It was a fateful day that Campus Candy founder Mark Tarnofsky dropped his daughter off at Indiana University about four years ago. On a mission to track down a simple candy bar, the dutiful dad found himself roaming far afield until he finally landed at a distant drugstore. Convinced that college kids want candy within constant reach, Tarnofsky started his first store right there, and soon expanded to the schools in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Each outlet sells more than 500 different types of candy, all of which may be repurposed as toppings on a rotating menu of frozen yogurt. By slinging bulk candy at a fixed price, Campus Candy stores make it easy for college kids to load up on diverse desserts without filling their schedules with bonbon-making classes.
Alongside a café and wine bar, a bed and breakfast, and a wholesale producer, a bakery might be eclipsed. But it isn't the case for Scholars Inn Bakehouse, one of the myriad parcels of Scholars Inn. The bakery produces daily fresh-baked breads made entirely from scratch and formed by hand, earning praise from several publications, including a guest spot on the cover of Modern Baking magazine. Fragrant breads hewn from all-natural ingredients emerge from European stone-hearth ovens, ready to complement the café menu, sit alongside granolas and bagels, or fill in as backup footballs.
As a neighborhood ice cream shop since 1933, The Chocolate Moose sees itself as an archive of Bloomington's memories. Old-time memories such as post-game celebrations and first dates are tied up in this nostalgia-imbued ice cream shop. Of course, nostalgia alone isn't enough to keep the visitors coming back every year. The ice cream, crafted in-house from a 14% butterfat mix, melts into hot fudge sundaes and root beer floats. Flavors of marshmallow, cream de menthe, and butter pecan swirl into smooth milk shakes. Beyond ice cream desserts,The Chocolate Moose also prepares hot food including coney dogs, bbq pulled pork sandwiches, and Spanish burgers – a burger-meatloaf hybrid baked in tomato sauce with locally sourced meats.
McSwain's Smokehouse gathers a medley of classic recipes from the country's most respected barbecuing regions?Texas, Memphis, the Carolinas, and Kansas City. Hickory smokers cook bacon-wrapped ribs, polish sausages, and slow-smoked beef brisket. In addition to these, chefs build more than a dozen sandwiches, including the McSwain burger topped with shaved brisket, barbecue sauce, and cole slaw. Though the restaurant's food spans different parts of the country, its drink list tends to celebrate Indiana, with a variety of locally brewed beers available in the outdoor beer garden.
Whether with a Super Mario Kart–themed birthday cake, a holiday cake shaped like a pile of wrapped gifts, or cupcakes with perfectly swirled buttercream frosting, the bakers at Let Them Eat Cake turn dessert into edible works of art. They create personalized designs for cupcakes and cakes to suit any occasion, such as weddings, holidays, or birthday parties. They also ship cakes to customers outside of the area, ensuring their safety with layers of bubble packaging, plastic wrap, and a bodyguard who rides along inside the box.
Old-World street lamps light a path towards Cricket's Café, a red-brick eatery brimming with Tuscan-inspired decor and the aromas of gourmet café fare. The design for the restaurant started at the owner's table, where she and her husband sketched a layout with indoor and outdoor seating, including three meeting rooms with high-def projectors. Throughout each of these areas, waiters carry plates loaded with breakfast items, sandwiches, and specialty drinks. The café pros can also transport their comestibles to casual office parties or formal debutante balls held in bouncy castles with catering service.