Today I want you to introduce you to my good friend Alisha!
She is an amazing woman who decided she wanted to start a cupcakery, she originally started it in her home, and has since opened a store front, and WON Cupcake Wars! Her successful shop employs 9 people, and they make hundreds of cupcakes every single day. And offer tons of amazing flavors. And they are the best cupcakes! Seriously….to…die…for! Or at least to break your diet for.
Alisha was kind enough to grant us an interview, give us a tour of her shop, give us some great tips for our #5Ways series! 5 Things to Improve Your Baking! And even offered to give one of our lucky readers a $25 gift certificate to her shop. She is so much fun. She is a successful entrepreneur and amazing baker.
Q: When did you know you wanted to start a cupcake shop?
A: Well, I always wanted to bake, but I wanted to start a restaurant, which is really hard to do. My twin, Angie, said “Cupcakes are really big right now. You should make cupcakes.” We wanted to do it together, but she couldn’t at the time. So, it was about 5 years ago that I decided to do it.
(Her shop is so cute. She has jars of candy, a vintage chic settings, tons of tables and chairs, couches, a play area for kids, and the best decor)
Q: What were the pros and cons of starting online before opening a storefront?
A: The biggest pro was that I could do it at home, and be with my kids. Ya know, the biggest con would be that it was in my home, and with my kids. And it makes a mess. It was just always a mess.
Q: What is your favorite cupcake?
A: Well, it changes every month because we change our flavors every month. My all time favorite is probably the fruit pizza. But right now, with this season it is our Nutella Pretzel.
(BTW: The Nutella Pretzel is so yummy, I bought one, and did not want to share even a bite with my daughter. The cupcake pictured below is coconut tres leches. So dang good!)
Q: Does your family still enjoy eating cupcakes?
A: They do surprisingly! Haha. Like, my little girl would probably eat 3-4 a day if I would let her. She still loves them.
Q: How do you stay so thin as a baker?
A: Well I don’t eat my cupcakes that often, and I like to work out.
Q: I know you have 2 kids, so how do you balance work and family?
A: At first it was really hard. I just think that you have to figure it out and balance it. With my little boy being in school. And I do have to have my little girl in daycare. But the nice thing about what I do is that the hard stuff all has to be done in the mornings, so we have our evenings free. So that helps a lot too. And the #1 thing is getting good employees, so I can trust them and be gone!
Q: How many employees do you have?
A: Right now we have 9!
Q: So you won Cupcake Wars, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that experience and what you learned from it?
A: It was definitely a life-changing experience, and helped our business boom. It is funny to think what our business would be like if we hadn’t been on Cupcake Wars, just because it was such a life-changing experience. The things I learned though, that just because you win Cupcake Wars doesn’t make you a good shop. Luck does have something to do with it. I mean I think we had some luck. Just because you win doesn’t make you good, but we are good. Our customers say we are good!
Q: Do you stay in touch with any of your competitors from Cupcake Wars?
A: Umm mostly it was just a one time thing. I find it funny because I am more in touch with other people who have been on Cupcake Wars, that I haven’t met before.
Q: Do you have plans for expansion?
A: We would like to expand. Probably in the summer time. That’s my goal, not my husbands. Haha
Q: Where do you find your recipes and your inspiration?
A: My recipes I just use a lot of trial and error. Inspiration is honestly Pinterest. I wish I was more creative. But if I see a dessert, for example, the Nutella Pretzel cupcake, I saw a Nutella Pretzel Brownie on Pinterest, and I was like, Oh My Gosh, I bet I could make that into a cupcake, so I did. A lot of times I will go look at Cheesecake Factory at their desserts, and ask myself, “Can I make this into a cupcake?” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Q: Give us some details on the day to day operations of your shop?
A: I don’t spend as much time baking, I have hired 4 bakers, and I spend a lot of my time doing the marketing and behind the scenes, back end stuff. Our first baker comes in at 4 am, and she starts looking at the cupcakes, figuring out what orders we have, and what we need for the day. The second baker comes in at 6 am to help her, they start baking. We have a dishwasher that comes in at 8 am, and another baker that comes in at 8 am to help. Around 9:30-10 they get done baking, so the last baker comes in and does the prep for the next day. At 9:30 our morning manager and cashier comes in and opens and does all the morning stuff. Our bakers do all of the decorating. I am pretty particular so my bakers have to do a lot of things before I let them frost. But they all frost now.
Q: How many cupcakes do you make a week?
A: We make 300-400 cupcakes a day, but that depends on the month. We make more in some months. It will be different in February, and it was different in December.
Q: What do you do with the cupcakes you don’t sell?
A: We offer discounted day-old cupcakes, or just like the other day, someone was doing a woman’s shelter fundraiser, and she asked if we had any extras, and we did that day, so she came and got them. It just kind of depends.
Q: What would you tell our readers about being an entrepreneur from your experience opening a successful business?
A: I think that if you want to do something, you can–If you put your heart and mind to it. If you love it, you should go forward with it, but you really should do something you love. If I can do it, anyone else can do it!
Want to take the video tour of her shop? You can find it here.
Isn’t she inspiring? Well, she has offered to give one of our lucky readers a $25 gift certificate to her shop! I wish I could win it. Check her out on Facebook.
Here’s how to enter to win:
1. “Like” Cravings Alisha’s Cupcakes on Facebook.
2. “Like” Travel Parent Eat on Facebook and share the giveaway
3. Subscribe to our blog here.
For extra entries because you know you want some cupcake goodness:
+1- Post a selfie on instagram using #CravingTPE and tag us @travel_parent_eat
+1- Follow TPE on Instagram (@travel_parent_eat)
+1- Follow TPE on Pinterest
Contest ends on February 6th at Noon MST, don’t forget to enter, and share with your friends, if they comment saying you sent them, you get an extra entry!
And don’t forget to comment below to let us know you entered!