Even though Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has locations throughout the world, it still maintains the small-town candy-store feel envisioned by its creator and CEO, Frank Crail. Crail founded the original location in his adopted hometown of Durango, Colorado, filling the sweet-smelling space with homey accents, such as candy-making demonstrations and games of Pin the Tail on the Chocolatier. Behind the counter, staffers roll fresh granny smith apples in dense caramel and mold lumps of rich fudge on old-style marble slabs. Other fresh confections include mint bark, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and boxed chocolates.
For more than 60 years, the innovative cake artists of Cinderella Cakes have been creating celebratory desserts that push the boundaries of both flavor and physics. Prominently featured as winners on TLC's The Ultimate Cake Off and in episodes of WE tv's My Fair Wedding and Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County, the bakery's team of artists sculpt impeccable carved cakes for specific occasions, such as a golf bag to celebrate retirement, or a guitar to mark a successful instrument restringing. The same artists also lend their expertise and personalized touch to elegant and innovative wedding cakes, cupcakes, and bouquets of theme cookies. They stock their shelves with fresh ready-to-go cakes, ideal for unexpected celebrations such as a surprise engagement or the birth of a mayfly. Professional decorators also spread their sweet wisdom during private cake-decorating classes and birthday parties.
George and Eileen, the husband-and-wife team behind Uncorked Wine Bar and Boutique, personally visit many of the wineries from which they procure crisp sauvignon blancs, bold cabernets, vintage ports, and other varietals. Located within the El Paseo Town Center, their cozy shop is decorated with metallic designs illuminated by candlelight, which casts a warm glow across mustard-yellow walls. Patrons can sip wines by the glass or opt for flight trees that hold three pours, leaving hands free to untie other people’s shoelaces. Visitors can nibble artisanal cheeses, crab cakes, and other pairings or shop the boutique for wine-themed gifts such as bottle openers and decorative glasses.
Committed to perfecting olive-oil production, Trabuco Farms private labels its olives from California. The result is an oil that lends a mild fruit and pepper flavor to salads or pastas. Using natural fruit extracts, Trabuco Farms’ oil further enhance these oils by infusing them with a variety of flavors, including orange, jalapeño, garlic, and basil. Trabuco Farms also stocks a range of barrel-aged balsamic vinegars imported from Modena, Italy.