Socially Distant Sweets: Order from These Local Bakeries
We’ve been encouraged to stay home amid the COVID-19 crisis, but Charlotte bakeries are serving up sweets — like cookies, milkshakes and macarons — that you can enjoy from your couch.
by Jessica Swannie Feb 03, 2021
Per a COVID-19-related Mecklenburg County health directive issued Jan. 12, 2021, please note that some businesses may have modified their hours of operation and changed procedures in order to comply with CDC and Mecklenburg County Health Department guidelines. Please wear a mask, limit any non-essential activities and refrain from gathering with anyone outside of your household.
Sweeten all the social distancing with a quarantine snack from your favorite bakery. Whether you’re close enough for a quick pickup or prefer to have your dessert arrive at the door, these Queen City staples have you covered.
From the kitchen of owner/baker Tiffany Simmons, these artisan cheesecakes come in creative flavors like crème brûlée kisses, Funfetti and 24carrot magic. Cheesecake pops and mini cheesecakes are also available. Order online at least 48 hours in advance. Local delivery is available Tuesday through Saturday.
Get your pastry fix with a treat from Amélie's French Bakery & Café. Choose from French macarons, salted caramel brownies, eclairs, tarts, palmiers, tea cakes, twice-baked croissants and custom cakes. You can place an order online or call the bakery of your choice directly. Bakery hours for dining in, pickup and delivery vary by location and can be found on the café’s website.
Ashworth’s Cookies opened during the pandemic as a hobby turned business for Michael Ashworth. The decadent cookies are a massive 5.5 ounces with the perfect mix of crunchy and gooey. The flagship cookie is the chocolate chip walnut, but other flavors like oreo, oatmeal raisin and Reese’s are becoming fast favorites. Order online by the single cookie, half dozen or dozen(s) and pick up at the store during the week or at neighboring Sweet Spot Studio on the weekends. Nationwide shipping is also available.
Neighborhood: University City
Binki Cafe is known for its colorful bubble tea options, but it also has delicious Filipino desserts like the Halo-Halo and Banana Turon. Stop by the cafe to order or order delivery via DoorDash.
The Cheesecake Studio, a home-based dessert company, has become known for its unique cheesecake combinations (think apple pie or Funfetti cheesecake). Other popular items include infused cheesecake cupcakes and mini cheesecakes. Orders should be placed 48 hours in advance. Delivery is available for $10.
Since 2016, Christine “Chrissy” Lowe has been crafting delectable desserts including custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes, sweet rolls and muffins. With a home kitchen based in Matthews, Chrissy is able to deliver within a 30-mile radius. Order via the online form on Facebook or Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coco and the Director is Uptown's go-to for coffee and dessert needs. Pick up assorted pastries, cronuts, tea and coffee to-go.
Area: Davidson, NC
If you’re craving decadent truffles, bonbons and confections, place an order at this family-owned sweets shop for pickup or delivery. At the helm of the kitchen is owner/pastry chef Ana Vogel, who honed her skills and love for desserts and chocolates in Venezuela before coming to Charlotte and taking over Davidson Chocolate Co. For orders over $40, delivery is free to select areas in Davidson.
If you’re a fan of the rich, unique ice cream flavors, head to Golden Cow Creamery pronto. This family-owned, small-batch ice cream shop is committed to serving all-natural ingredients and giving back to the community. Stop by to order a scoop (or two) to-go or to enjoy on the patio or order via DoorDash for delivery.
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
Stop by this sweet Optimist Hall staple for a scoop of gelato or sorbet, a milkshake or a pint with popular flavors like salted caramel brownie, chocolate brownie chunk, brown butter crunch and bananas foster, among other rotating flavors.
Founded in 2003 by college students craving a late-night snack, Insomnia Cookies now has more than 100 locations across the nation including three in Charlotte. Insomnia was built on the concept of delivering warm cookies right to your doorstep, but you can also pick up your order at the location closest to you. Order the combo with two cookies and a glass of milk or by the half dozen, dozen or larger quantities, and don’t miss the mini cookies, ice cream, cookie cakes and cookie ice cream sandwiches. Order online, select your store and choose pickup (curbside is available at select locations), delivery or ship — and enjoy!
