Two weekends ago, I was the lucky recipient of a dozen cupcakes from Vappy’s Bakeshop. I had entered Von’s facebook little flavor suggestion contest and won with my flavor suggestion of Orange Nutella. (I got the inspiration from my memory of an orange hazelnut cake I had in Boston at L.A. Burdicks.) The cupcakes were divine. Chocolate cake with very light buttercream orange frosting (I’m not a frosting girl but I could eat this frosting by itself!). She sprinkled Lindt orange dark chocolate shavings on top; I found myself sometimes picking off flakes and letting it melt on my tongue. Mmm. The only suggestion I had for the lovely Ms. Von was that her straight Nutella filling when married with her orange chocolate cake, made the cupcake a little too rich. I ended up (very happily still) eating around the filling (divorce!!) and was very sad when my cupcakes were no more.
I’m always fascinated by entrepreneurs and what inspires them to take that leap and open a business. Still dizzy by her cupcake creation, I asked if Von would allow me to do an interview feature (my first!) about her cupcake business and she graciously agreed. So without further hoopla, I present to you my first Chewing the Fat feature with Von from Vappy’s Bakeshop.
Why did you choose the name “Vappy’s Bakeshop”?
I asked a couple of friends and family members about the name and Vappy is actually a nickname derived from the initials of my first name V.A.P. I’ve been called Vappy all my life.
How long have you had Vappy’s Bakeshop?
I started Vappy’s Bakeshop basically in January with the name and the logo and actually started advertising that I sell cupcakes. Before then, it was just a hobby.
Why did you choose to specialize in cupcakes? Have you always wanted to open up a bakeshop? What inspired you to finally make that leap of faith?
I honestly chose cupcakes because I thought cakes were too hard and troublesome to decorate and I liked the proportion of the cupcake as well as the individuality and creative possibilities of each cupcake. I didn’t want to open a bake shop until after I took a cake decorating class last year and I come from an entrepreneurial family so I wanted to own my own business one day. What inspired me to take the leap of faith was when my dad was in the hospital sick and I realized how short life is so I figured I would just go for it and sell my cupcakes and see how far I can take the business.
What is your favorite cupcake flavor?
My favorite flavor is red velvet cheesecake!
How do you come up with new flavors?
Oftentimes, I think of flavors of other desserts I like like Tiramisu or Tres leches and I try to make them in cupcake form. I also have friends and family who send in suggestions and I try to make them. I also read various blogs for interesting flavors to try.
What was a surprising lesson you’ve learned in the business of making cupcakes?
A surprising lesson I’ve learned is that cupcake decorating can be a lot of work…maybe more work than cakes since everything has to be miniature and it takes A LOT of time. I’ve also learned that having customers pick up cupcake is 10 times better than delivering them!
What is your most popular order? Most favorite custom order? Any cupcake misadventure, say a flavor that was better in theory than in reality?
My most popular order is key lime crumb which has actual key lime filling mixed with a graham cracker batter. My favorite custom orders are birthday cupcakes for friends. They are definitely more personalized and special because they are for people that are dear to me. Hmm…I tried to make a “Twix cupcake” with caramel Hershey’s in a vanilla cake but the cake came out completely deflated. I’ll probably try that flavor again but with a different cake recipe.
Where do you hope to take Vappy’s Bakeshop in the future?
In the future, I hope to have at least one storefront (or maybe multiple) in the Houston Area with a good following and people who equate my cupcakes to CRACK and must get their daily/weekly/monthly fix!
This concludes my little feature on Vappy’s Bakeshop. I highly recommend giving her a try if ever you’re in Houston. You can reach her website by clicking on her logo. Here’s Vappy’s Bakeshop’s blog entry about the cupcakes I received.
Cupcake photo credit: Vappy’s Bakeshop
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