Acres of golden wheat stalks blanket the high plains of Montana, stretching toward the sun and gently swaying with the wind. Farmers harvest the wheat and send it off to Taylorsville, Utah, where Great Harvest Bread Co.’s masterminds mill the grain into whole-wheat flour, which bakers knead, roll, and bake it into warm loaves of bread. The bread comes in an array of flavors such as sunflower, high-five fiber, and cinnamon burst, and can be bought by the loaf or in one of Great Harvest's fresh deli sandwiches.
Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.
The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
TCBY (a.k.a. The Country's Best Yogurt) prepares a menu of low-fat and fat-free yogurt containing benevolent bacterial cultures that assist the body with digestion and nutrient absorption. Both locations tout silky, probiotic-packed soft-serve ($0.39/oz.) in flavors such as golden vanilla and white-chocolate mousse that customers can sprinkle with strawberries, gummy bears, granola, diced peaches, or a host of other toppings. Celebrate successfully evading a baby raincloud with one of TCBY's smoothies (valid at Fashion Place, only), which contain real-dairy frozen yogurt blended with bushels of fresh fruit and feature potent potions such as Strawberry Bananza and Berrilicious ($4.50–$4.99). Prices and selection vary from store to store.
The team at Sub Zero Ice Cream, winner of State's Best Ice Cream for the past four years, creates delectable desserts using a flash freeze process, which minimizes the formation of flavorless ice crystals and preserves the cream’s savory smoothness. Patrons may choose from a menu of more than 30 flavors or compose original tongue symphonies by blending any two flavors together ($3.39–$5.39). Create a sugary stroke of genius by first choosing the cream base, available in premium ice cream, low-fat ice cream, custard, yogurt, soy, rice, or almond, followed by adding combinations, mix-ins, and specifying texture. The skilled ice wizards then speak the appropriate incantations to flash freeze the mixture with liquid nitrogen at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance used by NASA to preserve precious moon pies.
Annie Defa learned a lot in her 10 years in the coffee-shop industry, including how to select the choicest beans from among thousands. She puts this knack into action on a weekly basis, consulting with her local roaster to supply the shop with the aromatic blends she brews into steaming mugs or transforms into specialty drinks. She and her crew also bake up croissants, cookies, and muffins fresh each morning. In the summertime, an outdoor patio supplements the café’s intimate indoor space, and free WiFi ensures that clients stay up-to-date with emails, news, and the latest styles of cappuccino-foam mustaches.