Post Classifieds

Sugar Cupcakery

By Rachael Harris
On July 14, 2011

 

It's 9:30 a.m. as I knock on the door of Sugar Cupcakery in Old Milford, with my hot Snapple Wild Berry Tea in hand from the coffee shop down the street.

A few seconds later, the door opens, and a smiling Krista Tevar stands before me.

"Come on in!" she says. "Have a seat. Just give me a few minutes. I just got here myself." I sit down and take a look around.

The store is predominately purple, both inside and out.

Brown, purple and teal stripes cover the walls, and hand painted pictures of a similar pattern hang to the side. Adorable chairs and tables fill the shop, with a vase and individual flower on each one.

"I see you have some coffee or tea already," she says, pointing to my cup, "or I would have of¬fered you some." Only five min¬utes after meeting Krista, I could tell she was kind and fun to be around. Her upbeat personality shined through her smile.

After I commented on the store's wonderful smell, Krista said she's been there so long she can't smell it anymore.

"People often tell me I smell like cupcakes," she laughs.

Sugar Cupcakery is a small, locally-owned organic cupcakery in Old Milford on Main Street. They have only been open for a little over a year, since Labor Day weekend of 2009.

Although they only sell cup¬cakes, coffee, tea and water, busi¬ness is booming thanks to their appearance on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars."

Their building is owned by a couple from South Carolina, who occasionally live upstairs, and renovated the building with Sugar in mind.

A psychologist, Krista stopped working when she gave birth to her son. One Thanksgiving, Krista, her husband, the Director of Liver Transplant at the University of Cincinnati hospital, and her newborn son took a trip out east to visit family.

While visiting her husband's family in D.C., they stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes, featured on TLC's "DC Cupcakes."

"We were there, and they had all these orders, and it was so cute!" Tevar said. "I was like, 'I could do this!'"

Although her husband didn't think she would follow through with her plan, the store opened one year later.

"Then we had all the orders and all the fun stuff!" Tevar laughs.

While her cupcakes are a bit more expensive due to their all organic ingredients, Tevar says people are willing to pay.

"Even in the recession, peo¬ple want to treat themselves to something a little more upscale without having to break the bank," Tevar says.

They also sell vegan and glu¬ten-free cupcakes, which are a popular demand of many differ¬ent customers.

"So, we started getting all these people coming in that have food allergies and said, 'don't you have gluten-free?' and 'I can't eat eggs! I can't eat soy!' and we were like, 'oh my God!'" Tevar laughs.

"So we just went to the inter¬net and started trying out differ¬ent things, and pieced together five or six different recipes un¬til we found something that worked."

A free-lance photo stylist now working in Philadelphia, Karla Jennings (Krista's sister) helped design and decorate the store and helped to bake cupcakes un¬til they could find pastry chefs.

The two pastry chefs arrive between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., depending on how many orders they have and what needs to get done for the day.

Sugar never lets any cupcakes go to waste, and at the end of the day, they often donate their extras to different church or ser¬vice groups. After that, the em¬ployees get first dibs, which new employees are always excited about. During the school year, she encourages her employees to take them to any after-school practices they may have. Her husband also occasionally takes them to work.

Although Sugar gained public¬ity when they first opened, their business picked up after their appearance on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars."

Food Network called them and asked them to submit a quick video and some informa¬tion about their store if they were interested in being on the show.

Although they were initially going to pass up the opportunity, they made a video and submitted it the night before it was due.

"It was hilarious - my hus¬band put together the outtakes of my sister being like, oh my God, you sound ridiculous, and my little son carrying cup¬cakes, not even supposed to be, and dropping them all over the floor," Tevar says.

"We thought we'd send this one in and they'd get a laugh. They called us the next day and were like, 'you guys are in the show.'"

The show's creator told Krista that Sugar Cupcakery was hand-picked by her husband, who directed MTV's "Taking the Stage," a reality show about downtown Cincinnati's School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

At the time he was transferred to Cincinnati to direct the show, Sugar had just opened, and he saw an article about them in the paper. He told his wife that there was an organic cupcake shop that should be on the show.

"They didn't even have one in Los Angeles at the time, so he apparently started coming here and was like, you have to put them on the show," Tevar says.

While Food Network paid for their travel and hotel, everything else the company had to pay for themselves, including their or¬ganic ingredients.

"Let me tell you a little se¬cret about Food Network," Tevar says. "They don't give you anything."

"But the thing is, Food Network is offering you some¬thing that no money can buy," Tevar says. "For a small business, they're offering you national TV exposure. You kind of have to do what you have to do."

Sugar Cupcakery continues to be successful, even shipping their cupcakes across the United States. For more information, visit their website at http://www.sugarcupcakery.com.


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