Sweet Spots in Hamilton County
Hamilton County is one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions. It has a lot to offer: authentic downtowns, wineries, one-of-a-kind restaurants and havens for the sweet-toothed. Between nature walks, after a movie or an outing with family, a pit stop for treats can be necessary. Hamilton County is undoubtedly a hotspot for boutique sweet shops. Let’s dive in.
Main Street Treats, Inc.
Main Street Treats, Inc. crafts a variety of cupcakes, cookies and treats each day. It is also a candy shop with offerings like chocolate and gummy snacks. On top of that, the family-run operation, which began in November 2017, takes custom orders from clients. Main Street Treats makes custom cakes, cookie platters, gift baskets and more.
Creating a unique experience for clients can be as simple as a custom themed cake, but no matter how small its contribution, Main Street Treats is honored to help the community celebrate special memories. The boutique is happy to design custom décor and treats for your party at home, and it is just as glad to help you host your event in-store.
261 W. Main St, Carmel 46032 | MainStreeTreats.com | photography: Main Street Treats
No Label at the Table
Shelly Henley owns No Label at the Table, a transformative business that has touched the community. It began when Henley’s son Jacob, who is autistic, turned 18. His transition to adulthood proved tough as he aspired to be a chef, but Henley knew he was limited. Jacob was not verbal enough to make it through an interview; wherever he was to end up, Henley felt that his talents would go unnoticed.
“He has an incredible palate and, like most people on the spectrum, amazing detail and process skills. A dishwashing position would be a waste of his potential and most likely a disaster,” she says. “All parents want their children to grow up to be happy, fulfilled people.”
To appreciate your work and feel validated is important for everyone, but especially those with special needs. “Work has to be enjoyable, otherwise it’s another tedious task in a world that doesn’t always make sense,” Henley says. Looking back, she admits she should not have been surprised at her son’s dream to cook. The two of them spent quite some time in the kitchen, baking gluten free recipes and familiarizing themselves with the processes of cooking. It turned out to be satisfying, rewarding work for Jacob.
Henley always stressed to her children that the future is more than money. “You want to do something interesting,” she says, “to feel you are doing something useful. Your work adds to your self-worth.”
Henley and her family decided to make her son’s dream a reality while employing a full staff of 13 people on the Autistic Spectrum. Not only has No Label at the Table given Henley and her family a place for growth, but it has made the lives of others more meaningful as well.
The staff at No Label at the Table work together to make cakes and cupcakes for weddings, graduation parties and more. “Change is hard for people on the spectrum, but I see change every day at the bakery. My employees walk taller and prouder. They’re developing meaningful friendships,” Henley says. “I’d like to change people’s perspective of employing someone with a disability. Everyone is capable and valuable.”
No Label at the Table is in Carmel’s Art and Design District. It features a dedicated gluten and dairy-free kitchen and offers at least two vegan options a day. The bakery is humbled that the community has embraced its mission.
111 W. Main St, Carmel 46032 | NoLabelAtTheTable.com | photography: Hamilton County Tourism
Tanya Marshall couldn’t buy a good cake anywhere, so she opened Heavenly Sweets Cakes. For the last 25 years, it has been a leader in the wedding cake industry with its attention to detail. Marshall started Heavenly Sweets with the intention of using high quality, real ingredients, and continues to educate herself on the ins and outs of good baking.
Marshall strongly believes in keeping Heavenly Sweets small, a boutique, to enhance customer service and ensure that consumers get the interaction they need. “I am emotional about my product and want others to have just as much passion about it,” she says. Marshall bakes from scratch in the kitchen; it can’t get much better than that.
Heavenly Sweets is known for its cakes, but also for its buttercream icing, which looks “as smooth as fondant” and can take on any design. Heavenly Sweets has built its reputation on its signature icing and its cakes, but has expanded its offerings to cupcakes, tortes, pastries and more.
239 S. 8th St, Noblesville 46060 | HeavenlySweetsCakes.com | photography: Hamilton County Tourism
Titus Bakery now has a second location in Westfield, where it has been welcomed with open arms. Open seven days a week, it is a family-owned business that has earned a reputation for quality. Since 1980 it has operated in Lebanon, where William J. Titus rekindled his passion for baking. In 2012, he passed his pastry shop down to his daughter, Terry Rake, who has worked to expand the business in all regards. Titus Bakery added its delicatessen in 2014, where it proudly offers Boar’s Head meat and cheese on homemade hoagie buns. In this venture, the bakery and deli has introduced its own line of coffee, popcorn and specialty drinks.
