Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five Questions With A Food Founder: Michael Horn of Craft Coffee

This is the inaugural interview of our Five Questions With A Food Founder Interview Series.  We talked to Michael Horn of Craft Coffee, a coffee subscription start-up based in Brooklyn. Craft Coffee is offering Cupcakes Take The Cake readers a special discount code. Use "CUPCAKES10" when you buy your coffee online.

What was your inspiration for starting Craft Coffee?
Every coffee has a story. That was the original idea behind Craft Coffee. But as we built the business, we realized that we had missed something really important: Every coffee drinker has a story too! We call this your Coffee DNA. In August, we rebuilt our entire service, which is now powered by our Coffee DNA ProjectTM.  Our goal is to make it really easy for you to find new coffees you’ll love.

To get started, you just tell us what coffee you drink today. Then we match you to coffees we think you’ll love based on our scientific analysis of hundreds of coffee beans, and big dollop of technology. We help you find the right roast, at the right price, on the right delivery schedule. And as you rate your coffees, we learn more about you and keep improving your experience. Of course, all of our coffee is fresh roasted to order by independent roasters around the country.

Craft Coffee pioneered a new kind of coffee subscription. And now with our Coffee DNA ProjectTM, we’ve raised the bar again. We’re really excited about the great response we’ve been getting from our customers!

How did you come up with the name and logo of your business?
We’ve always loved the idea of coffee as a craft. From sourcing to roasting to brewing. Back in 2010 when we picked our name, nobody was using that term to describe what independent coffee roasters were doing. Hey, the domain was available! So it was a no-brainer for us.

What websites or apps that you are use that essential for your business?

We think of ourselves as the first true internet start-up in the coffee space. So our toolkit is more internet start-up than coffee company.

  • HipChat- A great tool for team and individual communication. Everybody on the team is logged-in all day.
  • Google Drive-All of our company’s documentation is in Google Drive. It’s essential for us every day.
  • Google Analytics- The easiest way to get a basic overview of what's happening with your online business.
  • Github- A very popular management tool for code, but it also has some other great features. We use a feature called Github Issues with a free plugin called ZenHub ( to do most of our product management.
  • We also like Trello, Mixpanel, Heroku and Geckoboard.   

What's the best thing about having your own food business? 
The absolute best thing is that coffee is something that is really special to so many people. When a new customer loves their first delivery and tweets or Instagrams it, that’s just amazing. When you see a customer in Japan, for example, Instagram his latest delivery. It’s like, hey, we packed this coffee by hand in our little Brooklyn office and 6 days later it’s in Tokyo and somebody there is so excited to receive it and try something new. That gets me every time.

What's your favorite thing to eat with your coffee?

I’m a purist. My absolute favorite part of my day is that morning cup of coffee. All by itself. Just a black cup of coffee in my favorite mug. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cupcake Wars in Germany!

This past weekend, an organization in my community held a Cupcake Wars to raise money to support the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment here at USAG Bavaria: Grafenwoehr/Vilseck, Germany.

Five local bakers participated with three prizes to win for Best Overall, Best Presentation and Most Delicious!

Of course, I participated!

I made Oreo cupcakes and topped them with Oreo balloon pops and themed my table with more balloons and in red and white!  The entire event was lot of fun and raised a good amount of money for a great cause! 

For all the details... check out my post over at JavaCupcake

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cupcake Stand DIY By Renee Adler

Yes, you too can DIY a cupcake stand. Renee Adler of Cute Simple Stuff shows you how.
Hi everyone! Wanted to let you know a new #baking type #diy is waiting for you (link in bio). Enjoy!
Check out the video below.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rice Krispie Treat Cakes by Smashbakes

Ashley Khawsy, contributor to Cupcakes Take The Cake, is also the founder of Smashbakes Bakery based in Chino, California. She made these beautifully colorful Rice Krispie Treat and sprinkle-generous cakes. These are the perfect personal sized sweet for any celebration and can be customized to your specific needs.

The best part? It's three layers of that childhood treat we all know and love, Rice Krispie Treats!
You can find Smashbakes on Facebook,too.

 Rice Krispie Treat Cake
Sprinkle-Generous Cake

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Huffington Post Uses Cupcakes Politically

In a Facebook post today, The Huffington Post says it with cupcakes:

"Westboro Baptist Church is coming to protest us here at HuffPost.
Our message for them? Cupcakes. Lots of rainbow Baked by Melissa cupcakes. ‪#‎GodLovesCupcakes"

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Here's the Cupcake Royale cupcake sundae

It's got ice cream, whipped cream and a cupcake! I said no to hot fudge. It's intense, as befitting an $8 dessert. More photos later but I had to share this.

Greetings from Cupcake Royale in Seattle

I'm about to try a cupcake sundae with their peanut butter and honey cupcake! Full report to come.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

What A Booty! Pirate Cupcakes

Check out these pirate cupcakes.