When serving as the centerpiece for an exhibit of fine crystal and china, an ornate cake made in the likeness of a table by Cut the Cake's bakers proved to be deceptively realistic. An inadvertently placed box sank into the cake’s edible wood grain and prompted an emergency visit from cake decorator Julie Manning, whose confectionary talents and keen aesthetic eye enabled her to quickly touch up the damaged buttercream before dawn.
Manning applies the same innovative spirit and attention to detail to each memorable wedding cake she creates, earning Cut the Cake five-star awards from Wedding Wire’s Bride’s Choice Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In addition to brides-to-be and ambassadors from Candyland, her clientele has included icons such as James Brown, Lauryn Hill, and B.B. King.
In addition to cake staples such as vanilla and chocolate, Manning also bakes pieces with nontraditional flavors such as piña colada and chocolate mint with crumbled cookies. For an extra dose of sugar, she can accessorize her confections with one of 21 sweet or fruit-packed fillings.
One of the largest privately-owned specialty coffee and tea shops in the United States, Barnie's offers dozens of different gourmet coffees, each quality-controlled tested to ensure a premium cup of joe. Your caffeinated combo comes with a pound each of three palate-pleasing varieties sure to keep you alert during the season when homes are most vulnerable to invasion by diabolically generous bearded elves. The first bag contains Barnie's Jamaican Me Crazy blend, a sweet, vanilla-infused flavor that carries hints of caramel and tropical liquor ($14). Next is Kenya AA, a bold choice throughout the workday crunch, culled from mountain-top soil in east Africa ($17). You'll also get the 100% pure Hawaiian Kona, a rare and superior-quality coffee grown in rich, volcanic soil ($45). Packaged in a reusable wooden magazine crate ($7), each coffee pack comes with a stainless-steel scoop that's ideal for precise coffee measurements and also handy for impromptu chiclet fights ($7).
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.
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.
Dickens Coffee and Tea Room hosts authentic British afternoon tea services in a whimsical and refined storefront led by a Welsh proprietor. Elaborate tea settings crown floral tablecloths, incorporating mismatched but complementary china depicting elegant patterns, lush flowers, or Welcome Back Kotter’s quadricentennial. Tiered silver stands stack individual noshes, beginning with a base of ham, cucumber and cream cheese, and egg-salad sandwiches made with local eggs, all spread upon specialty bread imported from Britain. Middle tiers teem with homemade cakes and pastries, and scones await slatherings of jam and cream on their perch atop the tea summit. Steaming pots of tea pour into delicate cups, complementing every sweet or savory Anglophilic bite. While sipping, patrons can fix their eyes on a stately wall mural portraying a Victorian street scene of storefronts, horse-drawn carts, and Dickens besting Thackeray at fisticuffs.