As a popular saying goes, “To drink is human; to drink coffee is divine.” Summerbrook Community Church has apparently taken this adage to heart, as the local ministry pours steamy, caffeinated beverages at its own café, Center Point Coffee. Bowlegged stools sidle up to the espresso bar at this friendly meeting place where baristas bustle about under the orange-hued light cast by hanging lamps. At intimate tables, guests can chat over cups of the daily brew or pour specialty espresso drinks down their shirts for a quick pick-me-up.
The iced-treat aficionados at Yobe Frozen Yogurt blend organic milk and all-natural ingredients into 31 flavors of low-calorie yogurt. Each silky, nonfat serving of Yobe's yogurt contains a diet-friendly count of 25 calories per serving and contains enough probiotic power to help fend off both the common cold and the less-common spontaneous combustion. Customers manufacture their own sundaes at a yogurt buffet ($0.49/oz.) by spooning on toppings that accommodate cravings of fresh fruit, crumbled candy bars, nuts, and breakfast cereals. Seven smoothie options allow competitive straw siphoners to demonstrate their prowess on prefigured flavors such as Mango Tango and Caribbean Vacation. Guests can also create their own smoothie by nominating any three ingredients ($4.99 for 12 oz., $6.99 for 20 oz.).
The devoted bakers at each Cookies by Design location bury their knuckles in soft dough and sweet frosting to craft top-notch treats for all manner of occasions. Whether customers are prepping for a birthday, a time to give thanks, or beekeeper appreciation day, Cookies by Design will cater to their sentiment-slinging needs by customizing a colorful bouquet or another edible display. Individually decorated cookies start at $7.50 each, and birthday baskets start at $15.99. The NCAA survival kit ($39.99+) makes a perfect gift for a spirited college freshman and offers a singular opportunity to literally eat the opposing team for breakfast. Orders should be placed at least 24 hours in advance so that cookie seeds have ample time to soak up milk and sprout into full-grown desserts.
Dessert refuses to be an afterthought at Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe. More than 30 ice-cream flavors—repeatedly lauded by the Charleston City Paper and Moultrie News—pile atop cones or blend into milk shakes, and classic banana splits make mouths water with their pecans and cherries. The café’s scoops of amaretto cherry or java chunk are generous, living up to the vision of Rod Lapin, who opened the first Ye Ole Fashioned in 1972 with the idea of making customers’ jaws drop at the size of his portions.
Today, at more than half a dozen locations, including one helmed by his daughter Becki and her husband, that hasn’t changed. Ten strips of bacon layer the café’s signature BLTs; chili-laden, all-beef hot dogs weigh down their buns; and the plates are required to start lifting weights regularly before they’re allowed to carry double-decker sandwiches or burgers.
TCBY serves 96%–98% fat-free yogurt that contains benevolent bacterial cultures to assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. Patrons can savor an assortment of silky soft-serve flavors, such as golden vanilla and white-chocolate mousse, served in a cup, in a cone, or at the center of a collection of Russian nesting dolls ($2.89–$3.85). Succulent smoothies, meanwhile, offer a coalesced concoction of real dairy and blended bushels of fruit. Banana splits ($4.99) and sundaes ($4.09–$3.99) deliver old-fashioned ice-cream-parlor delights without the extra calories or forced conscription into a barbershop quartet. Textured toppings such as M&Ms, sprinkles, and chocolate chips ($0.79) add layers of edible nuance to cups, cones, and palates. Conjure sweet spells of creativity via TCBY's specialty menu of layered parfaits ($3.99) or yogurt shakes ($3.65–$4.85).
Ron Haynes and his daughter, Jessie, have built a business from smiling faces. They don't snap yearbook photos or transform dentist gloves into balloon animals. Instead, they helm teeth-whitening shops and private office locations where smiles are brightened up to 10 shades. Since 2005, they have brightened over 50,000 smiles across five states. The locations in North Carolina and Georgia offer either convenience at their South Park Mall kiosk or privacy at their office locations. Armed with Beaming White, an FDA-approved teeth-whitening system that pairs a peroxide-based gel with a UV-free LED light, their team of technicians helps clients brighten their choppers by exposing teeth so the gel and light reach every inch of enamel. Once the light unites with the gel, coffee, tea, and grass stains begin to vanish. Teeth continue to lighten after the treatment, achieving a color that's 3-10 shades whiter over the course of 24 hours. With proper care, results can last up to 12 months, or roughly the time it takes to adapt the phonebook into a comedic opera.
In seven locations around the Charleston area, King Street Grille rolls out upscale pub fare and a few dozen flat-screen televisions. Full of contemporary versions of traditional bar favorites, the menu unfolds to reveal mac ‘n’ cheese egg rolls, nine types of grilled, hand-formed burgers, and plates weighed down with comforting entrees, such as pork chops and shepherd's pie. The bar stocks more than 100 beers and its own line of liquor to wash down meals or offer as gifts to the thirsty actors who reenact big games inside the TV. Throughout the week, the eatery pairs good food with good times by transforming its space into a venue for trivia nights, billiards, and live music.