The Biz

PushCake Love

Our PushCakes got a write up on the Hip Hip Hooray blog!

Check it out!

Thank you to Cupcakes & Cutlery for the great pics!

Farmers Market Coming to The Great Park in Irvine

Some exciting news to share! The Great Park in Irvine is going to host a certified farmers market starting on Sunday Oct 31. 

According to their website:

The Farmers Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday, rain or shine, beginning October 31st. It will offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads barely out of the oven, plants, and items made by local artisans. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase.

And guess what? Meringue Bake Shop will be there as a vendor! So now you can buy our treats individually instead of having to place an event order. Isn’t that exciting?!?!

And since our first market is going to be on Halloween, all our cupcakes will be decked out for the holiday! We’ll be selling individual cupcakes as well as packs of cupcakes along with some other delicious treats.

I am so excited. And nervous. And excited! It was a bit of a challenge to do, which I’ll tell you about in another post, so I can’t believe it’s happening! One step closer to my goal.

I also wanted to let you know that if you want to have cupcakes on reserve, you know for Halloween parties, email me in advance and I’ll have dozen assorted packs set aside for advance orders. You’ll need to come by the market to pick them up. The minimum for advance orders is only a dozen! Send me an email for more information.

To get to the Farmers Market, enter the Park through the Marine Way gate and follow the signs – the market will be adjacent to the Farm & Food Lab.

If you come, stop by and say hi!

And thank you to everyone who has ever purchased our cupcakes, tasted our cupcakes, blogged about our cupcakes. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. XOXO

Orange Crush

Ok so it’s been a few more days that I’d hoped passed by before I got a chance to write up about Cupcake Camp. Ok weeks actually. Months? I got a cold (thanks honey!) and it knocked me off my butt for a while and then a lot of other stuff happened which is not happy cupcake stuff and I don’t want to bring ya’ll down.  So my apologies for taking so much time to get to this. I promise lots of pics. That’s what you like anyway, right?

So here is the winning cupcake:
The Orange Crush

Orange Crush - the winner - at Cupcake Camp OC!

That tiny sign down there says
“Orange Crush cake
Creamsicle buttercream”

Thank you to Marcy for supplying me with that great old ad and Blog Crush logos for the cupcake toppers. Have you heard of Blog Crush? No? Well head on over and check it out. The Blog Crush group has allowed me to meet some pretty incredible OC peeps in the handful of years that I’ve lived here. Before I joined up, the only people that were my friends up here were people I worked with. And now I have lots of new friends, great blogs to read and have had endless networking opportunities. It’s really a good thing.

So when I decided to enter in the competition part of Cupcake Camp, I knew I wanted to do something that not only represented OC but also this awesome group of people. The name was already a play off the deliciously orangey drink so why not experiment with it in cake form? 7-Up has been getting all the cake love so it was time for a new soda to come in.

I honestly am surprised at how fast these suckers left my table. I really didn’t think people were going to be crazy for orange cupcakes. I thought my red velvet would be the first to disappear and then the cookie dough peanut butter cupcakes (A Kid Again). But Orange Crush was literally flying off the stand. It was so exciting! And a bummer cause I ran out of them about an hour into the camp. So I am really sorry to all the folks who stopped by and came face to face with empty cupcake stands.

The competition!

The competition! Daunting isn’t it? Thank GOD I didn’t have to sample all of those. I felt really bad for the judges who looked like they were going to up chuck cupcakes at any moment.

You can read some of the judges re-caps here:
The Cupcake Activist
She’s Cookin

Actually, Elise put together a great list of re-caps which you can catch here

This was my other entry. Sorry about the horrible picture. It was a risky flavor but I think it was good. If I had a shop, I’d offer it. But I did not add it to my flavor menu because I don’t think anyone would want to order a whole dozen of them.

Berry Balsamic

Berry Balsamic was a strawberry cake filled with macerated strawberries and topped with balsamic buttercream and a brulee strawberry. It lost to a Chicken and Waffle cupcake.

Some familiar faces showed up at our table which really made my day.

Debbie, owner of Dippin Dots in Fountain Valley and her lovely daughter
Debbie and her daughter

Marcie, of Marcie Taylor Photography and Albert the man behind dealperk.com

Marcie and Albert

Angry Julie and Angry Kid
DSC_0019
She also did a great post too.

