Health and flavor don’t always go hand-in-hand, but Jitterbug Bakery strikes a perfect balance with its baked goods, made with hormone-free, antibiotic-free local dairy and eggs, as well as its vegan and gluten-free menu items. Staffers serve up coffee roasted and custom-blended locally by PERC, accompanied by signature blueberry-peach muffins and mocha-swirl muffins. Like the White House’s street address, the shop’s soups change daily, and are served aside breads in unique flavors such as oatmeal maple. The comfy lounge area feels more like a living room than a store, outfitted with hardwood floors and twin red couches strewn with pillows. Book clubs convene in the bakery once a month, with each club focusing on a specific genre, such as fiction, nonfiction, mystery, or Mad Libs.
A candy-striped awning welcomes customers into the cool shade of Ice Cream Etcetera, where workers scoop 24 varieties of ice cream into regular and waffle cones. After choosing single, double, or towering triple scoops of such flavors as toffee almond fudge, butter pecan, and mint chocolate chip, patrons can coat their dairy treats with toppings of whipped cream or hot fudge. Warm brownies can also support slow-melting scoops, or spoons can dive into banana splits, named to celebrate the banana's split from its longtime adversary, the plantain. Savory teeth rejoice over the shop’s hot dogs, tuna melts, chicken salad, and salami sandwiches.
Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2012 Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. As the shop’s reputation has grown, so has its menu. Today, chefs churn out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet cookies, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&Ms, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real show-stoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with congradulatory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.