April 21

Spotlight on Kara’s Cupcakes

If you have been keeping up with Diva Dialogues and my entries you know that I am a big fan of cupcakes. That’s why I was over the moon with excitement when Kara of Kara’s cupcakes in San Francisco agreed to take time out from her busy schedule to talk with me. So get comfy, grab a sweet snack and enjoy getting to know a little bit about my favorite confection, a cupcake store, and the girl behind it.

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Kara’s Cupcakes is so original in that it only sells cupcakes! How did you come up with the idea of having a cupcake store?
Well I always loved sweets. I was deprived of things like candies and cakes growing up because I had a father who was a dentist. I was passionate about sweets and I always, always knew that I wanted to start business. I enrolled at a pastry school with the goal of starting a cupcake business. At that time, cupcakes just started getting popular. It was of course, popular with kids for a long time but then adults started to see it’s a great way to have an indulgent little treat without the guilt.

How did you get started?
I used to be the Northwest Director of sales for Allure magazine where I met with clients such as Gap and worked with their Marketing department. Working in fashion and beauty products was an extension of creating cupcakes. For example, what flavor you pick says to me the owner what kind of style you have. I think designing cupcakes is similar to working with fashion because both start with really cool artistic ideas and are creative outlets.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from a lot of things in fashion and by what’s in season. For example, our Fleur Del Sel (chocolate cupcake with caramel filling, ganache frosting& fleur del sel) was inspired by chocolate makers that make fleur de sel candies. Our Meyer Lemony (lemon vanilla cupcake with a tart lemon filling and lemon buttercream) was at first seasonal but now year long. Seeing what’s fresh in the market place and observing other confections has brought on a lot of great ideas and flavors as well.

What is your most popular flavor?
Everyone always loves good old fashioned chocolate and vanilla which is why our Chocolate Velvet and Sweet Vanilla are our best-sellers. But it’s also nice to mix things up every once in awhile and add something different. Some days you might feel like trying Passion Fruit and Java.

sweet-vanilla.jpg yummy Sweet Vanilla!

I know you use a lot of local and sometimes organic ingredients in your cupcakes-why is that so important to you?
I think it brings together the community. And the bottom line is that it’s just a great way to keep things close, lowers fuel and energy, keeps relationship going with the community and helps support local businesses.

A lot of couples are opting for cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. What do you think are the benefits of having cupcakes at your wedding?
Cupcakes are fun. Guests get so excited when they see a tier of cupcakes. They wonder what flavors are there and which ones they will we get. Oftentimes, wedding cakes are never eaten. People think ooh it’s so pretty but don’t experience them. A cupcake is like a little gift or present. They are for you, you don’t have to share it, and you don’t have to wait for it to be cut to eat it.

Any trends you’re noticing in terms of colors or themes?
Cupcakes are a big hit with weddings. Though any celebration is a big factor-baby shower, wedding shower, congratulations. A lot of people like initial cupcakes, teddy bear for baby showers. People generally pick color themes and sometimes requests special fondant flowers on their cupcakes. It’s all about the flavor and tastes for any celebration.

What makes Kara’s cupcakes unique?
Kara’s cupcakes sense of community and our ingredients are important components to making are cupcakes delicious and unique. We bake our cakes every hour making it the freshest cake you can get. Sometimes it’s just minutes from the oven.

What would you like to say to our Diva Dialogues readers about Kara’s Cupcakes?
We’re open 7 days week. Our cupcakes are the best! They’re baked fresh with premium local ingredients. Come and try it! It’s delicious!

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