Friday, August 13, 2010

Viva La Cupcake!

What is it about a cupcake that seems to draw out our inner child?  Is it their small size?  Their portability?  Or maybe it’s the seemingly endless flavor options that are now available to us!  We all grew up with cupcakes, but in recent years the cupcakes from our youth have been transformed into edible works of art.  The “Cupcake Craze” has created standalone bakeries that specialize in gourmet cupcakes. 

I recently had the great pleasure to meet with three entrepreneurs and find out more about the local “Cupcakeries” that have been popping up all around us. 

It begins with Buttercups, owned and operated by Kim Wood.  She had been creating her cupcakes for locals for over three years and even gained national notoriety when Katie Holmes purchased them through a local store. But in November of 2009, she decided to truly make a name for herself and opened Buttercups at the Villagio in Bossier City.   

She described to me how seeing the ingredients come together to develop such edible creations is what ignites her passion for baking.  All of the cupcakes are made with her own original recipes.  Small batches of cakes are made throughout the day, so you know that you are getting a fresh cupcake at time of purchase.  Her most popular flavors are Red Velvet and Wedding Cake.  Yum!  She even takes it one step further and uses only recycled products for her boxes and wax paper.   

Something else that caught my eye was the first impression you get when you walk through the doors.  From the lavender walls to the café tables…even the fresh flowers she puts out daily.  She explained that she wanted a contemporary/industrial look and if you ask me, I would say everything she did works!  I was even excited to see that she started selling Buttercup t-shirts!   

In addition to her Villagio location, Shreveport locals will soon be graced when her second store opens up at the Shoppes at Bellemeade in August 2010!  Buttercups is open 6 days a week and offers 16 different flavors (check her menu for daily flavor options).  You can learn more about Buttercups by joining their Facebook Fan page!   

Next I visited Cupcake Gallery on Youree Dr. in Shreveport.  I had the great pleasure of speaking with Amanda.  Cupcake Gallery is family owned with a few extra employees.  Their story began when her mom had been making cupcakes out of her home.  Soon, word of her cupcakes had gotten around and the opportunity of a shop fell into their hands.  

All of their cupcakes are made fresh daily and offer 16 different flavors (check their menu for daily flavor options).  Their most popular flavors are Lime in Coconut, 24 Karat Cake and German Chocolate, which is an age old family recipe!  I was very curious as to what happened to any daily leftovers and was nicely surprised to learn that they donate them to local hospitals and prisons.   

As you come up on the store, you are greeted with an amazing outdoor patio with wrought iron tables and chairs.  They even have seating for the little ones!   The interior has a more modern look with Red and Black.  They even have an enormous chalkboard wall for the kids to draw on!  In addition to the array of cupcakes they have a coffee/espresso bar. 

When I asked what the future held for them, Amanda told me they were going to begin offering Birthday Party packages hosted at the store where the children can decorate their own cupcakes, from the icing to the sprinkles! 

Cupcake Gallery is open 6 days a week.  You can learn more about them by visiting their Website at and by joining their Facebook Fan Page. 
Third on my list was Diva Delights, LLC.  While the other shops already have a storefront, Diva Delights is still in the beginning stages of establishing their footprint.  I was delighted to have had the opportunity to speak with Judith Sammons.  Her story truly touched my heart.  When I asked her where her inspiration came from, the words and her story just rolled off her tongue.  Seventeen months ago, Judith gave birth to her second daughter, Lexi, who was born 5 months early.  I learned that Lexi is a special needs child.  That meant that Judith needed to stay at home to provide support for Lexi and her family.   

While Judith has always been artistic, baking was a definite passion of hers.  Quite often her family advised her that she needed to turn that passion into a living.  She had an extreme love of cupcakes so that was where she began.   She started a Facebook Fan page and automatically received a great response.   Then as fate would have it, she was approached by a longtime friend who made boutique bows.  The idea was that they would combine their talents into a one stop shop.  That was when they created Diva Delights, LLC. 

Diva Delights not only offers custom cupcakes and cakes, it also offers a complete line of couture clothing, bows and jewelry.   As I mentioned earlier, they are still in the beginning stages of creating a store front, so as of right now, the business is based out of their homes.  At one point the opportunity for a store front had been presented, but as Judith explained, the timing just wasn’t right.   

While I felt the other bakeries concentrated more on their flavors, Diva Delights was more about the artistic presentation of their cupcakes.  I was able to view some of her photos and was amazed at how detailed the designs of her cupcakes were.   From little piggies to rosettes,  everything you see on her cakes and cupcakes is edible.  In addition to the detail on the cakes themselves, she feels that an order isn’t complete without her personally delivering and setting up.  A nice gesture to help out any parent who is stressing over their child's party!   

Judith told me she has been blessed by all of the events that have happened in her life.  She is a great supporter of The March of Dimes and quite often donates her proceeds right back to needing charities.  You can follow Diva Delights by joining their Facebook Fan Page and by visiting their Website at  All orders can be placed by contacting Diva Delights directly. 

I have to say that I think I enjoyed this assignment the most!  There was no doubt that I had to walk away from each interview with samples!  And you will even be able to spot me around town sporting my own Buttercups t-shirt!

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