The cupcake is a national figure of dining-room table ornamentation and post-work indulgence, and the skilled bakers at Hello, Cupcake crown their gobletcakes with real buttercreams made by hand. Cupcake satisfaction comes in a variety of sweet flavors from classic vanilla cakes with vanilla buttercream to chocolate batters, red velvet cakes, carrot, salted caramel, and the recently discovered pumpkin spice cupcake.
The founders of Eclipse Coffee and Tea sought to create a more personal and welcoming space than what they found in franchised coffee shops. So they invite their patrons to curl up on one of their couches with a coffee drink made with beans from Cincinnati roaster Seven Hills Coffee. The baristas craft hot and cold beverages, including signature lattes flavored with milk chocolate, caramel, almond, coconut, and even peanut butter, making for a drink that's sweeter and more convenient than stirring a cappucino with a candy bar. At lunch, patrons enjoy specialty paninis or the create-your-own sandwich option, directing staff to build custom sandwiches with Boar's Head cold cuts. Baked goods from Ashley's Pastry Shop, which has served the area for about 30 years, are made fresh daily for breakfast or dessert.
The Inside Scoop's ice cream-concocters sate dairy-craving palates by packing more than 20 flavors of Hershey's ice cream into crunchy cones and drenching each bite in more than a dozen available classic toppings. Specialty sundaes coat scoops in luscious ingredients such as hot fudge and pecans, while hot dogs, hot beverages, or steaming winter soups high-five insides to transfer their warmth. The Inside Scoop also boasts a party room that comes alive under the reflections of its 55" TV that can be used as a hook-up for computers during meetings, to display slideshows at parties, or for movie viewing while enjoying the shop's hot and cold delectables.
The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family’s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies—a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne’s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business’s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family’s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process—their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
The benevolent bakers, sweet-makers, and paddy-cakers at Big Sky Bread Company bake their muffins, cookies, and American and European breads fresh on the premises daily using Montana whole-wheat flour. Load up your tummy-oven with daily breads and pastries such as the mini French ($1.50), German rye ($4.50), jumbo cupcakes ($2.50), or pecan rolls ($2). Special dough delights crop up in daily specials such as the Jewish rye on Tuesdays ($4) and decadent cinnamon pecan, which rises to the occasion only Wednesdays through Fridays ($6).