In many ways, Unique Unlimited Weddings is a fresh start for chef Tony Wilkins. He learned how to cook in his grandparents' kitchen as a child and honed his skills while working for the catering company that his mother and aunt ran in the mid-1970s. Although they had to close their business to take care of their families and Tony went on to get a degree in electronics engineering, his love for cooking never faded. After years of feeling out of place in engineering, chef Tony took a cue from the past and reopened his mother's business. Today, he takes on catering projects big and small, assisting hosts by creating rich feasts, custom-designed cakes, and decorative centerpieces.
The baker behind Style And Grace Cupcakes is something of an alchemist; she transforms simple ingredients such as brown sugar and fresh strawberries into moist cupcakes crowned with decadent buttercream frosting. She also bakes cookies, cookie pops, and diabetic-friendly cupcakes made with Splenda. Find these handcrafted desserts at the Gastonia Farmers Market, or have them delivered to your door.
At Belmont Soda Fountain, you can recreate the '20s cafe experience with lunch and a frozen treat. Dig into a turkey, chicken salad, or pimento cheese sandwich made on fresh baked bread with a side of homemade pasta salad, salad, or soup. Kids can eat filling, yet taste-bud friendly grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches before rousing the whole restaurant into a chant for ice cream. Once you've calmed both them and your cravings, sip a hand-stirred grape soda or slurp up a root beer float brimming with foamy ice cream, in your choice of flavor.
Hollie, the lady behind Sugar Diva's Custom Cakes, bakes fresh, homemade treats from fine ingredients. The business specializes in custom cakes for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, fashioning them with multiple tiers, elegant accouterments, and stunning designs. They also specialize in smaller treats, which range from gooey chocolate chip cookies and brownies to cupcakes, chocolate fudge, made-to-order pies, and old-fashioned candies.
Like a good book, the frozen-yogurt flavors at Frogurt can transport you to another time and place: there are flavors from exotic locales, such as Hawaiian pineapple and Tahitian vanilla. There?s a hint of summertime in their pink-lemonade sorbet, too, and it?d be easy to imagine celebrating your birthday in a cryogenic chamber with the birthday-cake-flavored frozen yogurt. Every day, 10 of these flavors occupy self-serve machines set against Frogurt's colorfully tiled walls. Many of them are sugar-free, low-fat, nonfat, or dairy-free and provide a healthy boost of probiotics. Feel free to personalize each serving with any of more than 95 kinds of toppings, such as peanuts, fruit boba, berries, and even breakfast cereals; at the register, you?ll be charged by the ounce.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop’s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M’s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.