Since 1950, Dunkin’ Donuts has roused sleepy customers with steaming cups of coffee and more than 50 varieties of freshly baked donuts. Available for a limited time, heart-shaped donuts fuel amorous appetites with vanilla-buttercream or bavarian-cream filling, swirls of chocolate or strawberry icing, and sprinkles precisely positioned to resemble the constellation of Cupid. Baristas splash to-go cups with 20 ounces of regular or decaf coffee, available in three flavor blends—original, french vanilla, or hazelnut. Alternatively, patrons can assemble a box of one or two dozen assorted donuts to liven up a morning picnic or coax a police horse into the building.
Only three years after opening its first shop in Richmond, Virginia, Sweet Frog's yogurt emporiums have multiplied to 100 franchises in fifteen states, as well as one international location in South Korea. Each brightly-colored yogurt shop lets families feast on over 70 flavors of inventive self-serve treats and crunchy or fruity toppings. Their menu includes bakery-inspired flavors such as cinnamon roll, carrot cake, or oven mitt alongside fruit-packed flavors such as pink grapefruit tart or no-sugar-added blueberry.
The pastry chef at Southernly Sweet puts his training from the UT Culinary Institute to use by crafting a selection of decadent confections, enhancing age-old Southern recipes with modern techniques and all-natural ingredients. Designed for Valentine’s Day, a dozen mini cupcakes boast vivid bursts of pink and white accented by strategically placed hearts, much like Cupid's power tie. Dollops of swiss-meringue-vanilla buttercream and strawberry buttercream frosting crown each charming creation, gracing taste buds with a fresh, distinctive flavor not found in traditional buttercreams.
Drawing from an archive of more than 130 flavors, Chadwick's Churn scoops up a dozen varieties of homemade ice cream at a time. The refrigerated roster can tickle all areas of the taste-bud map with luscious lickables such as key-lime pie, candy corn, and cookie dough. Owner Andrea Brooks Mount doles out the dairy in a variety of denominations, from bowls ($3.30–$4) to conical waffles ($3.75–$4.75) to shakes ($4.20–$5). Unlike at buffets or art museums, take-home containers are readily available and encouraged, carrying treats by the pint ($4.30) or quart ($7.40) for extra enjoyment.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 50 locations, each of which churns out 12 daily-rotating flavors that are made fresh every morning, along with a section of cheesecake cupcakes. Gigi's Cupcakes was also named the official cupcake of the 2013 American Country Music Awards, and was named Best Cupcake in 2012 by Lagniappe and Nashville Scene. The Knoxville shop recently changed management and is now owned by GiGi's brother Randall Butler and offers a selection of more than 40 flavors, including Canadian Maple, Southern Comfort, and Champagne—a bubbly-flavored base topped with an edible pearl. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Roi Shlomo never liked ice cream much. He preferred a tarter treat–yogurt. "I was always eating plain yogurt and adding everything into it," he told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2009, Shlomo turned his favorite snack into a business, opening the first Yogli Mogli in Atlanta. And while patrons can savor tart flavors such as zesty mango tango and watermelon sorbet, the shop also caters to sweeter palates with flavors such as dutch chocolate and dulce de leche.
Live, active cultures and nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B12 make Yogli Mogli's frosty frozen yogurt a healthy treat. The menu includes nonfat options, flavors made with no added sugar, and dairy-free fruit sorbet. On the flip side, those craving decadence can load frosty swirls with indulgent toppings such as cookie dough and chocolate sauce.