With hundreds of cake flavors and designs, the options are nearly endless at Pinky Sweets Cupcakes and Confections. A rotating selection of cupcakes delights taste buds with flavors such as chocolate salted caramel, chocolate turtle, lemon coconut, and red velvet. Pinky's bakers also design specialty cakes and cupcakes for weddings, and they can arrange cupcakes on custom displays.
Pinky's birthday-party packages, which have themes ranging from spa party to tea party to tax-filing party, allow kids to take on the cupcake-decorating responsibilities while munching on snacks. They often feature a professional photographer.
"Fisherman can place their orders, no matter what time during the morning. It's not abnormal for me to go up at 6 a.m. and deliver sandwiches," says general manager Kathy. With Kathy's boat right there on the marina, it seems that she has never known anything different—crafting homemade mac, coleslaw, and potato salad only steps from Chesapeake Bay. But it started only a few years ago. Vinings Landing Marina caught wind of the popularity of Kathy's deli in town and decided to pay her a visit. "They had a space available and asked me if I'd set up shop," Kathy says. "And, well—I love boating." Her start dovetailed nicely with a full renovation that bestowed the place with new tile floors, new walls, and hardwood tables, but a big selling point for Kathy was the outdoor patio to the Marina. "Here people can pop in by car, by boat, or by foot. It's very accessible." During winter months, regular fisherman and new guests alike stop in for her lunch offerings of made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches. As the calendar turns to April, warmer weather unleashes acoustic Fridays, as well as a few other pleasant surprises not dissimilar to hearing James Taylor sing at a Metallica concert. "The menu becomes more expansive," she says. "Burgers for dinner—also tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. I know the winter menu says just chips. But in summer, we'll roll out the fries.”
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans lures passersby into Bean There Coffeehouse's two locations, where baristas reenergize sluggish bodies with a menu cascading with traditional brews and seasonal espresso beverages. The coffee shops' thoroughly vetted beans are plucked from the top 20% rated throughout the world, with special attention paid to the country of origin, the altitude, and the astrological sign of each bean. Serving up flavorful coffee is their top priority, and the staff also cultivates a homey, neighborhood feel at each establishment, welcoming guests to events such as coffee tastings, dessert pairings, and poetry slams.
Edible Arrangements offers up more than 50 fresh, artful fruit baskets that combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy edibility of fruit. The sweetery's designers stud the Delicious Daisy, a bouquet of sliced honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe, with strawberries and strings of grapes ($35) that double as a 25th-anniversary gift for a Smucker's jam heiress. Decadent, gluten-free layers of white and semisweet chocolate coat fruit in a 12-piece box of hand-dipped strawberries and bananas ($25). Customers can also put today's Groupon toward a larger centerpiece, such as the Melon Delight, a decorative spray of watermelon wedges, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and double-dipped bananas sprouting from a watering can ($76). The preservative-free treats are all handcrafted at the apex of freshness, readying hand-dipped dainties to be hand-shoved into eagerly awaiting mouths.
Whipping up tasty iced concoctions with a heaping side of friendly service, Norfolk Ice Cream Company soothes fiery flavortites like a milkshake-spewing fire truck. Fresh off its one-year anniversary, this scoop-slinging abode offers a bevy of tantalizing menu items while making smile-inducing service a top priority. More than 100 possible ice-cream flavors are available, as well as soft-serve, non-fat frozen yogurt, smoothies, blended iced coffees, and cryogenically frozen gingermen. Opt for a satisfying scoop of Kahlua-almond fudge, cotton candy, bubble gum, or elephant ears ($2.69 for a single scoop, $3.69 for a double). Or, sample a banana split ($4.79), a chocolate milkshake ($3.99 for a regular size), or a towering chocolate and vanilla non-fat frozen-yogurt soft serve ($1.99 for a regular).
For Kombuchick Inc. owner Leslie Crews, the communal spirit that comes with brewing and sharing kombucha—a probiotic fermented tea—is integral to why she makes it a part of her lifestyle and business. And it's why she sells starter cultures for brewing it online at no profit. When Leslie started transitioning to a raw-food lifestyle, she became determined to brew her own kombucha. Soon enough, she found a starter culture from a woman on the Internet who brought Leslie into her home for a brewing demo—which was the first time Leslie realized the tea’s ability to create a communal spirit among its drinkers. Today, she hopes the healthful blends and brews that come from the recipes sold at her store continue to inspire the same sense of gratitude and generosity they spring from. At Leslie's Kombuchick Bar, fizzy tea brews flow from taps or sit tight in bottles in regular and seasonal flavors. Each is blended from organic and fair-trade herbs wherever possible by Leslie, who likens her skill with blending herbs to “someone who knows how to play the piano by ear.” A dry green tea-based Bangkok Blazin’ melds lemongrass, ginger, and galangal, and a popular winter brew mixes allspice, cloves, and snowman hearts for sips of warm comfort. Depending on the season, the bar also stocks fresh fruit juices to mix with the kombucha on draft. Even the loose-leaf teas sold in her shop are the same she uses at the bar, which she hopes further encourage kombucha brewing in the community alongside her regular three-session brewing classes.