Family owned and operated since 1937, Velvet Creme Popcorn’s staff of devoted kernel craftsmen roasts gourmet flavors with traditional hand-operated poppers while peddling a selection of snack mixes and candy. Shoppers can fill bags, bathtubs, snack boxes, and gallon-sized cans to the brim with crispy popcorn flavors that include unsalted, butter, cheese, caramel, cinnamon, and sour cream and onion. A 2-gallon can of caramel popcorn comes in a variety of designs featuring sport, holiday, and birthday themes ($18.75), while an eight-pack gift basket of butter, caramel, and cheese bags ($22.50) satiates sweet and savory cravings. A box of 24 homemade popcorn balls ($23.50) makes an excellent addition to any croquet set, and gift tins of nuts ($25), peanut brittle ($24), or peanut-butter pretzels ($21.75) explore non-popcorn food groups.
Named one of the top-five bakeries in the Kansas City area in 2009 by CityVoters, Dolce Baking Company whips up small batches of delicately beautiful specialty pastries every day. Dolce's menu features traditional sweets as well as creative treats that incorporate seasonal ingredients and flavors, such as an apple cinnamon roll drizzled with a local apple-cider reduction ($3), sweet-potato scones donning a maple glaze ($2.65), and pumpkin whoopee pies teeming with cream-cheese filling ($3.25). Perennial favorites include cupcakes ($2.25), rustic apple tarts ($4 per slice), and the chocolate blackout cake ($17 for a 6 in., serves 4–6), which may cause power outages.
Ceramic Cafe arms artists of all ages with the artistic instruments necessary to transform unfinished earthenware into pottery masterpieces. Guests can adorn two 12-ounce mugs, two 8-inch round plates, or one mug and one plate in more than 60 different colors of nontoxic ceramic glazes that will not flake off and add unwanted seasoning to swordfish-casserole dishes. Idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps supply sources of artistic inspiration, and staff members stand by to demonstrate techniques, or to pose for a mug-side replica of Whistler's Mother. The studio fires pieces in its kiln to ensure designs are food safe and long lasting, and customers can retrieve their work the following week.
Paciugo's Latin motto, ante dunio dessertium—meaning before dinner, dessert—neatly summarizes its liberal three-scoops attitude. Its luscious cold creams contain 70% less fat than premium ice cream, thus making it 130% more OK to consume several consecutive pints' worth. A dessert that meets the FDA's standards for healthfulicious food, Paciugo's Turin recipes employ fresh and all-natural ingredients coupled with the finest fruit, nuts, chocolates, and more to churn up scrumptious orbs of sweet sustenance. The gelaterie's menu ushers taste buds toward small piccolo cups ($3.69) with four scoops and up to four different flavors, such as black raspberry, amaretto chocolate chip, chocolate black-cherry swirl, black-pepper olive oil, Mediterranean sea-salt caramel, chocolate-orange saffron, and many more. The medio size includes four scoops and up to four different flavors in a larger size ($4.29). Go for not really that broke with a espresso shake ($5.49) Each of Paciugo's rich, creamy delights is made from whole milk, soy, and water, and no-sugar-added options are available so that a suitable flavor can match with any dietary need, unless you're allergic to joy.
The Roasterie Café commits itself to supporting small, specialty-coffee-bean farmers around the world and employing a convection air-roasting method to help ensure smoothness and consistency. Customers can take bags of dry beans, such as Super Tuscan Espresso ($12.65 per 12 oz. bag), home for private brewing, or they can perk up with signature drinks that include Brooksider Bob, a mélange of mint, chocolate, and espresso ($3.85 for 12 oz.). Fruit smoothies such as Mandarin Passion ($4.15 for 16 oz.) inspire slurpers to throw regular-sized oranges in a dryer, and coolers such as Thrilla Vanilla ($4.50 for 16 oz.) calm urges for chilled caffeine. The coffee mecca rounds out its extensive menu with bagels and pastries, as well as more than 20 different flavors of loose-leaf and sachet teas.
As a child, Lisa Clark would conjure up chocolate cakes for her mother through an Easy Bake Oven. While the first batch had mixed results, she was diligent about perfecting her cake recipes. This dedication came in handy later in life when she left her career in the customer service industry to establish Cupcake ? La Mode. Since then, along with her husband Daniel, the pair has watched their boutique cupcakerie grow from a home-based business to three brick-and-mortar locations, each decorated with hot pink hues and contemporary black baroque chandeliers. The newly opened Roseville location is the most recent addition, following four years of success in the Kansas City area.
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Believing that presentation is just as important as taste, Lisa and her team handcraft cupcakes from a vanilla or chocolate batter base before artfully decorating them with homemade buttercream frosting, candies, and fruit. The decorative cupcakes?which come in flavorful variations such as marshmallow fondue and bella nutella?are best enjoyed with a blended coffee or tea amid the boutique caf? setting, though larger batches can also be made for weddings or as bribery gifts to sweet-toothed monsters. When not baking up sweet treats in her shops, Lisa and her team are giving back to their community by supporting local charity events such as Dolls and Desserts for Down Syndrome.