The mother and daughter team of Kim and Callie Richardson just opened Callie’s Cupcakes and Creations, located in the restaurant space directly to the left of Chik-fil-A in the Town Center food court.
The business had its genesis just seven months ago, when Callie, 21, tried her hand at making Easter-themed cake pops out of the home she shares with her parents in Woodstock. Callie said the cake pops are cake and icing rolled into a ball, dipped in chocolate and placed on a stick, and the first batch had Easter bunnies drawn on them.
“They were so adorable, and once she put them up on Facebook for sale, she had an order placed within 10 minutes,” Kim said. “Every day, she would try to make new things and post them up on Facebook and soon, she was getting multiple orders. And eventually, there were so many orders that the business just progressed naturally. In one order, a friend of ours wanted to throw her husband a Wimbledon party, since he’s a big tennis fan, and she figured out how to make the cake balls with sanding sugar on the outside to make them fuzzy. She’s just very talented.”
Today, Callie’s Cupcakes and Creations offers eight different cupcake flavors, including cookies and cream and chocolate molten lava, and also offers seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice. The business also offers various cheesecakes by the cake or by the slice, including apple cinnamon and espresso flavors. And the cake balls and cake pops are still available, in flavors such as lemon and funfetti.
All of the cupcakes, cake balls and cake pops can be purchased in a single serving or by the dozen, but Kim said the key for them to stay in business is to continue receiving the large orders, such as those for parties, showers or business functions. Callie said they also hope to branch out more into weddings, offering a popular cupcake tower as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake.
Callie said her shop’s baked goods are unique because while most cupcake vendors vary a basic recipe depending on the flavor, such as adding strawberries or chocolate, each of her cupcakes is made with its own recipe to bring out the flavor. Kim also said they use expensive ingredients, such as top-of-the-line vanilla, and real butter to make their cupcakes stand out from the rest.
Callie said she learned the art of baking from her mother, as she was often her kitchen helper while she cooked for and entertained family and friends.
And while Callie said she never dreamed she would be opening a bake shop so soon, the whirlwind experience has been great as she has been able to spend more time with her mother and her special-needs sister, who also helps out with the business.
“It has been harder than I thought it would be, but I’ve enjoyed it,” Callie said. “We’re baking at night, frosting in the morning, then I’m at the bakery then going to school then back at the bakery, so it’s been hard sometimes. But I’ve really enjoyed our time together — it’s been really nice.”
Callie, a junior at Kennesaw State University majoring in education, is set to graduate in May 2013, although she said that if the cupcake business becomes successful, she would focus on that rather than teaching. But she said the teaching degree would help her regardless, as she can use the childhood development skills she is being taught when she starts her own family in the future.
Kim said Callie considered going to pastry school when she graduated from North Cobb Christian School, but knew that path would likely lead to working in someone else’s bakery, which Callie said would not be conducive to being an involved mother. So Callie said she decided to go the traditional school route, with the thoughts that a bakery business could still someday be on the horizon.
Kim credits the cupcake trend that has been sprouting up in new businesses across the country as an alternative to the traditional heavy, large and expensive cakes sold in bakeries.
“They’re nice because they’re an indulgence for when you may not want to go extreme with a whole cake,” Kim said. “Eating a cupcake just makes you feel better, and you can have that small taste without having a whole cake to go through. I think today more than any other time with the economy the way it is, everyone needs a little piece of indulgence sometimes.”
Kim said the duo signed a short-term lease for the mall space, which expires in February, but that they have the option to renew if the business is successful. The shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m.
Follow Katy Ruth Camp on Twitter at twitter.com/KatyRuthC.