While she was in high school, our middle child Kyndall worked at a busy grocery store that served three rural NC counties. As I was picking her up from work one day, I noticed the store had thousands of holiday cupcakes and I asked Kyndall why there were so many? She told me that parents weren’t allowed to send home-baked party food to school any more and that meant every family in the area had to purchase from their store.
I looked at the ingredients on the packaging and knew that my neighbors needed better options.
We made changes to have our Camden NC kitchen properly certified, then me and my two daughters created what would end up being one of the first cupcake bakeries in the country. After many name changes (Killer Cupcakes, CoCo’s Cupcakes, and L’Amour Cupcakes) we decided on Carolina Cupcakery.
Orders came in, and we soon needed a storefront but no one would rent us space. They thought it was the dumbest idea, ever.
Carolina Cupcakery in Virginia
We had almost given up when the property owner of an upscale Virginia shopping center visited New York one weekend. As his taxi drove past Magnolia Bakery he saw lines of cupcake enthusiasts waiting up to 2 hours for the treat. The shopping center owner suddenly understood what we were doing. Upon returning home he had his agent contact us so his shopping center would be the first one to offer cupcakes. As it turned out, we were one of the first in the world.
Our entire family, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews pitched in to help. We opened Carolina Cupcakery in Chesapeake Virginia.
A couple of weeks after opening, writer Carolyn Shapiro interviewed me for an article she called, “More than just cupcakes” which ended up on the front page of the business section. That day, I drove up to my own store and discovered lines wrapped around the building and people waiting patiently.
Six months later the stock market crashed and that’s when things really got crazy. In October 2012 I wrote a book “Cupcake Confessions” to share details. Here are the highlights:
• Our spiked cupcakes were featured in a Modern Bride photoshoot.
• Hit 100 flavors with “Jaina’s Razzberry” created by a 10-yr-old fan.
• Were contacted by producers to audition for the cupcake tv show which became “DC Cupcakes”
• Participated in Extreme Home Makeover, Jamesville NC, donating over 3000 cupcakes
• Tested the Norfolk market in MacArthur Mall and Five Points Farm Market
• Opened a second location in Ghent, on Colley Ave and 21st Street
• Reached 150 flavors with ODU’s “Big Blue”, created by an alumnus
• Lowe’s Home Improvement website featured us using power drills in the kitchen
• Local Girl Scouts helped us create our 200th flavor, a whole wheat cupcake, “The Happy Heart”
• Participated in Extreme Home Makeover, Virginia Beach VA
• Appeared on the Season 3 Finale of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars
• (Closed for the Winter) Opened a fourth location in the Outer Banks
• Buddy Velastro “The Cake Boss” asked us to provide cupcakes for his local performance at Norfolk Scope.
• We won Retail Alliance “Retailer of the Year” award for Hampton Roads
• Appeared on the Season 6 Finale of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars
• Moved our original location to 1200 N. Battlefield Blvd. in Chesapeake
Opened a subsidiary, Carolina FAB (Food Allergy Bakery) http://foodallergybakery.com/
Cupcakes have been good to us. We hope you enjoy eating them as much as we love making them!