When Palermo’s Bakery opened nearly three decades ago, it was a small storefront affair. Husband and wife team, Joanne and Jerry Bruno, baked small-scale confections at first, but over the years, Jerry became adventurous, constructing elaborate designer cakes that grew more intricate over the years. Twenty-five years later, thanks in part to those same creations, the small Italian bakery has grown into two custom cake shops with more than 50 staff members.
Still helmed by the Bruno family, Palermo's Bakery creates lavish wedding cakes bursting with fondant flowers, and specialty cakes sculpted into an array of improbable shapes, such as 3D champagne bottles. Though baked goods and pastries vary by location, they often include more than 20 flavors of cookies, Italian treats such as cannoli, and kosher desserts such as rugalech. All of the duo’s whimsical creations are available for pick-up or delivery.
A globally recognized sweet shop, Beard Papa's converts traditional desserts into decadent, fresh-baked, hand-labored lovables. Its all-natural cream puffs ($1.75 each) exhibit a complex, crispy outer choux pastry packed with mouth-melting, fluffy whip-cream flavor derived from imported vanilla beans and hours of diligent daydreaming. Available in classic cream and hybrid chocolate, strawberry, espresso, or tea flavors, Beard Papa's cream puffs pluck and pair well with any warm autumn beverage or apathetic frenemy. Outside the realm of spherical sweetness, the shop also puts out single-serving fondant au chocolate engorged with gooey Belgian chocolate ($2.25), a variety of wheel-shaped Paris Brest ($2.25), and mochi ice cream balls—a Japanese confection made up of pounded sticky rice and ice-cream filling ($1.65). Celebrate another year where the moon hasn't accidentally rear-ended the earth with the cream puffs of Beard Papa's.
With locations in six states, 16 Handles is carving out a delicious space for itself in the self-serve frozen-yogurt world. In addition to rewarding customers’ cravings with a rotating daily selection of 16 flavors—each packed with protein, probiotics, and calcium—the healthy-dessert emporium sets itself apart from its competitors through its eco-friendly practices. 16 Handles not only arms its patrons with biodegradable cups and spoons crafted from cornstarch, but it also works with Trees for the Future, an organization that assists global communities in growing trees for agriculture, food, and animal habitat. Through their partnership, 16 Handles has planted 91,284 trees so far, one-quarter of which grow frozen yogurt instead of leaves.
Screme's menu abounds with luscious, low-fat gelatos and sorbets made from natural ingredients. The gelato gurus invoke traditional Italian methods—singing arias while stirring ingredients—to craft more than 5,000 creamy flavors. Screme's two new gelato drinks include the vegan Pure Passion, blended from passion-fruit sorbet into a chilled sippable, and the Scremo, which boasts an awakening mixture of ground espresso beans, milk, and an alarm clock set to Barry Gibb accompanied by piccolo. Choose a pair of the same flavor or a mixed double to alternate sweet sips.
For Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, serving flavorful cups of coffee is more of an art than a job. Their dedication to their brews starts with importing beans directly from farmers in East Africa, Latin America, and the South Pacific who share the company's sustainability- and quality-minded goals. Roastmaster Clyde Miller at the Hudson Valley roasting facility takes over from there, nurturing each batch of beans in specialized machines to bring out their bold tastes and discover any stowaway marshmallows hiding inside. Inside cafes, baristas brew Irving Farm's beans in small batches to maintain their freshness, even going so far as to brew them by the cup for especially discriminating patrons.