It was a fun experience. I don’t think the organizers expected so many folks to show up. But they ended up with nearly 1000 people in attendance, 90 registered bakers, 5201 cupcakes, and raised $9100 to help aid El Pozo!
Pretty awesome.

MAJOR thanks to Sharon from Cupcakes&Cutlery for helping me set my table up and having props to use and that handy dandy magic tool box. Check out her website when you get a chance. It’s full of some great party ideas. And she now has a Facebook page so go on over and Like her.

Pretty much says it all.

Yippee!! Cupcake Camp OC 2010

I’ve got lots of pics to post but right now I just wanted to tell ya that we won! Woo hoo!! Our OC themed cupcake – The Orange Crush – won BEST in the professional category.

I even got a really cool plaque with my company name on it. RAD!

Thank you to everyone who came out for the cause! The final count was over 800 attendees, much bigger than expected. So much so that we ran out of cupcakes an hour and a half in! So I am so sorry to everyone that stopped by to get one and we were out. But we appreciate all your donations and I’ll update when we find out the grand total.

Like I said, I’ve got lots of pics to post but first I need to sleep. And get a massage. And get some new feet.

I’ve got some catching up to do

I am going to apologize now for the next few posts that you’ll see about things I did MONTHS ago. They have been sitting in my blogger draft waiting for me to give the finishing touches which means they are now covered in dust and need a good cleaning.

Lots going on, sad to say not really related to cupcakes but that is still going well and strong. April was a slow month but it’s picking back up again with wedding season around the corner, graduations coming up, fathers day, world cup, summer parties, etc. So I am going to be a busy bee the next few months.

Let’s talk about J.C….

Not THAT J.C! Johnny Cupcakes!

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour - Stop at Retro Bakery in Las Vegas!

I had SUCH A FABULOUS TIME meeting and greeting with Johnny and his crew. And it goes without saying that I really had fun hanging with my cupcake family, the Haskells of Retro Bakery. I don’t know how Kari and Brian do it but they have managed to run a successful business while also raising two of the best kids around. They are mature, fun, silly, and totally down to earth kids. Lucy had me in laughing fits the entire time and Abbi was so fun to talk to and gossip with. She has such confidence for a kid her age.

Since we were VIPS (ehem) we got to sit inside Retro and wait for Johnny’s arrival. THANK GOD because that line was crazy!! Like 200 people in line. And one kid got there at 6am, BEFORE Retro even opened! Everyone in line was such a good sport too. It was harmonious. You can read all about it from Kari’s experience here.

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour - Stop at Retro Bakery in Las Vegas!

Johnny and his crew, Danny, Paul & Stebs, were all so nice and professional. They hung around for a bit after everyone left and played around, graciously let us take pics of the gang, ate cupcakes and talked about the tour, life, etc. It was sad to see them all go. But they had more cities to visit, tshirts to sell, people to meet, memories to make.

Here is the video Stebs made of the Vegas stop. See my car?? Weeee!!

Stay for the very end to hear some great giggles.

I don’t know how Stebs does it! His videos are GREAT!! He does all that work while on the road between shows. I don’t think he sleeps. Seriously.

Anyway, if you haven’t read Johnny’s story – head over here. He is truly the man, doing his thing, getting family and friends involved, doing what he loves. He is the one us small biz folks look up to. He gives me hope that I too one day can do what I love full-time, involve my family and be able to share that with everyone.

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour - Stop at Retro Bakery in Las Vegas!

XO

Vegas baby!!

I am in Vegas right now, to visit the fabulous Kari from Retro Bakery AND to catch up with Johnny Cupcakes on his Suitcase Tour!

Tomorrow is the big day so if you are in the area, head north to Retro to meet Johnny and eat THE BEST cupcakes in Las Vegas!

Saturday, April 17th, 6:00 pm
Retro Bakery, 7785 North Durango Drive, Las Vegas, NV

XOXO

I am alive!

I’m sorry about the lack of posts. I’ll just say that I’ve been busy with my job, my fun job, life, etc. whew. i had a post about the Cupcake Challenge but I’m over it. I didn’t win. I am glad I did it but I won’t be doing it again. It was fun and I’ll post some pics later. Thanks to everyone who gave me their support -my husband, my sister, her boyfriend and especially Shari. I seriously can’t thank Shari enough. She was my biggest cheerleader and she totally came through. And you HAVE to click on over to her blog and read about her experience at the event. Let me just say – I’m so jealous!! Now every time I see HIM I just remember how she got to be INCHES away from HIM! AH!