Known for its creamy, smooth texture and creative flavors, Jeni’s has quickly become a Charlotte favorite. Stop in one of the three area locations or order delivery — and if you order four pints, delivery is free! Jeni’s also offers nationwide shipping at a flat rate with a frozen guarantee.
Neighborhood: Carried in various stores across the region, online
These wholesome, all-natural pops feature only three to five ingredients but more than 500 flavors have been produced since the popular concept's inception. Search the King of Pops website to find stores near you that carry the pops, or order online to get all of your usual pop flavors (nationwide shipping is available). King of Pops also has dairy and vegan options as well as “King of Pups” frozen treats for dogs!
Baker Krysten Parris launched Krystens Custom Craves from her home kitchen in 2017, where she makes every batch from scratch. She specializes in cookies, brownies, blondies and hot drink mixes as well as cupcakes, mini pies, mini bundt cakes and other custom goodies. Pre-order 24 to 48 hours in advance online, by phone at 631.637.5667 or by email to email@example.com. Delivery or pickup in Steele Creek is available for all local orders. Krysten also offers virtual cooking classes, catering services and weekly recipes via her blog Breakfast Bakes Bubbly.
Area: Mooresville, NC
This independently owned national franchise serves up hot, fresh doughnuts with a distinctive texture and taste. Pick up your favorite, try a new flavor, or call ahead at 704.663.0482 for large or custom orders. Delivery is also available via Grubhub.
Neighborhood: South End
This iconic South End staple is open for dine-in and outdoor seating and is serving its full menu — soft serve ice cream included! You can also call ahead for takeout orders. Masks are required and social distancing is highly encouraged.
Neighborhood: University City
Known for its vibrant, Instagram-worthy treats, Ninety’s Ice Cream is serving Charlotte with fun desserts to enjoy at home. To help limit contact, the shop is offering online ordering and front door pickup, or you can get your dessert delivered via Uber Eats or DoorDash. Select from options like ice cream, fudge brownie ice cream sandwiches, macaron ice cream sandwiches, gooey cookie sundaes and specialty milkshakes.
Sweeten your weekend with a dozen doughnuts from Pepperbox Doughnuts. The light, airy and savory treats come in popular flavors like seal salt milk chocolate, cinnamon-spiced maple bourbon, olive oil and tangerine glazed and apple fritter. Vegan options are also available. You can order online for same-day delivery or schedule pickups in advance.
Area: Concord, NC
The Percantile and Creamery is the go-to spot in Concord for coffee and ice cream. This 1920s-themed coffee, dessert and ice cream shop serves the community a variety of sweets including brownies, ice cream, cookies, cronuts, cakes, cinnamon rolls, croissants and chocolates. You can place your order at the shop, call 980.299.6969 or order via Cloosiv. Delivery is available through GrubHub or direct from the shop for any order over $50.
Missing your favorite frosted treats from SAS Cupcakes? Stop in for a made-from-scratch cupcake or pick them up curbside (call, direct message or email to order). Local delivery is also available via GrubHub and Uber Eats. Flavors rotate daily. Try favorites like strawberries n’ creme, German chocolate, Bailey’s Irish cream and marble swirl.
Neighborhood: Cotswold/Providence Park
This award-winning family of bakers, confectioners and chocolatiers is here to help make your quarantine sweet. Look for truffles, bon bons, caramels, toffees, barks, cookies, brownies and all sorts of treats covered in chocolate. Order online or call 704.323.8178 to place an order for pickup. You can also get your treats delivered or shipped if you live farther away.
Area: Huntersville, NC
Smallcakes Carolinas is still baking its fresh cupcakes daily. Stop by for cupcakes, brownies, cookie sandwiches and even custom cakes. To place an order for pickup, call 704.727.0284 or order delivery via GrubHub or Uber Eats.
