It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers??homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry?s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry?s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,350 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options such as the eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs and slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Cupcake'm Cafe invites customers to customize their cupcakes by picking a flavor, a filling, and a type of icing. Visitors can create a variety of gourmet flavors including key-lime pie, S'mores Galore, Triple Berry Blast with real berry chunks in the icing, and black forest with shaved chocolate slices and a cherry on top. They can then munch on their massive cupcakes and relax in the cafe or surf the Internet on free WiFi. In addition to its namesake treat, Cupcake'm Cafe also serves sandwiches, bagels, and muffins.
Three-Way Cafe's midday-meal sculptors adorn palates with a dynamic array of salads, sandwiches, and soups, with seasonal specials available daily and deli trays for catered parties. While relaxing amid colorful murals, guests strap on their tongues' rucksacks and explore lunch options such as the cuban sandwich, with thin slices of pork and ham smothered in swiss cheese. All of the café's eponymous daily specialties can be commissioned either as salads, grilled paninis, or quesadillas. The italian salad or panini holds pepperoni, genoa salami, capocollo, and roasted red peppers in a provolone embrace equal in strength to the blue-cheese bite of the buffalo-chicken salad or quesadilla. Large groups helm their own bready excursions with kaiser rolls and an assortment of ham, turkey, and roast beef on the Three-Way Cafe deli tray. The sliced-cheese tray supports a dairy-laden display, and the café's fresh cupcakes keep sweet teeth under control and provide ammunition for miniature catapults.
Executive Chef Peter Choida draws on styles and influences from around the globe to design the small, shareable plates at Ginny's Bistro & Wine Bar. The tapas here are served in small portions in the traditional Spanish style, ideal for sampling a wide variety of bites such as risotto flecked with wild mushrooms and roasted prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Ginny's also stocks its bar with varietals from Pinnacle Ridge Winery, whose award-winning wines are handcrafted and foot-squished nearby.