As well as hoagies, Titus Bakery and Deli is known for its Pershing Donut—light and fluffy with a cinnamon swirl—and apple fritters. Titus uses first-rate ingredients and old-fashioned family recipes to make its sweets. It has been featured in local and national publications like Reader’s Digest and is continuously ranked in the top three for best donuts and bakery by Indiana A-List voters.
Titus Bakery and Deli hopes to give back to its community through donations to local non-profits and causes; it is immensely appreciative of the support it has received in past years.
17471 Wheeler Rd. Ste 110, Westfield 46074 | TitusBakery.com | photography: Hamilton County Tourism
Mammamia Gelato’s owners and Italian natives, Lucio Romani and Stefano Gangitano, have brought a little piece of home to Indianapolis. Mammamia makes their gelato on site each morning, using fresh Italian ingredients and infusions of flowers and butter to create smooth, sweet gelato. All flavors are gluten-free and the parlor offers vegan and lactose-free options, too.
Gelato making is an Italian tradition and Mammamia has gifted Carmel with a first-hand look at the process. Not only is the gelato fresh, the shop also takes custom orders for gelato cakes. If gelato doesn’t ring your bell, Mammamia Gelato sells Italian pastries, cannoli and more. If customers find themselves in need of caffeine, they can purchase an espresso with—or for—dessert.
834 W. Main St, Carmel 46032 | MammamiaIndy.com | photography: Mammamia Gelato
Four Day Ray
In October of 2016, Four Day Ray Brewing opened its doors. Located in the Nickel Plate District in Fishers, it is a family friendly brewery/restaurant that offers a unique setting for private parties and corporate events. The establishment also includes a beer garden that welcomes dogs.
Four Day Ray prides itself on being the place to bring people together. The four owners, Brian Graham, Mitch Ackerman, Matt Troyer and Chris Welsh, pay close attention to detail in their brewing. The team tested their first brews for two years to ensure the quality was up to par; the concept of the restaurant is chef-driven.
“We hold every dish from our scratch kitchen to high standards, using locally sourced ingredients,” says marketing and events director Brooke Killey.
The kitchen at Four Day Ray is known for its hand-breaded tenderloin, though its dessert menu is extensive. FDR offers a signature ice cream sandwich of the day, using house-made cookies and ice cream. On top of this, the restaurant/brewery offers a Nutella s’mores blondie, sugar cream pie and more.
11671 Lantern Rd, Fishers 46038 | FourDayRay.com | photography: Four Day Ray
CRAVE Ice Cream Social
The universe can work in mysterious ways. For Amanda Grollnek, owner of CRAVE Ice Cream Social, the timing couldn’t have been better. Amanda and her husband Scott were wrestling with the decision to follow Amanda’s workplace to Tennessee. In the interest of the family, the couple wanted to stay in Indianapolis. This left some loose ends to tie up: one way or another, someone would be out of a job. Amidst this, one night at dinner Scott’s mother mentioned that there weren’t any ice cream shops at Geist Reservoir. Scott Grollnek, being the entrepreneurial thinker that he is, took matters into his own hands. He inquired about a space for lease and he and Amanda began researching and taste testing, blossoming their brand. Opening an ice cream shop at Geist seemed to be the perfect alternative to living in Nashville.
Today, CRAVE offers more than 24 flavors of homemade ice cream made by Good’s Candy Shop in Anderson. Other treats like local honey, Nicey Treats and coffee are offered, too, along with a selection of baked goods that are made in-house. Many of the products are local at CRAVE, and the shop even takes custom orders for parties. It can make customized ice cream cakes and baked goods, as well, and catering is offered.
CRAVE Ice Cream Social proudly sponsors local school and club activities. It gives back to its community through dine-to-donate events, raising money for sports clubs and beyond. The staff is small— the shop employs 16 workers, most of them students from surrounding high schools. Overall, though, CRAVE is a family-operated business. Amanda and Scott Grollneck own the shop while their daughter supervises when she is home from college.
“Customer service and delicious treats are our top priorities,” says Amanda. “We want our customers to have a great experience from the time they enter the shop until their last bite.”
11691 Fall Creek Rd #115, Indianapolis 46256 | CraveIceCreamSocial.com | photography: Hamilton County Tourism