A brownie is not just a brownie when Stephanie DeBlase is in the kitchen.
Instead you might find an orange brownie with garlic and walnuts, a dark chocolate brownie with blueberries, goat cheese and a hint of lemon, or a chocolate brownie with feta and olives.
Talk about a creative use of ingredients.
The new local business owner proves just as inventive with her gourmet mac-and-cheese combinations -- like smoked Gouda mac-and-cheese with
shaved bittersweet chocolate on top.
Same goes for the other desserts in bakery cases that tempt customers. "Stevie," as friends know her, makes a mean peanut butter-Reese's Pieces-Cap'n Crunch cookie.
She recently opened Stevie's Unique Treats, located at 117 S. Main St., in the former Beanery building, in downtown Mishawaka.
Before this venture, DeBlase operated booths at the South Bend and St. Joseph farmer's markets. Prior to those local venues, she baked for her co-workers at Liberty Mutual Insurance.
And the reason is that despite how much she loves to bake, and loves to cook, she has not been able to eat processed sugars since she had gastric bypass surgery.
"Of course I taste a little bit of my cookie dough to make sure it will turn out right," she admits. "I just don't want customers to come in and always see the same items. Honestly, if I were making the same thing over and over again, I would get bored really quick."
DeBlase started searching for a commercial kitchen last summer and ended up leasing a permanent location that she initially thought would focus on desserts.
But her restaurant has become a popular lunch stop as well in the past few months as customers discover her soups, stuffed breads and breakfast casseroles.
Stevie's Unique Treats, which offers seating for about 30, serves Zen Cafe roasted coffees and it will be adding lattes and espressos.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. You can follow the restaurant by searching for Stevie's Unique Treats on Facebook.
Cold Stone reopens
The Cold Stone Creamery location at 620 W. Edison Road, Mishawaka, is holding a grand reopening today at St. Andrew's Plaza. The location is now owned by parent company Kahala Corp., based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Cold Stone closed suddenly in late November.
Tom Friesner, the new manager, says family karaoke nights, poetry nights and '50s nights are planned at the store, which has rehired some of the former employees. Cold Stone is open from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Have you heard?
Abercrombie & Fitch is scheduled to close Saturday at University Park Mall, Mishawaka. Last year, Abercrombie said it would close about 180 unprofitable stores across the country by 2015. ... Edible Arrangements is now open at 123 S. Michigan St., downtown South Bend. A grand opening is planned for Feb. 1. ... Join our next live chat at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Heidi Prescott's column runs in the South Bend Tribune on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.