheeeYo’s frozen yogurt menu includes one flavor: tart original. Packed with probiotics, this low-fat and lower-sugar yogurt swirls into 3-, 5-, and 7-ounce cups or 10-gallon cowboy hats when no one’s looking. A toppings bar, packed with everything from fresh fruit to housemade chocolate-chipotle-cinnamon syrup, dresses up yogurt to each customer’s liking. The chef and staff hand-select organic apples, strawberries, and blueberries from local and organic sources when available, and avoid high-fructose corn syrup by importing all of their chocolates and caramels.
Though the yogurt is DelisheeeYo’s specialty, Chef C doesn’t stop there. Organic greens, peppers, garbanzo beans, and cheeses fill a vegan salad bar. Whole-wheat flour tortillas wrap themselves around nut butter, banana, and honey, or transform into a Trojan Horse to surround hummus and Greek olives. The chef helps customers wash down meals by concocting refreshing specialty drinks from ingredients such as organic Italian lemon juice and agave nectar.
Ramona Fantini tasted her first spoonful of gelato while vacationing in Florence, Italy, in 2002. She was immediately taken with the cold, smooth dessert, and knew that people back home in America would love it too. So when she returned from her vacation, she left her corporate position and opened Pino Gelato. At her shop, artisans use a precise technique and special equipment to concoct small batches of the Italian dessert, blending fresh fruit, actual espresso, and other wholesome ingredients with milk. The result is a treat that is denser and lower in fat than ice cream, and unlike ice cream, doesn't cause everyone to scream.
In the years since Fantini starting making gelato, her business has expanded to multiple locations throughout the Southeast. At each shop, her baristas scoop gelato and dairy-free sorbetto into cups and cones and brew specialty café drinks to pair with pastries. At lunchtime, patrons can bite into an unconventional snack lauded by the Food Network: handheld cones of pizza crust filled with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and other savory ingredients.
With chocolate creations showcased at the governor's inaugural ball, Island Fudge Shop sends sweet tooths into overdrive with from-scratch fudge, chocolates, and candies available in classic and holiday incarnations. Patrons enjoy a pound of homemade fudge without the work of fishing in Willy Wonka's river, with flavors including pumpkin, vanilla, milk chocolate, and maple walnut. Made with heavy whipping cream and Grade AA butter, the fudge undergoes a distinct open-fire process to form into dream-fulfilled bites.
The devoted bakers at each Cookies by Design location bury their knuckles in soft dough and sweet frosting to craft top-notch treats for all manner of occasions. Whether customers are prepping for a birthday, a time to give thanks, or beekeeper appreciation day, Cookies by Design will cater to their sentiment-slinging needs by customizing a colorful bouquet or another edible display. Individually decorated cookies start at $7.50 each, and birthday baskets start at $15.99. The NCAA survival kit ($39.99+) makes a perfect gift for a spirited college freshman and offers a singular opportunity to literally eat the opposing team for breakfast. Orders should be placed at least 24 hours in advance so that cookie seeds have ample time to soak up milk and sprout into full-grown desserts.
Before journeying into patrons' bellies, the organic and fair-trade coffees and mochas at the Corner Perk are roasted locally and ground just before being brewed. To avoid confusion and offending tall people, the Corner Perk sizes their imbibing treats in plain English: a 12-ounce Lil', a 16-ounce Big, and a 20-ounce Biggest. The coffee selection includes international varieties such as the mild Columbian Huila peaberry, the medium Ethiopia harrar, and the bold Malawaii Wowwee. Those in need of stronger pick-uppers can also dabble their taste buds in hot or iced Americanos ($1.90 Lil', $2.30 Big, and $2.60 Biggest) and Mochas ($3.10 Lil', $3.60 Big, $3.90 Biggest). Great for saving syllables and helping a yeti through a 12-hour workday, ice-blended frappys ($3.35 to $4.35) are made with Ghirardelli chocolates and come in coffee, caramel, mocha, and white mocha flavors. While beverages or smoothies can quench customers' thirsts, a wide selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches can amuse bored teeth.