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.
Steep your brain with flavorful promises of a menu to plot out an early-morning caffeine infusion, mid-day lunch treat, or late night drive-by brainwiring. Phoenix's coffees are brewed fresh from their very own beans, so have a cup of old-school joe to return to the café's roots (up to $1.70), or punch your taste buds with the devil's brew (coffee with a shot of espresso, up to $2.50). Chug their namesake with a cup of Café Phoenix, a mocha made with their signature locally produced chocolate syrup and an extra shot of espresso ($3.60), or hammer your endocrine system with the indulgent excesses of their Stuporball—two kinds of custom-blended coffee, two different chocolate syrup infusions, and an extra shot of espresso (up to $4). Tea lovers get some love at Phoenix, too—premium oolong, white, and select black or green tea varieties are available iced or hot (up to $2.40), while the house-made artisan Chai latte arrives steamed and creamy (up to $3.20). You can also upgrade to larger drinks and pay the difference.
At the grills, the Liquid/Fresh Planet staff simmers up lean meats and veggies before assembling them into internationally inspired stuffed toasted pita and steaming rice bowls. Liquid/Fresh Planet strives to appeal to youngsters too, whipping up kid-friendly selections, such as cheese pizzas and PB&Js, and routinely checking beneath the stove for any potential boogeymen. Or follow the hum of whirring blenders through a forest of colorful red umbrellas to the Liquid/Fresh Planet front counter, where servers are busy folding fresh fruits and veggies into a variety of smoothies and wholesome eats. One packs a blender with organic oatmeal, fresh fruit, and whey protein, while another scoops up boosts from bottles of flaxseed, mixed vitamin, and ginseng.
Tropical Smoothie Café provides fresh, natural café foods and smoothies made with high-quality, healthy ingredients. With more than two dozen smoothie flavors, the café offers low-fat, supercharged, and indulgent options for those looking for a quick, refreshing treat. And for customers needing more nourishment, Tropical Smoothie Café also serves light lunch items, such as the Caribbean Luau—perfect for a respite from a long day at work or a marathon hula contest.
Bat-A-Rama's seven batting cages, which spit out softballs or baseballs, are designed to let the hitter pick the speed and height of the pitches based on skill level. Each $1 token forces the machines to throw 15 pitches, providing ample opportunity to practice swinging for the fences, hitting behind a runner, or catching moving balls in plastic grocery bags. Three of the seven cages spew both hardball and slow softball pitches, and one speedily whips out softballs sans arc. Though not included in this Groupon, Bat-A-Rama makes old-fashioned ice cream on-site.
Tiffany Poindexter, the sugar maven behind Bake Up, employs fine ingredients and generations-old recipes to craft mouthwatering sweet treats. A lifelong baker taught in the kitchens of her mother and grandmother, Poindexter mixes up tasty batters with luxurious, quality components including real Madagascar vanilla beans, sweet cream, and jewel-encrusted measuring cups. Groupon users can choose up to two flavors to complete their one-dozen cookies, brownies, or cupcakes. Spoil sweet teeth with one-dozen classic cookies, available in such flavors as white-chocolate cherry, oatmeal walnut, and time-honored chocolate chip. Or, patrons can opt for 12 toothsome brownies in taste-bud-tickling incarnations that include caramel, espresso, and mint chocolate.