Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cool Fashion and Cupcakes Go Hand In Hand

Something about Shantel and Sharissa's style caught my eye. I felt the need to share and shout them out. Thanks again ladies for being such good sports! Come back soon!
Joi @ SFC

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ybor City Saturday Market

We are diligently preparing for our full-fledged debut at this weekend's Ybor City Saturday Market in Centennial Park (go here for more info)! We got our canopy, cooler, tables and chairs. We're still thinking about how to set up our booth: what kind of displays, how do our cupcakes look the most irresistible... Soon it'll be time to make the cupcakes (in a drone voice like those Dunkin' Donuts commercials from back in the day). So far we are thinking Sweet Potato Sweetie Pies, Triple Chocolate, Coconut, Chai and Vanilla cupcakes. We don't know exactly how many people to expect but we would love to be able to sell out, so maybe we will only make three dozen LOL! We hope to have beautiful weather, meet great people, and most of all HAVE FUN (we hope to cut up with our new friends of Joey Biscotti)! So come and visit us and stay tuned for our live twitter coverage and pictures of the event!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

About Our Services

Sugar Flower Cupcakes is a family-owned and operated business servicing and delivering to the Wesley Chapel area of Pasco County and bordering Tampa, Florida areas. All of our products are baked in a certified kitchen in Largo. Be on the lookout for our vending truck coming soon. Our goal is to provide our community with an affordable indulgence and an anytime treat.

Our services include:

  • Delivery (minimum order required)
  • Vendor and corporate events
  • Cupcake wedding cakes
  • Cupcake favors

Choose from our delicious cupcakes and mini pies baked daily made with fresh quality ingredients. Click here to see our list.

Regular-size $2 each, $22 per dozen (2 dozen minimum)
Mini-size $1 each, $11 per dozen (4 dozen minimum)

“Sweetie Pies”
Sweet Potato $2 each, $22 per dozen (2 dozen minimum)
Apple $ 2 each, $22 per dozen (2 dozen minimum)

For those in our community with food allergies and/or dietary preferences: Please be advised that our products contain wheat, dairy products and other products from animals, such as honey, and may contain nuts and/or nut extracts. Other products baked in the same facility may also contain soy products. Please contact us if you have any other questions. We would love to be able to accommodate you to the best of our ability.

Follow us:
Flickr photostream:

With our blog we hope to be able to provide a glimpse into how we are planning our business and who we are as a team.

Sugar Flower Cupcakes
Wesley Chapel, FL, United States

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cupcakes: Comfort Food Perfect for a Recession

I read an article about a new cupcake business to open in Massachusetts. I appreciated how the owner, Kasey Thibeault, indirectly made a connection between comfort food and recession. She says, "It’s like a mini-vacation when you eat a cupcake. They’re fun and versatile, and there are many flavors, colors, and designs." This connection has been uncovered in various news articles which Tod Wilson, owner of Mr. Tod's Pie Factory in my hometown of Somerset, New Jersey, made reference to on the premier of ABC's Shark Tank.

SFC is also aware of this connection which we interpret as a great opportunity in our area and we have included such articles in our own business plan. In fact part of our business philosophy sums up this thought: "SFC [will] conveniently offer top quality cupcakes with unique flavors and decorations—an affordable luxury in a climate of financial hardship, a simple treat to lift spirits."

Hoping to make people smile,
Joi @ SFC

Friday, August 21, 2009

Social Media: What Does It Mean to SFC?

I thought I'd share this article I briefly read (okay, so I really just skimmed it but I plan to revisit it in depth) about the users of social media such as the ever popular MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and even texting. It provided some insight into their demographics. What I haven't determined yet is exactly how we can use this information for our business especially since we have plans to develop an online presence for our own marketing and advertising purposes. We really want to get to know who our potential customers are and make a mark in our physical community. It's even in our business plan describing our company goals: "To become a fixture in the community in the same way as a “neighborhood bakery”—the “go-to guys” for cupcakes..."

Things that make you go hmmm...*rubs chin*

Joi @ SFC

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beware of the Nay-Sayers!!! (cont.)

As you know, we are still on our quest to find a vehicle for our business. We went to a relatively small truck dealer in Tampa today where we were able to better narrow down what we are looking for. We took a peek into a Ford E-350 cargo van that had an extended top on it. The total height worked for our purposes of standing and moving around the van yet the way the top was attached to the van itself took away from the work space and the possibility of adding shelves for storage.

Anywho, here's the interesting part: When I explained to the salesperson what our intentions are for the truck, specifically mentioning cupcakes, she responded with a perplexed tilt of the head, "You think that'll pay the rent?"

I was almost caught off guard and then responded, "Well, I'm not sure but I'm definitely willing to try." Touché!

My purpose for posting this experience is to let anyone who wants to start a business, change their career, pursue your dream, or basically make your own decision: BEWARE OF THE NAY-SAYERS! Don't allow anyone to take away your joy and burst your bubble. It's your bubble to burst! Any Business or Entrepreneurship 101 course is going to emphasize that every individual has their own level of risk which I caught a brief glimpse of when this woman mentioned that she wanted to open a restaurant and when told that it's more of a headache than beneficial decided not to.

