Ugly Mug Coffee aims to protect the farmers harvesting each bean by sourcing organic, pesticide-free, and fair-trade coffee from around the world. Integrity pervades every phase of its buying process, as the company selects farmers who cultivate bird-friendly, shade-grown coffees without the use of toxic chemicals, and pay them a fair, livable price to incentivize their growing. Their fair-trade philosophy extends to what Ugly Mug hopes will one day be a hands-on collaboration with the farmers; until then, partnerships with economic-development programs and Growers First keep Ugly Mug's coffee ethical without reading it transcripts of the long dialogues Socrates often had with his percolator.
Ugly Mug's stringent vetting and buying process results in nuanced, aromatic coffee roasted right in Memphis. Single-origin coffees from Brazil or Mexico showcase each country's character with a gentler roast, and blends include Hardy Passion, a dark, rich roast, or Saving Grace, a balanced Peruvian/Guatemalan brew with a clean finish. Flavored coffees sweeten mornings with tastes such as Cinnamon Sticky Bun or Buttermoon, a popular mix of roasted-nut and sweet-caramel flavors.
No pita wrap is alike at Jiji's Wraps Cafe. The menu fuses Mediterranean, Ethiopian, and American flavors, with options ranging from chicken shawarma and gyro pizzas to philly cheesesteaks and kitfo, an Ethiopian dish of very rare minced beef. Even better, the food is prepared in a fast casual environment—for call-in orders, a warm wrap or vegan dish is ready in 5–15 minutes. Those who dine at the café can also take advantage of its computers and WiFi access.
In an attempt to combat his food allergies and hypoglycemia, Steve Kuhnau began to concoct drinks in his home blender in the late '60s, tossing in various combinations of fruit, supplements, and proteins. Quickly discovering that the right fusions drastically improved his health, he worked to refine his revolutionary nutritional smoothie, and he opened a health-food store in 1973. He and his staff started slinging vitamins alongside the blended drinks, and the word quickly spread about the healthful beverages—Smoothie King was born.Since its noble birth, Kuhnau's smoothie empire grew to more than 600 franchised locations around the world, and there are more than 600 locations on this planet, too. Today, each location serves a long list of drinks to trim down, shape up, stay healthy, and occasionally indulge. Each of these verb-named mixes is made fresh to order.
Jamal Dauba opened Petra Cafe in 1998 with a vision of bringing diners healthy, flavorful Mediterranean cuisine. Now, his team of cooks prepares that cuisine at four locations. The culinary experts stuff pitas with grilled lamb and greek salad, fry crisp falafel, and infuse savory dips with eggplant or feta cheese. They also specialize in grilled paninis layered with prosciutto, mozzarella, and other Italian ingredients.
The cookie menu at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies features a regular cast of 16 delectable homemade cookies that are baked fresh on-site all day long and are made with top-quality ingredients (no preservatives or trans fat) and 100% real butter. Your Groupon allows you to mix and match up to 13 of Makeda’s cookies to suit your taste, so load up on the bakery's hottest seller, the classic butter cookie, or build a sampler box of Makeda’s other enticing offerings. Popular yum discs include a Jiff-infused peanut-butter cookie; gooey, old-fashioned iced oatmeal; and a colorful M&Ms-freckled cookie. Fans of the color brown will enjoy the double-chocolate dream cookies or the double-chocolate pecan (which, like the paler pecan, features nuts picked fresh daily by neighborhood squirrels and left in a basket on Makeda’s doorstep at dawn), and then, of course, there's the brown-speckled chocolate-chip cookie.
In a world filled with loveless industrial snack patties, the baked goods at Ricki's Cookie Corner and Bakery go above and beyond normal cookie protocol to provide just enough sweetness to heal psychic wounds. The cookie that sparked the Ricki revolution, the world-famous chipsticks ($6.85 per pound), are a wallet-shaped slice of chewy excellence stuffed with chocolate chips and optional walnuts, also available in peanut butter for George Washington Carver fans. The chocolate marshmallow brownie ($6.85 per pound) is a gooier endeavor ideal for negating awkward silences. Sweet and soft cinnamon buns ($5.70 for six) provide an excellent option for those looking to indulge their sweet tooth before lunchtime without getting judged by a counsel of their peers.
Roasted and brewed in-house, Republic Coffee’s global-savvy coffee drinks roll out a steamy rug for sandwiches stacked with smoked meats and soups made from scratch daily. Leafy greens and veggies burst from salads drizzled with just the right amount of dressing, and crostini dive into creamy baths of garlic hummus. The cozy coffeehouse’s doors open as the sun rises to greet diners with fluffy eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and malted belgian waffles. Sleek black chairs and leather booths scattered throughout the interior keep night owls comfy until closing time at midnight, when the overcaffeinated crowd works off excess steam by bouncing against exposed-brick walls.