The Tri-State’s Sweetest Treats

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    Thanks to the upcoming holiday season, you may find your sweet tooth wants to come out and play more often. Although sweets are good in moderation, you don’t want to miss out on some of the hottest spots in the city.


    Holtman’s Donuts
    Holtman’s Donuts has been around since May of 1960 when the first store opened in Loveland. Since then, this popular donut destination has opened two more stores – one in Williamsburg in October 2009 and another in Over-the-Rhine last month.

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    Katie Willing and her fiancĂ© Danny Plazarin own the shop in Over-the-Rhine. “Danny’s has always dreamed of opening his own donut shop to continue his family’s legacy,” Willing explains.


    Plazarin’s grandfather, Charles Holtman, was the original founder of the donut shops and his daughter Toni and her husband Chuck have continued to run the shops since 1995.


    If you venture out to Holtman’s, you’ll can’t miss out on the opportunity to try some of the most popular items on the menu. Willing says the bear claws, maple bacon donuts and the kettle danish are customers’ favorites.


    What’s more is the shops make fresh donuts each and every day. “We make sure that everything is fresh and made with the best quality ingredients,” she says. “We also make the icings and glazes from scratch everyday.”


    Willing says the shops are always trying out fun and creative donuts. “We’ve been throwing around ideas on different flavors for the donuts, too,” she says.


    You can find out about specials and new arrivals by visiting Holtman’s Facebook page.


    Maribelle Cakery
    If you’ve been looking for a place to find delicious and creative cakes, we’ve got the place for you. Maribelle Cakery has been around since 1989, but the newest shop opened in June 2011.


    “The business started in Norwood, then moved to the Bridal District in Reading,” explains Maribelle Cakery owner Angela Grillo. “When I purchased Maribelle, I had big plans for the business and moved it to a location where we would have room for a school and to offer more than just special order cakes.”


    Grillo has always been involved in the arts and loves the creativity that comes along with it. It was the ability to create something beautiful and that tastes amazing that made Grillo want to own Maribelle. “I wanted to take it to the next level of creating fun visional stimulation with some of the most flavorful cakes and pastries in the city,” she adds.


    If you visit Maribelle, you’ll find that some of the most popular items include the pumpkin cake and cupcakes, orange butter strawberry cream cake, orange cranberry scones, the diva cake and cupcakes and the chocolate chip biscotti cookies. They also have a very special coffee cake and can make a mad pumpkin muffin. The cakery’s signature part cakes are also popular with customers.


    According to Grillo, Maribelle really is where you’ll find some of the best cake in the city. It’s moist, flavorful and dreamy. Plus, they make all their own recipes, decorations and sugar flowers in-house. “We use the finest and freshest ingredients like Normandy butter and the world’s finest chocolate – Callebaut chocolate from Belgium,” explains Grillo.


    If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet cravings on the spot, Maribelle recently started at walk-in business at the Chevoit Avenue location. There you’ll find baked goods and speciality items for the upcoming holiday season. The cakery’s school will be opening in January and Grillow is very excited that the advanced learning classes have already started to fill up. “We’ll also be offering weekend classes for those that just want to learn a basic skill,” Grillo adds.


    You can learn more about Maribelle by visiting the cakery’s website or checking out their Facebook page.


    Gigi’s Cupcakes
    When Amy and Chuck Jones opened Gigi’s Cupcakes in November 2012, it was something they always knew they wanted to do. Gigi’s is a locally owned and operated franchise and is named after founder “Gigi” Butler.


    “Once we tried these amazing cupcakes,” Amy explains, “we knew we had to bring Gigi’s Cupcakes to Cincinnati.”


    According to Amy, their most popular flavors include Wedding Cake, Ketucky Bourbon and their latest fall flavors – Apple Pie and Chocolate Salted Caramel.


    Amy says they currently have Halloween-themed “BooBoxes” on special, and in the future, you can expect them to soon offer specialty cupcakes for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also have mini cupcakes, cheesecake flavors and elegant wedding cupcakes.


    Plus, Amy says, Gigi’s is now offering Gluten-Free cupcake options, available for pickup each Friday. Varieties include Gluten Free Wedding Cake, Gluten Free Birthday Surprise and Gluten Free White Hot Chocolate.


    You can learn more about Gigi’s Cupcakes by visiting their website or Facebook page.