Lofty Pursuits came onto the scene in 1993 as a toy store but as the economy turned owner Greg Cohen knew he needed to mix things up. With a new location opportunity opening he decided to turn his store mostly visited around Christmastime into a place people would frequent year round so the candy and ice cream extension was born, or as Greg would call it “an extension of his childhood”. They offer an extensive menu (12 pages to be exact!) of soda jerk favorites such as Classic Fizzy Soda, Rickeys, and Ades to 52 Sundaes topped with homemade sauces and whipped creams, to Spectaculars which include ice cream sushi, baklava sundae, and they even pay homage to Jahn’s Kitchen Sink that truly is served in a kitchen sink! And folks, we’re only getting started.
What makes Lofty Pursuits even more unique is their folded hard candy made in store 5 days a week. Take a seat at the bar stools and enjoy watching Wes Raley, the Candy Expert, walk you through turning bubbling sugar into custom hard candy with a process 100 years old! For more traditional hard candy drops Wes can be seen using tools dating back to the late 1800’s…no big deal, right? The quality is top notch using only the best ingredients to yield the most true to taste delicious candies around. While visiting I was able to sample a handful of flavors such as cherry (made with pure cherry oil), peach (fuzzy in your mouth I’m not kidding), coffee, and a holiday favorite pumpkin. Making your mouth water yet? Thanks to technology you can watch the process on their live candy stream at http://www.pd.net and purchase your favorite flavors or place a custom order.
While visiting with Greg, and tasting little bites of heaven, I was flooded with so much insightful history about ice cream, the science behind hard candies, and the chemical reaction of the flavors in my mouth. The entire store is a throwback to the corner soda fountain with bits of history draped throughout the décor. One thing’s for sure is that there is no lack of love and passion behind this place and the excellent customer service is the cherry on top!
Now let’s talk taste. Picking a favorite was hard because I tasted everything from a Green River made with lemon soda that was whole lemons moments earlier to a Raspberry Freeze made with homemade sauce and don’t forget about the fresh whipped cream made from cream of Florida cows delivered weekly. And talk about details; all the way down to using a more traditional malt powder to make sure it’s never gritty in your mouth to the Sprecher root beer brought in by the kegs to the vegan cherries naturally died and flavored so they actually taste like cherries to the whew, have I overwhelmed you with their awesome yet?
Call me partial to a savory sweet but my favorite was the butter pecan ice cream topped with their butter caramel sauce. It was rich, saucy, and complimented each other perfectly. My recommendation would be to order the Toffee and Turvey sundae which is caramel toffee crunch ice cream topped with warm butter caramel, crushed heath bars, and vanilla whipped cream. With 52 Sundaes for every Sunday of the year let’s call this our weekly tradition and I’ll see you next week!
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