Some say it takes a village to raise a child. On Smith Island, it takes a village to nurture another type of legacy: Maryland’s official dessert. Known as a Smith Island cake, this delicacy brims with ten layers of goodness and 200 years of history. The story began in the island’s seaside towns, where women baked cakes for their hubbies’ oyster-fishing journeys. To help the treats withstand the waves, they iced them with fudge as sweet and sturdy as a drawbridge made of candy canes. Fast-forward to 2009, at a market 50 miles from Smith Island’s shores. Brian Murphy, a recent graduate of the Wharton School, was shopping for a birthday cake. As he chose a Smith Island cake, he was surprised to learn that no major bakeries call the island home. Though he’d always envisioned himself as a commodities trader, he began to think like an entrepreneur. Before long, he had partnered with the island’s bakers to form Smith Island Baking Company, a business that handcrafts Smith Island cakes and ships them around the world.
The bakery’s signature creation, the chocolate Smith Island cake, teems with thin layers of yellow cake and fudge that National Geographic has deemed “an architectural marvel.” In addition to crunching numbers at the company’s headquarters, Brian loads fresh flour, sugar, and cocoa onto the ferries that connect the island to Maryland’s mainland and the outer rings of Saturn. Under his leadership, the venture has grown to incorporate myriad other confections, from chocolate fudge to all-natural ice cream by Chef Jordan Lloyd.
At Surf Bagel, the storefront's brothers and surfing aficionados Dave and Tom Vitella boil, season, and bake their award-winning bagels daily in a beach-themed shop. The varieties of dough-circles range from classic salt, onion, and cinnamon raisin to egg, whole-wheat everything, and seasonal flavors. Let bagels ride atop a sweet wave of strawberry and raisin-apple-cinnamon cream cheese, or send savory wheat wheels on a slip-and-slide through garlic-and-herb cream cheese. The bagel boutique also brews Green Mountain coffee, blends fruit smoothies, teaches how to grow cheeses to harvest their steaks, and serves a variety of other goodies. Surf Bagel hosts surf camps and other fundraisers.
We are a locally woman owned business. We pride ourselves in the fact that we use fresh local ingredients and make everything from scratch. Our secret motto is "World Domination Through Gelato" and we are realizing that dream one taste at a time!
The Gallery Espresso embraces café goers with a spacious, well lit dining area populated by breakfast and lunch fare, including breakfast burritos, gourmet pizzas, and grilled paninis. The diverse menu, rife with homemade goods, features enticing sweets such as banana caramel crêpes ($7.95) and buttermilk pancakes ($7.95) served by the stack or industrial vat. Munchers seeking midday boosts can wrap paws around a variety of cold sandwiches ($7.95–$9.95) and grilled paninis ($8.95–$9.95). The Gallery Espresso's dough designers roll, knead, and season freshly prepped Sicilian crusts for each gourmet pizza, topping floured canvases with grilled veggies ($8.95) or eggplant feta ($8.95). Peruse the drinks menu and treat pipes to an americano ($2.55), which employs two shots of espresso and several motivational speeches to energize bodies. Although not included with today's Groupon, guests are free to pore over and purchase jewelry and paintings from local artists and enjoy outings alongside pets on the outdoor patio.
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.