business

Happy New Year! Some changes in 2012

Happy New Year! Thank you to all our customers, friends and cheerleaders in 2011. We hope that love for our desserts carries on in 2012.

More changes are coming too but I’ll save that for a later post. We are also introducing a NEW cake concept! Can’t wait to share it with you. It is sooo cool! And fun!! It makes birthdays and special events even more smashing!

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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

Working on some things

I realize it has been almost a month since my last post. Embarrassing!! I have lots to post about but you see there is an issue with my time. Now if someone can just give me another handful of hours a day, then I’d make some progress.

But I promise you that I have been up to some cool fun things that I can’t wait to blog about. And I’m also working on taking MBS to the next level so stay tuned for that announcement.

New direction

I’ve decided that I am going to branch out a bit on this blog and talk about some stuff other than baking (although sometimes it all comes back to baking). Anyway, I hope you don’t mind and that you still read along. I thought about starting another blog but who am I kidding? I can barely keep one going! And since my business is kinda leveling off right now, I think it’s a good time to introduce myself a little more here.

So while I still plan to blog about my business and post pictures of my creations, I am also going to talk about things I like to use in the kitchen, stuff I do around Orange County, projects I am working on and spotlight other women and small businesses.

Thanks for sticking around!

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)

Weddings On Ice Bridal Show & Party Planning Expo

I am a bridal show virgin. My first one is coming up, called Weddings on Ice, and I am so excited and nervous! I’ve been preparing for it since June. I want my table to be perfect. I’ve been searching for table decorations and trying to create a table scape that will reflect my personality and my business.

I’ve taken great inspiration from Kara of Kara’s Parties. She deserves the party queen crown because seriously, take a look at this: Circus Party and Fourth of July BBQ and Bunco Party which is the party I am taking inspiration from. My logo colors are pink and turquoise/teal so when I saw this:


(photo from Kara’s site)
I knew I had to try and emulate it as much as possible. I have a 6′ conference style table at the event so I am definitely going to copy her tablecloth look. I don’t know if I can have the striped fabric behind me though. Still need to check on that. I am going to have some regular sized cupcakes out for display only and then trays of mini cupcakes for brides and grooms to sample. I will also have a couple of photo albums, one at each end of the table, with pics of my cupcakes. Or I could just set up my laptop for people to view my Flickr cupcake set. What do you think?

I’ve also created these little giveaways

Favor ideas for bridal show

Cello bags filled with pink and blue jimmies and stickers with my name and website url. Question is, how many do I make? I have 100 bags but only 80 stickers.

Should I have little bottles of water too? I don’t have time or money to personalize anything right now. I won’t even have shirts or aprons with my logo on them. I am going to try and make a sign with my logo on it and stick it to some foam core so I have some sort of signage. No money. :( So I hope that doesn’t hurt me as a business. I will have a cupcake apron on but it’s just a Jessie Steele one

Is there anything else I am missing? Any advice would be greatly appreciated from my fellow businesses out there who’ve attended Bridal shows.

And now for the info….

BEAT THE HEAT! The Weddings on Ice Bridal Show is a FREE event with FREE parking. They are also serving as a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank. If you bring a canned good, you get half-off skating admission (only $5 to skate). There will be a vow renewal ceremony at 11:15a and a fashion show at 12p. They are also hosting “A Dress for Charity” where they accept gently worn party and bridal dresses for charity. All proceeds go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank too. More:

  • Celebrity Hockey Player Garter Belt Sign and Toss!
  • Group Renewal of Vows Ceremony (Come in your favorite Hockey Jersey, Funny Tee Shirts! Prizes for the Best Dressed, Most Creative, and Craziest
  • Fashion Show EXTRAVAGANZA!

    Everything from the Wedding Day to the Honeymoon!!!

There are also going to be free food samples, cake tastings, CUPCAKE TASTINGS (courtesy of moi) and door prizes, raffles and freebies.

Saturday July 25 10-3pm
23641 La Palma Avenue
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
714/322-9445

I am going to have a special offer for brides, event planners, etc at this event only. So if you come, please stop by my table and I’ll tell you all about it!

Hope to see you there!

Wanna try my cupcakes… FOR FREE??

The lovely Julie from Angry Julie Monday is celebrating her 2 year blog anniversary by giving away cool things to her readers. Isn’t she so nice??

One of her giveaways is from Meringue Bake Shop! You can win 1 dozen regular size cupcakes or 2 dozen mini cupcakes (1 flavor) by visiting her site and following her instructions for entering. This is for OC people only or anyone who can get to Orange, CA to pick them up.

Go over to her site and check it out already!

Sheesh.

Have a good weekend! Doing some flavor testing this weekend… will report back on Monday about that.

I’ve got a blog button!

Thanks to Tanya Ahedo from Design Action Studios for creating this blog button for me. And thanks to Kirsten Wright from Wright Creativity and Julie from Angry Julie Monday for getting it coded for me. Isn’t it cute??

Meringue Bake Shop

So feel free to spread the love and add it to your sites. When clicked, it will take you to my website www.meringuebakeshop.com and will open in a new window so as not to take anyone away from your own site.

Thanks again Tanya, Kirsten and Julie!!

An identity, finally!

I am very happy to let you all know that Meringue Bake Shop now has an identity! My logo is complete and I am very happy with it. I think it reflects my idea and myself perfectly.

I had to re-do my website to reflect the new logo color scheme so go check it out: www.meringuebakeshop.com

Let me know if you find anything wonky. I built the site via a template from Godaddy. Not my ideal but what are ya gonna do? Out of 800+ templates (so they claim) I couldn’t find anything I really liked so I settled on this simply because it had my colors. Someday I will have a nice looking website! You hear me! Someday I will!

Ok obviously the website thing bothers me. Why? Because I work on websites for a living. “GASP! You mean you don’t bake cupcakes 24/7 Kristin??” Nope I don’t. I work, in an office, on marketing and websites and SEO 40+ hours a week while visions of cupcakes run through my head. So you can see why this website thing bothers me. But I realize that some web presense is needed and I’d rather have something ho-hum than nothing at all. As long as I can have some good pics of my cupcakes, I’ll be happy….

…which I plan on working on this weekend! The amazing Nicole from Pinch My Salt is working on a food photography portfolio and offered to take a few pics of my cupcakes for me! I am so excited! I don’t even know which ones to choose! I think I’ll stick with my menu and maybe a few custom pieces. Not sure… hmmm… She does great food photography. Check out her site and you’ll see. She also has great recipes on there. www.pinchmysalt.com. I met Nicole on Twitter. Twitter is just the most awesomest thing EVER. Check that out too if you haven’t.

Well that is all for now. I guess I should update my blog look and feel too… hmmm… maybe later. Hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Logo designed by Design Action Studios