Cupcakes by Carousel

By on Saturday, August 6th, 2011

As I said in my bio (albeit jokingly at the time), I thought my spot with ATC might entice my parents to get into the act.  Sure enough, while visiting them, my mother and I went out on a cupcake expedition.  In Ridgewood, NJ, we found a local cupcakerie with flavors to spare.

Cupcakes by Carousel is on Main St. in Ridgewood, next to the movie theater.

The product line starts with “Classic White/Chocolate with Fudge” and “Red Velvet” and moves on to “Vanilla Dirt Worm” and “Chocolate Pretzel.”  “Pink Marshmallow Snowball” and “Turtle” looked almost too pretty to eat.

The winners in our taste selection included “Key Lime Pie,” which my mother said included candied lime, made by taking lime zest and packing it in sugar (the moisture makes the sugar adhere to begin with until it soaks in).

Dad had the gluten free vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing and gave it a thumbs up.  This is a new product line for Cupcakes by Carousel, and, from pans used only for gluten free to individual cupcake holders for gluten free, it’s just the recipe for those with celiac disease.

I might just be going home to visit my parents again…soon!

The Fashionable Cupcake

By on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Love My Cake of Upper Montclair, NJ starts with all the necessary ingredients for a good cupcake establishment: family recipes, rich and delicious ingredients, and of course, a deep and lasting love of cupcakes.  Love My Cake also has what it takes to go from good to local icon status: panache.  Owner Sonya Newton has a flair not only for baking, but also for the creation of chic, and it shows in Love My Cake’s fashionably boutique design, stylish cupcakes and vintage apron collection.

Speaking of chic and unique – one of Love My Cake’s specialities is their Cupcake In A Jar. I’ve heard of mason jar crumbles before, and even mason jar pies, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a cupcake in a mason jar.  It sounds like we’ve discovered the latest fashion in baked goods –  are cookies next?

Making Cupcakes, Making Jobs

By on Monday, January 25th, 2010

As the recession stretches on and jobs stay hard to find, more people are turning to self-employment to pay the bills.   The name of the game is to use your pre-existing skills in a venture with a low start-up cost.  Like, say, using your many years of cupcake-baking experience to start a business selling cupcakes.

Carrie Spindler of Hudson County, New Jersey did just that when she started GoodieBox Bakeshop.  After losing her job, Spindler decided to take the leap and put her fifteen years of baking experience to entrepreneurial use. Spindler started her business online and created a dedicated following (especially for her signature red velvet cupcakes) before moving into her own retail space.

Mini Empire Bakery of Seattle, Washington has much the same business plan. Christy Beaver and Morgan Greenseth started their cupcakes and more concern online this last December and have just started selling their goods in local cafes as well.  Just as Spindler did with GoodieBox, Beaver and Greenseth plan on building a following before setting up a brick and mortar shop.

Besides the relative ease and low-cost of starting up an online catering company, these cupcake entrepreneurs have one more thing on their side: the robustness of the small luxuries market. While many of us can no longer afford big luxuries,  we still have money for little luxuries like cupcakes. Thus cupcake-making is a potential source of jobs as well as sweetness, even in tough economic times like these.