When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn’t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model—selling only cookies—not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it’s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
It can be rough feeding a family, with parents figuring out how to find time to prepare healthy, delicious meals and still complete their long, grueling work schedules. That’s why Shane and Angie Huber at U-Bake decided to help their clients hurry dinner to the table by specializing in prepared, take-and-bake dinners and meal supplies. This allows their regular shoppers to easily and efficiently assemble entire meals with only an oven, a stovetop, or a third and final genie wish.
Though they’re known for their housemade dough, including pizza dough and more than 50 types of cookie dough, they also sling pastries, dry and frozen soups, and jellies and spreads to enhance any main course. They help families cope with dietary restrictions without compromising taste by whipping up a variety of gluten-free items, and their website promotes creative culinary pursuits by featuring signature recipes that only require ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
True collaborators, husband-and-wife team Deanna and Phil Watkins keep their brainchild, Sweet Dream Desserts, running smoothly from the early hours of the day until closing time. Each morning, Deanna gets kitchens hopping and flings open the doors to usher customers in for a Continental-style breakfast complete with scones and sweet breads. Meanwhile, Phil prepares homemade soups, and sandwiches for the deli-style station and salad bar. The two also work together to offer a catering menu and custom cakes for a variety of occasions, from simple sheet cakes to elaborately designed wedding cakes.
Under the guidance of Debra Mindham, the Centerville Tea Room's chefs dole out handcrafted English aperitifs, sandwiches, and tea. Prix-fixe meals such as Through the Looking Glass march into mouths with a parade of four mini finger sandwiches on homemade breads, along with a pair of pastries, and baton-twirling scones ($14.95). Prime roast beef dons a crown of blue cheese and reigns over horseradish mayo within the blue beef sandwich ($8.95), while a cup of the soup du jour ($3 for a cup, $4.95 for a bowl) warms chilly soul sacks.
A combination frozen-yogurt and coffee shop, OozCafe invites patrons to craft their own frosty treats and customize steaming cups of Lavazza coffee. A rotating cast of 12 yogurt flavors such as peanut butter, cake batter, and eight types of vanilla pours forth from machines into cups quivering with excitement. Thirty-five toppings and syrups stand at the ready to top mounds of yogurt with mints, cookies, and candies. Nearby, coffee and tea drinks ranging from chilled oolong to pumpkin-spice chai lattes wash down bites of yogurt.
As early as age 11, Joanne Weeden was baking treats for her mother to bring to patients at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. Years later, Weeden is still at it, making fresh cookies, cupcakes, dessert bars, and breads at Boomerang Bakery (the name is a tribute to her Australian roots). In addition to offering these goodies, Boomerang is dedicated to making a positive impact on the community in large and small ways, whether that means donating to local charities or teaching customers useful magic tricks such as how to make a cupcake disappear.