Cupcake craze sweeps nation, brings sweet business success to Hoosier retailers
Last Updated: 250 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A sweet treat many Hoosiers enjoyed as children is now tempting the taste buds of grown-up's in central Indiana, with cupcake shops opening all around town.
Cupcakes have become a multi-billion dollar industry, according to food analysts, with TV shows, books, blogs and of course "cupcakeries" cashing in on the craze.
A cupcake shop in California even developed an ATM-like gadget that dispenses cupcakes.
RTV6's Ericka Flye visited a few local shops to see what makes the little cakes so popular with Hoosiers.
"It's a lot of people's guilty pleasure," said Brenda Roe, event coordinator at Gigi's Cupcakes.
There's a cupcake craze sweeping the Midwest, and Hoosiers are sinking their teeth right in.
"Once you do, you're hooked," said Jill Hauck, a customer at Gigi's.
Cupcakes are so in demand that cupcakeries are popping up across central Indiana.
"It's just nostalgia," said Karen von Kamecke Sutton, owner of Holy Cow Cupcakes. "We ate cupcakes growing up as little kids."
But these are not your childhood cupcakes -- they've evolved from just sprinkles and frosting.
At Holy Cow in Carmel, Sutton loves to try out new combinations, like maple bacon.
"We use Smoking Goose bacon, and we crumble it up all over the top," she said. "I did a chocolate cupcake stuffed with cookie dough topped with cookie dough frosting last week that was out of this world."
At Gigi's Cupcakes in Indianapolis and Fishers, customers are saying, "I do," to the popular wedding cake cupcake.
"By far it is our biggest seller, and we carry it every day," Roe said.
Kate Bova Drury, owner of The Flying Cupcake, said her best seller is the red velvet Elvis.
Opened in 2007, The Flying Cupcake was Indiana's first cupcakery. There are now four locations in Carmel and Indianapolis.
"You can come in and get one cupcake, and it can make your day," Drury said. "If you're having a bad day, you can take it home, have it later. I think it's a self-contained little box of happiness."
Gigi's Cupcakes has been boxing up delicious delights for Hoosiers for a couple of years now. Customer Hauck routinely picks up cupcakes for her sales clients.
"They have such a good time in the office going through them and figuring out what flavor's what... and trying them all," Hauck said.
Cupcakes seem to have widespread appeal -- all ages, and both women and men.
"A lot of times, (men will) say, 'I've got to get one for the wife too, if she knows that I was here at lunch time and I didn't bring one home to her, she would be upset,'" Roe said.
Even with prices around $3.50 for the giant ones, cupcakes seem to be recession proof.
In fact, The Flying Cupcake saw a spike in business in 2008 and 2009.
"People still were willing to indulge in that during a time when they were being conservative," Drury said.
The cupcake has made a sweet comeback.
"The trend is huge, and I don't see it waning," Sutton said.
Food analysts don't expect any slowdown anytime soon.
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