Over the past four decades, Starbucks has bloomed from a single coffee shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market to more than 17,000 stores responsible for caffeinating 55 countries. The company’s smiling, green-aproned baristas have become the mascots of many people’s morning routine, pouring cups of dark, medium, and blonde roast for coffee purists and adding shots of caramel or white chocolate to more elaborate espresso creations and treats such as a Frappuccino blended beverage.
Concerned with more than flavour, Starbucks strives to fill its menu with responsibly sourced coffee, cocoa, and tea that protect the farmers and bioregions they come from. These efforts have earned the company a spot on Ethisphere's 2013 list of the world's most ethical companies.
After years as a nurse in an ICU, Rachael Miller wanted a career change and the chance to run her own business. So, she traded in her scrubs for an apron and founded The Cupcake Shoppe. Rachael always loved to bake, and now it's the first thing she does every day; she rises early to prepare the batter for her cupcakes, which she bakes in seven signature flavors available every day. These always-available staples include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and red velvet. But Rachel also gets creative, adding two additional specialty cupcakes to her menu every morning. These more unusual recipes often borrow flavors from other desserts—Oreo and snickerdoodle cupcakes, for example, have bits of cookie infused into them, while Boston cream cupcakes evoke the flavors of the cream pies American revolutionaries once threw in the faces of colonial soldiers.
The iced toddy, a cold-brewed coffee over ice, is one of the many special artisanal drinks on the menu at Coffee Waves. You can get a caffeine boost with both cold and hot drinks here. Grab a drink like the grasshopper frap and feel free to lounge among the cozy seating area, which has local art hung on its exposed brick and stone walls. In addition to drinks, you can order panini stuffed with Boar's Head meats and pastries selected from local bakeries. Feel free to use the free wireless internet to get some work done or post updates about the current temperature of your coffee. The Coffee Waves downtown location just had its grand reopening after being closed for renovations.
Close to the shores of Copano Bay, Crofutt's Sandwich Shop & Bakery has been slinging sandwiches in made-from-scratch buns alongside fresh-baked cookies and breads for more than 33 years. Sandwich selections come stacked with turkey and avocado ($5.95) or in a stately pile deemed the ham-and-swiss supreme ($5.95), and fresh garden salad ($4.95) dresses up in a stately robe of house dressing. The shrimp po boy ($6.40) makes for a hearty seafood lunch and disassembles into bun paddles for pickup games of shrimp pong. Crofutt’s also hosts a slew of fresh-baked goods, all made from whole-grain flours. Diners can nosh on cinnamon rolls of warm banana-nut bread, then exploit their sugar magic to dominate the fishing, crabbing, and boating activities that the nearby coast has to offer.
When Debbi Fields opened the first Mrs. Fields in 1977, it wasn?t all sunshine and cookies. Between her lack of business experience and the unorthodox business model?selling only cookies?not many people believed in her. More than 30 years and a global franchise later, it?s safe to say the doubters are eating their words, at least when they're not busy stuffing their faces with one of Debbi's signature semisweet chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies.
The wild popularity of Mrs. Fields's cookies can be attributed to the richness of their basic ingredients: real butter, whole eggs, and special blends of chocolate. Classic flavors include chewy fudge, peanut butter, and white chocolate macadamia, and seasonal flavors complement the lineup throughout the year. Select varieties can also be made into cookie cakes of various sizes and shapes that add a delicious twist to any celebration or milk-truck spill.
Since 1981, TCBY has been synonymous with frozen yogurt. The company spearheaded the guiltless consumption of low-fat, chilled dairy treats with iconic flavors such as white chocolate mousse topped with fresh fruit and candy. Today, TCBY yogurt shops across the country continue the tradition with classic and specialty flavors such as caramel supreme, greek honey vanilla, and sugar- and fat-free mountain blackberry. Patrons can also enjoy real fruit sorbets, sugarless options, and more than 35 toppings and choose from soft-serve and hand-dipped flavors.
The Marble Slab Creamery sensory experience begins by just walking past the storefront, where the buttery scent of fresh-baked waffle cones drifts out into the air. Gourmet ice creams are freshly crafted on site from Marble Slab?s original recipe, enticing customer's eyes with a rainbow of colors. Once clients have made a flavor selection, they choose from a smorgasbord of mix-ins, from fresh fruit to nuts to candy and crumbled cookies, which an ice cream chef then hand-folds in atop a frosty marble slab before packing the finished custom-designed flavor masterpiece into a house-made waffle cone.
In addition to procuring hand-held treats, Marble Slab Creamery can send creations home in a variety of other formats, such as ice cream cakes, cupcakes, and hand-packed quarts, or in the capable hands of a catering team for sprucing up special events such a corporate get-togethers or school functions with portable marble slabs or sundae bars in tow.