Neighborhood: Montford Park
Known for its photo-worthy treats, Suárez Bakery has always been a takeout-only shop, but it also offers same-day or next-day takeout, curbside pickup or delivery. The shop has all of your favorites stocked, from cakes, cupcakes and cookies to doughnuts (including the popular Texas Doughnut Cake), pastries and cold desserts. Order online or by calling 704.525.0145. A spinoff of Suarez Bakery, Suarez Bakery & Barra, is also open in Optimist Hall.
This scratch-made bakery is a go-to for locals craving breakfast or dessert. If you’re craving something sweet, Sunflour serves up favorites like breakfast sandwiches and pastries as well as cakes and cupcakes.. You can get your goodies via carryout or delivery via third-party delivery services.
Sweet Spot Studio offers in-person and online dessert classes for all levels of bakers (including kids!). The Sweet Spot at Home program features DIY kits and kits for online classes like a French macaron class, candy bar class, cake doughnut class and more. Baking supplies are also available for purchase online.
SWIRL is known for its cupcakes, but it’s serving more than just frosted treats during quarantine. Depending on what you’re craving, you can enjoy cookies, fudge, blossoms, a “smashwich,” ice cream and, of course, fresh-baked, made-to-order cupcakes (you choose your flavor, frosting and toppings, and it’s decorated as you order). You can place an order in person at the shop, online, by text or phone at 704.258.1209, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Delivery is available via DoorDash.
Area: Belmont, NC
If you’re craving the perfect mix of salty and sweet, Tastebuds Popcorn offers more than 200 flavors of popcorn. Look for options like triple salted caramel, birthday cake, tropical fruit, and rainbow cookies and cream. Order online or by phone at 704.461.8755 for pickup, local delivery or shipping. For customers in the delivery zone, a minimum order of $10 is required. Delivery is free for orders over $50.
Indulge in warm, fresh-baked cookies from Tiff’s Treats (backed by Charlotte-native Brooklyn Decker and her husband Andy Roddick). From warm, gooey cookies and brownies to ice cream and frost ‘ems, Tiff’s has all the sweets you need for your next craving, small (and socially distanced) get-together, or a “thinking of you” or “get well soon” gift. Buy them by the dozen or get a special package for an upcoming holiday or special occasion. To keep cookies as fresh as possible, only a small supply is available in the store. Order ahead online or via the Tiff’s Treat app for pickup or delivery.
Neighborhood: South End
Choose from a variety of decadent confections from Twenty Degrees Chocolates in the Design Center. Look for sweets like artisan chocolate bars, caramels and bonbons. Shop in the store or order online for pickup or delivery
Craving the super-blue cookie monster ice cream? Or maybe a scoop of strawberry cheesecake? Stop by Two Scoops Creamery to get a scoop (or three) or a pint to-go or order via Grubhub or Postmates if you are in the delivery area near one of the shops. Bonus: You can order ice cream cakes, too.
No matter the weather, a chilled cup of custard can really hit the spot. Visit one of the three area locations for made-to-order custard (also available to-go by the pint or quart), sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits, or “Whittes” (cookie custard sandwiches) in a variety of flavors.
You may be spending more time at home, but at least you can spend time at home with gourmet, made-from-scratch doughnuts. The popular square-shaped doughnuts come in a variety of flavors like vanilla bean, salted caramel and lemon honey as well as a weekly rotating list of creative specialty flavors. The Matthews and Park Road Shopping Center locations are accepting pre-orders online or walk-up orders (only card payments will be accepted). A limited supply of doughnuts is also sold at sister concept Your Mom’s Bazaar in Davidson and at the Davidson Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. Delivery is also available in select delivery zones.
Next time you’re craving something sweet, skip the grocery store cookies and purchase something local instead. These decadent homemade treats will support Charlotte businesses, so it’s something you can feel good about. And the rumors are true — quarantine carbs don’t count!
Article originally written by Jessica Swannie. Updates by Kristen Moore.