Even when I was single I always thought Valentine's Day was a great opportunity (or maybe just excuse?) to enjoy candies and chocolates. Now with three loves in my house I still love to share the sugar!
Enter our county's local sweet shops, bakeries and creameries. While now is obviously a perfect time to visit them, it's also perfectly fine to consider it tasty "research" for treats and gifts for loved ones throughout the year! No matter the time of year, I think you'll find plenty of reasons to love these shops for unique sweets in Rutherford County.
If the smell of buttercream doesn't woo you, then the sight of fantastic creations through the glass cases will! Choose from a dizzying array of scratch-made cannolis, macarons, brownies, cookies, cakes and cream puffs. Festive treats like chocolate dipped marshmallows and cookies are also perfect Valentine treats for little ones. 115 N. Maple St. Murfreesboro. 615-900-1676
Known for perfect macarons, Simply Pure Sweets delivers flavor in each treat from signature cinnamon rolls (because dessert for breakfast is a thing) to cream pies and craveable cookies. Order their Valentine's Dessert Box complete with berry tartlets, macarons, eclairs, and chocolate mousse cups. 128 N. Church St. Murfreesboro 615-962-8086
Because ice cream is a love language for some of us! Janarty's light and silky ice cream comes in a variety of flavors like Double Chocolate, Red Hot Cinnamon, and Cookie Bar Blast. Add house-made chocolate roses to your scoops for a lovely touch, or pick from bakery items like chocolate-dipped strawberries and Oreos, Reese's peanut butter fudge, chess bars and cake pops. Gluten-free folks will appreciate (and love) their gluten-free waffles and cookies. 111 Front St. Smyrna. 615-918-0085
It's hard to imagine holidays without The Country' Gourmet's eye-catching store windows and store full of unique gifts, foods, and sweets. Choose from decadent truffles and truffle sticks (perfect for sharing), sugar candies, and even sugar-free chocolates (which are amazing). Don't forget to put in an order for their chocolate-dipped strawberries! 107 E. Main St. Murfreesboro. 615-896-3634
Lovers of ice cream and brunch will adore this new addition to the local sweets scence. Varin's specializes in bubble waffles-- light, fluffy egg waffles topped with ice cream and candy-- and croffles, a blend of the crispiness of croissants and the softness of waffles. These are stacked with fruit, spreads and syrups and served much like pancakes with a delicious twist! Build your own creation or try a combination like the S'More, the Nutella, or the Strawberry Cheesecake. 315 Robert Rose Dr. Suite A Murfreesboro. 615-908-3723
Downtown Murfreesboro's beloved creamery features homemade cones and ice cream with specialty flavors like Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate-Covered Strawberry, and Roasted Lemon. Get in on their "Love Fest" this month with the chance to win special prizes and merch. 116 N. Church St. Murfreesboro. 615-203-3531
A newcomer to Tennessee this year, Cowgirl Chocolates has more than 20 years of confection experience to its name, including plenty of national press for its signature hot chocolates (chocolates mixed with peppers and other spices). Choose from mild mannered to spicy chocolate bars and truffles, then choose a complementary tea pairing from their international collection. 175 Mall Circle Dr. Murfreesboro. 833-793-3871
A staple in the local sweets scene, Julia's dishes enchanting sugar cookies, cake sicles, cupcakes, and cheesecakes to name a few. Valentine pre-orders have already been taken, but plenty of creations are still on the floor on a first-come, first-served basis. Take home a treat to share with a loved one, or make it a date and pick one out together. 1911 Medical Center Pkwy #B Murfreesboro. 615-890-2253
Olive Branch Bakery reopens February 10th just in time for Valentine's Day with a menu of their delectable desserts including their famous macarons, cakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Place orders by February 11th for pickup on the 13th. 215 N. Church St. Murfreesboro. 615-482-0543
Popular with lovebirds for their date night cooking classes (which are already sold-out!), the mother- daughter team Helena and Rachel Spensatelli offer their signature sweets to enjoy at home. Purchase their handmade truffles by ordering online and have the sweets in hand by February 14 (and include a gift card for a future couple or-- family-- date night!) 327 E. State St. Murfreesboro. 615-956-6077
Know for its exquisite cake and cookie creations, Boro Town Cakes will also be dishing decadent cookies and chocolate bombs for Valentines. The cocoa-stuffed truffles come in white or dark chocolate pieces, festively decorated for the special day. 113 W. Lytle St. Murfreesboro. 615-335-2409
A lunchroom and catering go-to in the city, TTG is also famous for their homemade desserts! Order ahead for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, SweetHeart Cakes, sugar cookies, heart macaroons, and dazzling cupcakes to share Valentines Day. 630 Broadmor St. Suite 190 Murfreesboro. 615-890-7346
The only thing better than a Donut Country donut might be Donut Country donuts shaped in hearts and frosted pink. Pick up a dozen of their February flavor-- Strawberry Cake-- or choose a Valentine specialty box with glazed hearts, chocolate hearts with sprinkles, buttercream hearts with red sanding sugar, and strawberry iced hearts with sprinkles. 1311 Memorial Blvd. Murfreesboro. 615-890-3129
One of the city's sweetest ice cream spots won't disappoint for Valentines! Treat to the family to a seat in the signature pink booths and dig into dishes like the Sweet Tart Float with strawberry ice cream with lime soda, the Sundae for Two in a waffle bowl with red velvet and midnight chocolate ice creams, or the sparkling Lovestruck Fusion blend of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet with pomegranate lemonade and vanilla cream soda. 1500 Medical Center Pkwy Suite 1C Murfreesboro. 615-696-7923
What's your favorite sweet spot? Share in the comments!
Laura Beth Payne is a writer mama and Murfreesboro native who lives in the Blackman community with her husband and two children. Follow her at @murfreesboromama on Facebook and Instagram. Got a column idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.