A Barbie doll is wearing an ornate pink dress, with a huge skirt puffing outward. Despite how realistic it looks, Barbie's five-layer fashion statement is the not the work of a toy designer, but the handiwork of Danielle Wilson, the baker behind Vanilla Bean Bakery. Danielle sells her handcrafted cupcakes and specialty cakes via phone, carefully customizing each order to customer needs. It all started when she supplied her young nephew, a budding athlete, with a basketball-shaped cake on his birthday. She discovered she has a knack for cake-based artistry, which led her to start her own business meticulously sculpting the complex cakes, such as Barbie, whose highly detailed dress represented nearly a day's worth of work. Danielle's specialty cake masterpieces have included an alligator, popular cartoon characters, and her street’s first buttercream fire hydrant.
The frost aficionados at Philly Italian Ice scoop and blend cold concoctions from a menu of Hershey’s premium ice cream, gelati, and more than 30 tasty italian-ice flavors made with real fruit. Signature italian Ices ($1.25–$3.25) span the flavor spectrum from strawberry-kiwi and guava to sugar-free lemon. Soft-serve ice cream plops atop italian ice to form smooth and sweet gelati ($1.50–$4.25), and Hershey's premium ice cream ($1.95–$4.75) revives taste buds dulled from years of licking firecrackers with cookie dough, praline pecan, or the triple threat of the peanut-butter-caramel cookie dough. Straws dip into the specialty coffee-custard drink ($2.25–$2.75) and its sea of Godiva-crème-brûlée coffee and milky soft-serve ice cream or swirl around the natural smoothies ($3.95) and milkshakes ($3.95) to create sumptuous confectionary whirlpools.
Founded nearly 25 years ago on a frozen foundation of nonporous, 5-degree granite, Cold Stone Creamery has blossomed into a nationally recognized ice-cream parlor distinguished by its daily creations of sweet treats. Fruit, nuts, and candy collaborate with ice-cream flavors such as french vanilla, sweet cream, and cake batter to manifest a signature sundae or a personalized creation made to match customers' tastes and 5th-birthday-party footage. Smoothies and shakes sate sippers, and fruity sorbets, nonfat ice creams, and tangy frozen yogurt satisfy the need for healthy indulgences.
The friendly clothing cleansers at Martinizing Dry Cleaning have been scrubbing enrobements in an eco-friendly manner since upgrading to new GreenEarth technology. Get blouses ($5.20), slacks ($5.20), and golf shirts ($4.50) cleaned, freshly dried, and folded, with services also available for plain dresses ($8.95), as well as sports coats and blazers ($5.80). The noble employees will confront any stain with strong words and all the dirt-scattering ammo in their arsenal, ensuring garments return to customers soft, clean, and smelling like pastoral Latvian pancake houses.
Helmed by cake designer Mercedes Strachwsky, Bake Me a Cake is stuffed with sugary morsels that have sweet-talked celebrity palates including Paris Hilton and Shaquille O'Neal. Gluten-free french macaroons sandwich sweet fillings and edible berets between two tiny cookies, alluring eaters with an array of flavors and a spectrum of psychedelic colors. Bakers box up a dozen small cupcakes, bite-size creations available in 24 cake flavors including amaretto, pumpkin, german chocolate, and hazelnut.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.