Two new shops cure cupcake cravings

June 23, 2010 (CHICAGO)

There are now at least a half-dozen businesses devoted solely to cupcake production. And if you still crave a cupcake, two additional options are well worth your consideration, according to ABC7's Hungry Hound.

With names like Swirlz and More and Sugar Bliss, they tempt with creative frosting and sometimes, unique cake flavors. While most food pros say, "enough already," two more entrepreneurs say, "Want a cupcake?"

The cupcake trend may be over, but they don't really seem to care if they're late to the party at the Heavenly Cupcake Shop in downtown Elmhurst because this business opportunity came late in life.

"I have four kids, all grown now, so I used to always make cupcakes and when the youngest went to college, it was time to do something and so I decided to open cupcake shop, said Debra Quiroz, owner of the Heavenly Cupcake Shop.

More than a dozen unique flavors grace the front case each day. The chocolate peanut butter is certainly unique: chocolate cake is topped with peanut butter cream, then dipped into some quick-drying chocolate and finally topped with a dot of peanut butter frosting. The York is named for the local school and street - it contains peppermint patties. There's also a banana split, and even margarita cupcakes - topped off with fresh lime zest.

"The bakers have really helped me research, play with them, we try new ones almost everyday or at least several times a week. Originally, the bacon - French toast with bacon was one that was very surprising and it's very popular. It's one of the most popular cupcakes on Friday," Quiroz said.

Chicago's first mobile food operation is also focusing on cupcakes. If you can follow people on Twitter or Facebook, why not follow the Flirty Cupcake van?

"I was like, I don't think I would chase for ice cream-- but I would for a cupcake. And so then it just all started. We sort of put a business plan together and launched. We use a commercial kitchen that a lot of startup businesses use - Kitchen Chicago - and we bake them fresh every morning there and then we load them on to the truck," said Tiffany Kurtz of Flirty Cupcakes.

Flavors range from a chocolate cake with a Nutella ganache, to strawberry limeade and even coconut and red velvet. The thing that makes this operation different, is that the store uses social media to let customers know where they are everyday.

"So everyday we use social media. We tweet and post on Facebook the locations, where we will be the night before and then we also ask for input from our customers, loyal fans, where do you want us to go and the we work that in the schedule and post that," said Kurtz.

And in about two weeks, the Mac-Daddy of the West Coast - Sprinkles - makes its way to the Gold Coast with its signature cupcakes made famous in Beverly Hills.

Heavenly Cupcake Shop
162 N. York St. Elmhurst, IL

Flirty Cupcakes on Wheels
orders: 312-852-4441

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