In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
Black Bear Frozen Yogurt & Espresso's menu offers treats and beverages to satisfy any sweets craving. Yogurts are made from high-count active yogurt cultures obtained from one of Portland's locally operated creameries. These simple ingredients are transformed into a rotating spectrum of frozen yogurt flavors, including simple blends like french vanilla or egg nog to specialty flavors such as s'mores or snowflakes, which is best dispensed directly onto a stuck-out tongue.
Chilly treats can be paired with hot espresso drinks featuring the fresh flavor of locally roasted beans. Beans are acquired through Family Direct trading, which pays fair wages to coffee farmers and their families in South America and Africa for the best-grown coffee from their fields.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery blends custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spades to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
What happens when the element of ice cream is exposed to science? The resulting compound is Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt, where liquid nitrogen instantly freezes custom ice cream flavors. The chemists behind the counter mix toppings into the ice cream of your choice, then lower the dessert's temperature to negative-321 degrees?the exact temperature at which all matter becomes delicious. Guests can fill waffle-cone bowls with original creations, or order specialty combos like the Birthday Cake Capacitor, the Bernoulli Brulee, and the Cherry Charge. The staffers love to share these futuristic treats so much that they cater, visit schools' science classes, and have even been featured on ABC's Shark Tank.