I can't say that this was a bad experience though. When the woman saw my enthusiasm, smile and the way that I speak about our idea she commended me and wished me the best. Maybe I inspired her... Go open your restaurant girl!

Joi @ SFC
Beware of the Nay-Sayers!!!
Details to come...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On our way to see another truck. We hope to learn from each experience. Staying positive...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

UPDATE: Truck Test Drive Successful-- Looking at the Bright Side

Tuesday we test drove the truck we were looking to buy. Long story short of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: it's a No Go. The salesman agreed to allow us to bring the truck to a mechanic providing he came with us (thank goodness he did). In the first 15 minutes of my mom driving the engine started to bug out. He stopped and put oil in it... We made it to Firestone only to find that they don't deal with diesel engines. You've gotta be kidding me! Ahhghhh! Just telling this story is making me tired.

So, the end of the matter is... We're glad we were given the opportunity to see the truck for what it really is and we're still looking for a vending vehicle. I would love for us to have a Dodge Sprinter but the prices we've seen so far are a little out of reach for us as a start up. I may have to trade in my car. Sorry, Happy II, but I gotta get this business up and running. I need this to work!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Long Day in Tampa

This time we visited Ybor City, which wasn't a huge waste of time; at least it got me out of the house. From what I've heard and from what we could see, this town is one of those college/trendy/night-crowd-only kinda spots. There were a few people walking around. I couldn't quite figure out what they were there for. It was a beautiful day but there weren't any street events going on. So maybe people just decided just like we did to visit the "city" (it reminded me of Downtown New Brunswick back home in Jersey-- just one street with stores and restaurants, no big deal, not really a city the way I expect a city to be, like, well New York City).

So I think that we concluded that this may not be the best area for our vending purposes. We'll have to do more research by going different days and times... Oh and next time I'll take pictures. I had my camera on me but... just didn't find anything interesting. In the meantime, check out this beautiful picture of Columbia Restaurant from Flickr user KayCpics. I was told they have excellent paella.

Joi @ SFC

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's This, What's THIS?

1997 GMC Utilimaster

Could I have found a truck?... What's this, What's THIS? If it looks like a duck...

The other day Cupcakes Take the Cake posted some info (which has since been updated) about a new cupcake truck in Jacksonville, FL. This put fire under me (those ladies always manage some sort of inspiration) since that is just what we want to do. And the fact that this business is in Florida really got me heated (in a good way). So today we went to see a former USPS truck for sale and now we're working the price of converting it into our financial worksheets to see just how feasible this is. We also saw some brand new Dodge Sprinters which was like a dream sequence until we saw the price tag! Talk about bursting bubbles! Some day...

Joi @SFC

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Movin' On Up... To a Deluxe Kitchen Nearbyyy

Thanks to the researching skills of my dear husband we found a commercial kitchen rental in the Tampa Bay area via Craigslist! This has been the biggest obstacle to starting our business: finding somewhere to bake. Months ago we found a certified kitchen in Largo which is almost an hour away. We really clicked with the owner; she offered us plenty of industry knowledge. Yet, we were hung up on the distance; we couldn't wrap our brains around baking in Largo and servicing our Wesley Chapel following.

So, now we are awaiting the completion of this kitchen; we were given a 30-day ETA. Now we have a time frame to get all of our ducks in a row.

This post also serves as a plug/testimonial for Craigslist. It may take a lot of time, patience and a keen eye but you may find just what you're looking for.

Joi @ SFC

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where Have You Been?!

Well, brainstorming and more brainstorming. Trying to really figure this thing out. Going over each scenario as to how to best run the business with the least overhead. We're gonna get it right one of these days. Keep hope alive!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sugar Flower... Cookies?

I felt like making cookies last week. My chocolate chip came out well before so I thought I'd offer a batch to one of my sugar addict friends. To my surprise she had a a special request for Oreos. I had never made them before but I remembered seeing a recipe in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food (April 2009). Find it online: Chocolate 'n' Cream Sandwich Cookies.

My two cents: I would suggest reading the comments after the recipe. I didn't have any problems with the batter being dry or crumbly; it was fine. I used a rubber spatula to mix the dough and a KitchenAid mixer (wire whisk attachment) for the filling. The rolling part could require two people yet putting a towel under the parchment kept it from sliding. Also, if you prefer the crisp nature of an Oreo I would make sure that the dough is rolled out thinner than 1/4 inch as instructed. Otherwise the cookie remains soft after baking.

Here's what resulted:

Yes, I do know "O"reos to be round but the only cookie cutter I had close to the size was square. They're Faux-reos anyway...

I used extra-fine granulated sugar yet it still remained a tad bit gritty. I wonder if the sugar dissolved first in a little water then added to the butter would work...

I stamped baby feet in some just to see how it would work.

