I have been hearing about Sprinkles ever since I started this blog, and finally got to visit last month. My photos, alas, are sitting on my digital camera, soon to be transferred, but I can tell you there was a fight over the red velvet and the coconut was to die for. SO rich and creamy. Many thanks to Nicole for giving us the scoop on Sprinkles! Yes, we are interview-heavy this week, and have more lined up for you soon, but we also want to hear from YOU! If you'd like to be the next Cupcakes Take the Cake interviewee, email us at cupcakestakethecake at yahoo.com and we'll send you our questions!
Name: Nicole Schwartz
Location: Beverly Hills
Occupation: Marketing Assistant
When did Sprinkles open and what was the inspiration for it? How has the business grown since that time?
Sprinkles Beverly Hills opened April 13, 2005. Sprinkles Newport Beach opened August 14, 2006. Since then, our loyal customers have been great at spreading the word about Sprinkles and helping the business grow.
What makes a Sprinkles cupcake special? How do we know it's a "Sprinkles cupcake?"
Sprinkles uses the best, most premium ingredients. From Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla (priced at 100 dollars a gallon) to Callebaut chocolate to real fruits and vegetables, our ingredients are the best. We bake fresh daily and throughout the day so customers always receive a cupcake that was taken out of the oven only a couple hours earlier.
The presentation is a huge factor with Sprinkles cupcakes; what kind of "look" are you trying to go for with your cupcakes?
Our store design and our cupcakes themselves all have a very similar look: simple but stunning and pleasing on the eye. Our cupcakes are topped with our unique "modern dot" and our frosting style makes our cupcakes look almost too good to eat⎯almost. :)
You offer a wide range of flavors that are on a rotating schedule, such as banana chocolate and peanut butter. Which flavor(s) is the most popular and do you have plans to introduce new ones?
Red velvet is by far our most popular flavor. Followed by dark chocolate and vanilla. We definitely have plans to introduce new flavors. We roll out seasonal flavors such as eggnog spice for Christmas and Red Hot Velvet for Valentine's Day. We always try to keep things exciting and new at Sprinkles!
Do you respond to feedback from customers when creating your flavor schedule?
We definitely rotate our flavors according to popularity and customer feedback. We value our customers' opinions and encourage suggestions.
You offered special flavors for Thanksgiving and have holiday and New Year's cupcakes as well. Is there a more festive atmosphere in the store and amongst your customers' attitudes during these times? Are cupcakes becoming more of a common gift to bring to dinners and parties around these times? Do you celebrate other holidays such as Valentine's Day?
We definitely notice that cupcakes seem to make the perfect gift for most occasions. Eating sweets and holiday spirit seem to go hand in hand. Our customers get very excited about special flavors and decorations that come only once a year and we certainly try to cater to them.
Do you have any celebrity regulars and, if you can share, what their favorite flavors are?
We definitely have several celebrity clients from Katie Holmes, who loves our dark chocolate, to Jake Gyllenhaal (all the girls behind the counter swoon when he comes in) to Tyra Banks . . . We are so lucky to have their support.
What's your busiest time of the day/week/year? If someone's truly in a hurry, when's the best time for them to come to Sprinkles?
Our busiest time of the week is definitely Fridays and Saturdays. Earlier in the week and before noon, the store is a bit calmer and someone in a rush can just pop in and out to purchase their cupcakes. There is also always the option of placing an advance order and not having to stand in line at all. Customers who wish to do so may call our dedicated order line at 888-220-2210 or order online at www.sprinklescupcakes.com/order.php.
Your shop is pretty tiny, with room for only a few people to sit inside and two tables outside, and there can be long lines. Do you have any plans to expand or branch out?
We like the size of our store as we feel it provides an intimate experience for our customers. At this moment, no immediate plans to make the store larger.
You also offer doggie cupcakes, for actual dogs. Did you start this because you have a lot of customers with pets?
We definitely have many customers who love their dogs and we felt the Doggie cupcakes go perfectly with our concept. The owners, Candace and Charles Nelson have a dog of their own (as seen on our website) who loves our doggie cupcakes.
Do you ever do custom cupcakes, for weddings or other special events?
We have special decorations which suit many occasions. Cupcakes can be displayed on tiered cupcake towers as an alternative to a cake. We do not do custom flavors.
As a New Yorker, I've always thought of Los Angeles as more health-conscious than New York. Does that play a factor in your business at all, or are people taking a break from their diets to visit Sprinkles? Do you get requests for low-fat cupcakes?
Sprinkles is a small indulgence and we encourage everyone to enjoy. We have gotten requests for low-fat cupcakes, but are more concerned about the taste and quality of our treats.
Speaking of New York, I've heard Sprinkles referred to as "LA's version of Magnolia." What do you think of that comparison?
We are definitely flattered as Magnolia certainly has an incredible reputation. Sprinkles was the nation's first cupcake only bakery, while Magnolia is a full service bakery.
And now for some personal questions . . .
How often do you eat cupcakes?
One every day, sometimes more . . . especially if we are testing out new flavors. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it ;)
What's the best thing about eating cupcakes?
I find that right around 4pm is the PERFECT time to eat a cupcake as an afternoon pick-me-up. Our cupcakes satisfy my hunger and desire for a little something sweet.
What's your favorite type of cupcake?
Definitely the dark chocolate.
How do cupcakes compare/contrast to other baked goods for you?
I have to admit I love to eat just about every sweet thing out there.
Is there any innovation you'd like to see made to the cupcake that would improve it for you?
I like them as they are :)
Do you bake your own cupcakes? Or (even better) have someone who bakes them for you?
I am so lucky to work for Sprinkles since I am an awful (sad to say) baker. I am excited for our cupcake mixes to come out since I expect this will help me a bit.
What's your first cupcake-related memory?
2nd grade end of the year class party. We decorated cupcakes with all sorts of crazy things⎯Oreos, M&M's, salt!
What's the most fun you've ever had with a cupcake?
Working in the store last summer serving cupcakes to our customers. We have the best customers out there who get so enthusiastic about our business. They made the job fun and memorable.