If the owners of Dessert Oasis Coffee were stranded on a desert island with access to three worldly items, they’d choose a live band, a mountain of chocolate, and their trusty 3-kilo bean roaster. Lined with plush seating and a crackling fireplace, their downtown Rochester shop is cozier than a sun-scorched sandbar or a mattress made of inflated blowfish. Inside, the scents of cream and chocolate melt together as chefs bake fresh desserts and baristas craft more than 300 gourmet coffee drinks. Sourced from exotic locales such as Costa Rica and Papua New Guinea, small batches of coffee beans bask in a US Roaster Corp roasting machine before percolating in the café’s brewer. Throughout the day, groups gather in the fireside reading room to share pots of cheese fondue and slices of house-made cheesecake, which come in flavors such as pumpkin, key lime, and turtle. Musicians filter into the café at night, peppering its soundtrack of fork clinks and steamer whistles with their sweet stylings.
Timbuktu pumps high-speed Internet into 28 computers and gaming systems such as Wii and Xbox Kinect, giving guests an opportunity to virtually compete against opponents or watch Netflix and Hulu. Customers can use the game card on numerous occasions for 10 months after activation, splitting time up as they please in virtual tennis matches, educational games, and classics such as Zelda and stickball. The gaming zone has turned columns into playful palm trees and painted tropical murals on the walls, letting players shun Mother Nature in favor of a gamer's paradise, and stocks snacks in the café to satisfy hungry players after virtual sporting events.
Sweets! punctuates any occasion with an exclamation point by dishing out high-quality treats. Inside the charming Auburn Hills shop, sunlight stretches across the floors and brick walls, and visitors kick back while sipping iced lattes, iced espressos, and other coffee drinks?each crafted from locally roasted Great Lakes beans. Hungry visitors can also fill up on housemade soup and chilli.
As much as it appears to be a full-on caf?, Sweets! doubles as a source of fresh baked goods and premium ice cream, too. In fact, the shop stands as Michigan?s sole retailer of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. It serves the frozen treat in a seemingly endless array of flavors, including seasonal specialties.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon a frosty foundation of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirls idyllically into cones, cups, overturned top hats, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal a surprise filling of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast 150 calories or fewer.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.