The biggest issue was that they kinda came out tasting coffee-ish. I'm sure it had to do with the vanilla extract that I used. I ran out of my usual: Sonoma Syrup Co.'s No. 4. All in all, I'd say the trial was successful. My friend gave me an "A" for effort. We ate them. Nothing goes to waste 'round these parts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

Here are the results of having to satisfy a sweet tooth at 10pm when you have no eggs. My dad, the vegetarian, claimed them as his own. We all loved them. The icing was rich and smooth-- very good. I could've eaten it without the cake. Now I understand frosting shots!

I found the cake recipe on I used organic cane sugar and apple cider vinegar. The icing recipe is from Crazy About Cupcakes.

Making the icing...

This was my first time making this type of icing. I wasn't sure I would either do it correctly or if it would taste edible so I halved the recipe and two cupcakes missed out...

Sittin' pretty...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

He Actually Won Something!

As some of you may know, during the opening weeks and thereafter of Coraline the movie there was quite a buzz about a special Coraline edition of the Nike Dunk. "Those in the know" stuck around until after the credits where a secret code was given to enter on the Coraline website. Thus you were entered into a drawing to win a pair of Coraline Dunks... Long story short, my husband won a pair! Check 'em out:

Oh, snap! They glow in the dark on the bottom!

Cupcakes Take the Cake featured some awesome Coraline cupcakes from death by cupcake on Flickr. How this was her first attempt at fondant? I have no idea. But alas, some people just got it like that.

UPDATE: We've Got Boxes!

Our cupcake boxes and inserts arrived as anticipated; shipping was fast... Now, if only I had some cupcakes to put in them.

Chocolate Cupcake with White Chocolate Frosting

I got a kick outta this pic, remembering those days back in October when my family and I first started our cupcake trials. I thought I was a genius with a decorating tip... Making white chocolate "roses". Now that frosting "technique" just looks like the top of a spool of string. Ha.

But you gotta love my frosting madness in the background!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cupcake and Pie Selections

Classic Flavors
  • Vanilla: Classic, moist yellow cake topped with Chocolate Fudge Frosting or Vanilla Buttercream
  • Lemon: Lemon cake topped with your choice of Lemon Buttercream or Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Red Velvet: Traditional Red Velvet cake topped with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting; Candied or Toasted Pecan topping optional
  • Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate cake made with just a hint of coffee dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache embellished with a sweet message

Premium Selections

  • Almond: Almond cake mixed with chopped almonds topped with smooth Vanilla Buttercream
  • Black Bottom Banana: Banana cake sits on an Oreo, then topped with smooth Vanilla Buttercream
  • Coconut: Coconut cake topped with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting or Vanilla Buttercream sprinkled with Toasted Coconut flakes
  • Peanut Butter: Rich Peanut Butter cake topped with decadent Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting
  • Triple Chocolate: Moist and decadent cake mixed with Chocolate Chips, dipped in Dark Chocolate Ganache topped with Chocolate Fudge Frosting or Chocolate Buttercream
  • Chai Tea: Indian Chai Spices and Honey cake topped with Cinnamon Cream Cheese or Buttercream. Our Signature Fan Favorite!
  • Hummingbird: A mouthwatering tropical blend of Pineapple, Banana, and Coconut cake, mixed with Pecans and topped with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Sweet Potato: Sweet Potato cake topped with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

"Sweetie Pies"

  • Sweet Potato: Smooth and creamy Sweet Potato filling baked in a buttery crust
  • Apple: Sweet and tangy apples tossed in cinnamon, baked in a golden pocket of buttery crust

We Ordered Cupcake Boxes!

My husband and I ordered cupcake boxes from Big River Packaging last night. I would recommend them already! They responded promtly to our inquiry and advertise fast shipping (we shall see how they live up to that promise). We should have them by Thursday allowing plenty of time for a possible order of graduation cupcakes this weekend. I can't wait to be able to put some cupcakes in them like a real cupcakery! I plan to spice it up a notch with some ribbon I have left over from our wedding favors.

I will definitely take pics this time. I can't believe that I forgot to take some of the sweet potato and chai cupcakes I made for my aunt last week. We ate all the "extries" before I thought about it. I'm gonna get the hang of this blogging thing one of these days!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hello, From Sugar Flower Cupcakes

Our 1st attempt at chocolate ganache-"Faux-stess" cupcakes

Good day everyone! Sugar Flower Cupcakes (SFC) is looking forward to providing a better glimpse into who this mother-daughter owned (and soon-to-be operated) small business is.
My husband and I moved from New Jersey to Florida towards the end of October 2008 and thought about how to make a living. After several discussions my mother suggested getting back into her wedding cakes. Long story short, our plan was tweeked and revised down to beginning with cupcakes: uniquely designed and well, DELICIOUS.
So here we are trying to figure out how to go about it. We've created a buzz amongst our family and new friends down here. So our next steps are finalizing our business plan and really figuring out how we will stand out from the various cupcake businesses in the Tampa Bay area. Please stay tuned.