Both of my girls celebrated their birthdays last week. The poor kids are my guinea pigs… if I want to try a new cupcake design or flavor I usually end up making them for one of their gatherings. The cupcakes in the photo were for a small family shin-dig.
Truth is… my girls aren't all that crazy about decorated cake. (perhaps they've O.D.ed?) They prefer a cheesecake or a plain angel food cake. I'll make the angel food cake for them today.
Other birthday traditions include choosing a special dinner. My oldest daughter chooses something different every year. My youngest always requests fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. mmmmmmmmmm.
It's also time for peaches from the farmers market and vegetables from the garden. I'm not crazy about peaches but my family eats them and I love the way they look in my old bowls. Mom's canning tomatoes today so as soon as I get this post published, I'll head out to the garden to pick some for her.
In other news…
Have you read this article from Slate?
The Cupcake Bubble
Cupcakes are now showing every sign of going through the bubble cycle. The first-movers get buzz and revenues, gain critical mass, and start to expand rapidly. This inspires less-well-capitalized second- and third-movers, who believe there's room enough for them, and encourages established firms in a related industry to jump in.Does this spell doom and gloom for those of us who want to start a baking business? I don't know… here's my take on the article…
Cupcakes are having their moment, no question, and many could make sweet profits. But remember what always happens after a sugar rush: a crash.
Someone started a unique, cool cupcake shop. It was successful. Others copied the idea, added their own twist and were also successful. Now everybody's jumping on the bandwagon…
And while cupcakes doubtless offer good margins, a baker has to sell a lot of them to make real money. That will surely tempt many entrepreneurs to start mass production. But the minute you start baking at a central location and trucking to the goods over long distances, the value proposition inherent in the product can grow stale, as Krispy Kreme found.I'm not planning to jump on the cupcake bandwagon. I like making pretty little cupcakes, but my plan for Sugar and Meringue has never been all about starting a cupcake bakery. My focus is on creating artful cookies and cupcakes that can be presented as gifts. I've always thought my business model was a little more like that of a florist than a bakery. I imagine people buying my cookies as gifts for some of the same occasions they might buy flowers and using my cookies as favors and table decor (kinda like flowers).
Anyway… that's my 2¢. I think there's a place for our baking businesses as long as we offer something unique and there's some sincerity behind what we do. We'll see what happens!