Carytown Cupcakes' team of bakers, affectionately known as "Team Buttercream," handcrafts the shop's preservative-free treats from scratch daily. Proprietor Dawn Schick harnessed the epicurean skills she gained as a personal chef and caterer to open her own cupcake shop in 2009 and has been baking alongside her expert team ever since. Her permanent menu of classic cupcakes woos sweet teeth with the familiar, comforting flavors of red velvet, vanilla, and baby blanket. Meanwhile, her seasonal menus rotate weekly to include vegan and gluten-free selections that fit into themes ranging from wine country to candy bars. For those 21 and over, Carytown Cupcakes is now offering beer, wine, and prosecco.
A gathering place for both children and parents, Cartwheels & Coffee sows the seeds of neighborhood camaraderie with its multi-purpose recreational facility. Inside, an enclosed play area entertains children aged six and under with interactive fun, and a separate section keeps babies captivated with age-appropriate toys. Meanwhile, parents can kick back alongside each other in the Wi-Fi-equipped cafe and sip on locally roasted cups of coffee or recharge with other items from the menu. Special events throughout the week provide a change of pace to normal activities, including singing sessions on Mondays and dance classes on Wednesdays.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Each morning, Montana Gold Bread Co.'s bakers make their way to a stone burr mill where they grind red wheat from a farm in Montana into flour. That flour goes into dough that they knead by hand before baking it into preservative-free breads such as cherry-apple challah or honey whole wheat. They carve loaves into slices for sandwiches with housemade chicken salad or roast beef and horseradish. Patrons can also find sweet treats such as pecan-encrusted cinnamon rolls and fresh cookies.
The pastry chefs at Gone Cupcaking Across America share a wealth of gourmet cupcake experience with aspiring dessert artisans, in flavors that include whisked buttercream atop classic vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet cake bases, and more exotic choices such as Grand Marnier or peaches 'n' cream. At lessons, students learn piping techniques, how to make frosting, and how to make iced flowers without the hassle of fertilizing regular flowers with milk and butter.
Outside of swimming laps in chocolate syrup, smoothies at Smoothie King are the tastiest way to improve your health. Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras), all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the Turbinado.