To the head baker of Sweet Eats Bake Shop, gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan desserts should be every bit as flavorsome as their sugar-filled counterparts. She whips ups all her tasty treats from scratch, and instead of relying on chemically derived sugar substitutes, she swaps in organic agave nectar, honey, and fruit juices, and replaces vegetable oil with pumpkin or applesauce. To further refine her wide variety of tasty treats—including cupcakes, moon pies, cookies, and fudge—she mixes in unsalted creamery butter and fresh-fruit purees from local farmers. Her mouthwatering baked goods hit the road in their food truck and can sweeten special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, or graduations.
The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family’s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies—a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne’s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business’s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family’s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process—their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
Since first opening its doors in 1989, MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream has been a constant innovator in the world of ice cream. Its staff has dreamed up ice cream cupcakes, ice cream pizzas, and a long list of specialty ice cream flavors. During more than two decades in business, MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream has received numerous Blue Ribbon Awards from the National Ice Cream Retailers Association.
When people walk into Stan the Donut Man, they often inquire if Stan is still around. Store manager Jodi Fryman says he’s not; after he ran the shop for more than two decades, he sold it to his then employee, Janet Foster—Jodi’s mom—more than 14 years ago. But Janet, Jodi, and their staff still use his original recipes to craft their from-scratch treats. All day long, they’re pulling caramel-iced cinnamon rolls, blueberry cake donuts, custard-filled donuts, and chocolate cupcakes fresh from the oven.
The bakers let everything cool before making deliveries to area eateries and stores, but at Stan the Donut Man, customers can choose from still-warm treats. Though the shops are on the small side, there’s indoor and outdoor space for people to sit and enjoy their treats, especially at the Xenia location, which has more seating. But the from-scratch donuts are popular by the dozen for customers to take back home or bring to office proms.
The benevolent bakers, sweet-makers, and paddy-cakers at Big Sky Bread Company bake their muffins, cookies, and American and European breads fresh on the premises daily using Montana whole-wheat flour. Load up your tummy-oven with daily breads and pastries such as the mini French ($1.50), German rye ($4.50), jumbo cupcakes ($2.50), or pecan rolls ($2). Special dough delights crop up in daily specials such as the Jewish rye on Tuesdays ($4) and decadent cinnamon pecan, which rises to the occasion only Wednesdays through Fridays ($6).