Been working on so many projects and orders lately. It’s amazing to think that a year ago I was just thinking about moving my hobby into a business and here I am now, busy EVERY weekend with orders. It’s still fun! I don’t regret moving forward. Things are starting to get to a sticky point though where big decisions are going to need to be made. I’ll leave it at that.

So what HAVE I been doing instead of blogging??

50th Birthday Surprise Party cupcake tower

50th Birthday Surprise Party cupcake tower

50th Birthday Surprise Party tower. Don’t you LOVE that glittery 50? I had to hand cut those numbers because I didn’t have cookie cutters big enough.

Giraffe cake

Giraffe cake for a 10 yr olds birthday slumber party. She loves giraffes. Too cute to eat right?

Bat Mitzvah cupcakes

Bat Mitzvah cupcakes

This was really fun! A pink and orange cupcake tower for a Bat Mitzvah. Loved these colors! I think my favorites were the ones dipped in half bright pink and half bright orange sparkling sugar.

Baby Shower cupcake tower

Baby Shower cupcake tower

Baby shower tower. The mama to be found a tower she liked and asked for the same thing. I did make a couple modifications to the top tier cake. Loved this too. I love doing baby shower towers.

So those are some of my favs from the past couple weeks. I also did a dessert buffet for a website launch but I’ll show that off in another post.

Bonnin Designs: LA Cupcake Challenge

Shari from Bonnin Designs was my right hand at the LA Cupcake Challenge. She already blogged about it!! I’ve barely had a chance to download pics! Ha! So until I get a chance to blog, here is the event from Shari’s point of view.

Bonnin Designs: LA Cupcake Challenge

P.S. Shari is the one who makes the awesome cupcake necklaces and rings!

Cupcake Parties from Meringue Bake Shop

I was thinking of ways to make cupcakes more cost effective and fun for kids. So I came up with Cupcake Parties. Basically, instead of ordering cupcakes already decorated for your party, I come to the party with naked cupcakes, a bunch of different frostings and decorations and all the tools needed to decorate. I can set up, moderate the decorating and even teach some techniques and then clean everything up at the end. The kids have a great time and the cupcakes can either take the place of the birthday cake OR become a fun favor for the kids to take home and eat later. If you choose the favor route, then you can order a cake or giant cupcake from Meringue Bake Shop for the birthday girl or boy.

(I think these would be fun with adults too, like bachelorette parties or even just girls night in parties. Wine, music and cupcakes, mmmmm!)

You can read more about my cupcake parties here on OC Family. Or experience one for yourself by viewing this Whrrl story that Suz Broughton did for the cupcake party she ordered.

If you are interested, send me an email or give me a call!

Marketing yourself

Are you ready for Halloween??

According to Just-Spotted.com, the Irvine Railroad Pumpkin Patch is opening this weekend. Halloween decorations are now taking over the Back to School section at Target. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks. And the weather is getting cooler (if you can call 80F cooler..).

I sent out my first email marketing piece yesterday. A while back I posted about signing up with Constant Contact to capture opt in email addresses. You can sign up for a 30 day trial account which is nice. Gives you some time to get a feel for the program, the way it works and the information it captures. My trial was almost up so I just decided to start a subscription. It’s only $15/mon which is a great deal for new businesses with not a lot of cash. And they have lots of templates to choose from if you are not graphically-inclined as I am not.

Here’s a sample of my email. Click on it to get the full view.

halloween email

For all you newbie baking business owners out there, I definitely recommend that you start some sort of email marketing to get more business. A great example is Retro Bakery. They started an CupcakEclub where members get a monthly newsletter that lets them in on the latest flavors and going ons at Retro, before everyone else. Pretty great way to make your customers feel really special.

If email marketing is a bit scary right now, then definitely get a Fan page on Facebook. We have one, Meringue Bake Shop http://www.facebook.com/meringuebakeshop. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your customers and prospects, get feedback on flavor combos and run ideas pass them. And become a fan yourself of other bakeries or folks who do the same thing as you. You can get some really great ideas and build a support network of folks who are in our same boat.

(If you like/want more posts like this, leave a comment letting me know. I have a background in marketing and can do some posts on branding, SEO, SEM, social media, etc for your small business)