I arose early one morning to observe the morning bakers at The Cupcake Shoppe. I got there at 7:30am and several of the women had been working hours before I arrived. For it being such an early crowd, they all greeted me so sweetly and treated me like they had known me forever. It must be all the sweets they work around… this is a happy crowd!
I chose to tell The Cupcake Shoppe’s story because they are David’s favorite cupcakes in Raleigh (mine too, but David loves them the most). No really. For David’s birthday a couple of years ago I picked up cupcakes from all the cupcake shops in a two mile radius of our house (there are four) and it was David’s job, as the birthday boy, to choose the best. The Cupcake Shoppe easily came out on top. Not only can they cupcake/cake cater your wedding/party/family get togethers, you can also stop in for a cupcake or one of their many other treats. You must follow them on facebook– they post pictures of their special desserts and announce their unique flavors of the week. My hope is this post will tempt you right on into their shop this weekend!
In July The Cupcake Shoppe will celebrate their fifth anniversary. Sara Coleman is the owner and head baker of the shop and is so lovely to talk with! On their two year anniversary Sara had the honor of introducing President Obama when he spoke in Raleigh in 2009. What a way to celebrate that anniversary!
I asked Sara what were her influences in the kitchen and she explained that anything and everything can inspire her… “fashion, current culinary trends, and even design all come into play especially with cake design. We take flavor influences from candy, cooking trends and even cocktail and wine trends. Most of our inspiration comes from our customers and our desire to always come up with something unexpected, different, and better!”
As you can see, I stopped by before Easter…
Sara and the morning staff:
As a small business owner I love asking other business owners what advice they have about owning and running a business. Sara has some awesome words of wisdom to share:
“It’s the hardest job you’ll ever do but totally worth it! It takes twice as much money and 5 times more work than you can ever imagine, but if you can stick to your goals and stay true to your dream, your customers, and your brand you can succeed even against the largest franchises and corporate entities. I’ve always said “we do a few things and we do them better than anyone else” which is why we have such a loyal following and such a successful brand and I think in this market many people end up trying to be everything to everyone and you spread yourself too thin and that makes it hard to do anything well. Stay true to your vision even when others question it and have a good support system for the challenging times as there will be many in the beginning! Staffing will always be your toughest challenge but if you take care of your team and your people they will take care of you. Think twice, and make spending decisions wisely especially in the first 2 years, and know that initially you probably won’t be paying yourself for a good bit but stick it out and you can do it and you will eventually get a paycheck ”
Sara has the most amazing location on Glenwood South where there is lots of foot traffic, plenty of other popular establishments yet still boasting a neighborhood feel. I asked Sara what advantages having a business in Raleigh brought to her and she said that “the city has also done a wonderful job of promoting the resurgence of downtown with their ‘LIVE WORK PLAY’ campaign, GO DOWNTOWN initiative, SHOP LOCAL organization, and even smaller projects like festivals and the R line. We work closely with local organizations like the Chamber, the Raleigh Downtown Alliance, the museums, and galleries, and First Friday to pull in new customers. We advertise locally, and support many local charities and organizations right here in our own town.” It is so worth getting involved in your city!
This cash register is quite the popular feature of the shop. EVERYONE asks about it
This was one satisfied customer! This sweet lady picked up her daughter’s birthday cake and loved it so much she cried!!
The finished product of one of the cakes the ladies were working in earlier in the morning (photographed above).
More satisfied customers! Go get your treats from The Cupcake Shoppe right now!!