Cupcake interview with LuxSugar

Check out LuxSugar TODAY at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (just off the L stop at Bedford) from noon until they sell out. We'll have a video interview with them coming soon too!



Name: Tashia, Peggy, Shari & Heidi
Age: late 20's, early 30's
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Baker & Creative Director, PR, Baker, R&D & Strategic Planning (respectively)
URL: www.lux-sugar.com and www.lux-sugar.blogspot.com

How did Lux Sugar get started? How much baking experience do you have and where do you get your recipes from?

LuxSugar was started by the bakers, Shari & Tashia, in late 2007. They were supplying their colleagues with weekly goodies to taste and after prompting by Heidi, decided one day to become a team. Heidi and Peggy were asked to come on to assist with the other sides of building a bakery catering company.

Shari and Tashia have a total of 10+ years baking experience between the both of them. They learned a few their recipes from their mothers and grandmothers, (e.g. Tashia learned to create the "Perez" strawberry cake from her grandmother & Shari learned the red velvet recipe from her mom) and then added their own. Many of the recipes were also developed through experimenting with taste and texture. We wanted to add different ingredients and taste how they would work together. Some did not...but many made the cut.

You bill yourselves as a "luxury bakery," hence your name. What does that mean and how does it apply to your cupcakes?

We take desserts to the next level...LUX goods with an outstanding taste. We believe that when you treat yourself to something it shouldn't just be good, it should be fantastic.

LuxSugar provides treats that are moist and delectable with added touch of opulence...LUXURIOUS!

I noticed that your cupcakes are not all the standard size and shape. Some have frosting in the middle, like the Samantha (vodka and lemon) and some like the Betty Paige have frosting on the top and the bottom. Can you tell us more about how you decide which shape each cupcake will have?

We wanted our cupcakes to vary in size, style and form in an effort to appeal to ALL of our consumers. We do many variations of each to give our customers more choices for different parties and events they may have.

LuxSugar works progressively to keep reinventing and improving our presentation.

Your cupcakes are all named after celebrities, such as the J.Lo (dulce de leche cake with cinnamon caramel frosting) , The Diddy (milk chocolate cake with a semisweet chocolate frosting), the Prince Harry (regal carrot cake with cream cheese frosting), the Marilyn Monroe (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting) and the Shirley Temple (coconut layer cake with lemon curd). How do you come up with the names and flavor combinations? Are there any new ones in the works?

The personality choices are named based on the look of the treat... (e.g. Marilyn Monroe...gorgeous, rich, with beautiful blonde hair; Prince Harry...seductive, flush and oh so good).

There are always new desserts in the works. The bakers are in the kitchen daily creating new flavors for the many personalities we have left to name our desserts after. We try to debut a new personality every weekend at the market to share with our clients.

Which celebrity would you most like to give a cupcake to and why?

Oprah Winfrey...she has made such a difference in many people's lives with the charity work that she has done. That will be one of the ventures that LuxSugar will take on very soon. She has proven that giving back is what is most important in life. We totally embrace that spirit.

Which is your best-selling cupcake flavor?

Currently, there are three contenders fighting for top billing: the Perez, Marilyn and Samantha.

You told me that you incorporate customer ideas and suggestions and can recreate a favorite flavor or use a specific ingredient. Can you give us an example of a flavor inspired by a customer? Have there been any requests that stumped you?

Our first week we were at the market, we had many customers request gluten free cupcakes. We went over several recipes for the following week and bought in samples. Many of our customers were excited to see that we listened to what they had to say and offered a delicious gluten free option. Today, great customer service is such a hard thing to find. People appreciate that they can voice their concerns and get results. Eating healthy and meeting diet restrictions are important; taste is the sugar on top.

Stumped us?, so far...not yet. Puzzled us?...perhaps. Really, it's about thinking outside the box and taking everything into consideration.

You're currently selling your cupcakes every Saturday at Williamsburg, Brooklyn's Artists and Fleas, with different cupcake offerings each week. How has business been and what can visitors expect from your stand?

Business has been great! We've had such a great response from everyone, customers and other vendors alike...mostly in the form of MMMM's and WOWWWWW! Our stand is bright and colorful, with jewels and sparkles, ribbons and flowers displayed along with the goodies. We want our customers to feel comfortable and enjoy the 2 minutes or the hour they stay at our table. We are happy we can bring smiles to everyone's faces that pass our table and decide to stop to sample and buy our products.

You offer Father's Day gift boxes, as well as gift boxes for other holidays. Do these have a set selection of sweets or can they be customized, and are they available for delivery?

Nothing is set in stone at LuxSugar. Every item is customized to the client's liking. Every item is available for delivery and/or shipping. Additionally, we encourage our clients to call and/or email to ask questions regarding any item that may require customizing.

How much advance notice do you need for booking events, and what services do you offer? What areas do you cover?

We generally need 48 hours for standard orders (e.g.: two dozen birthday themed cupcakes) and for much larger orders we ask for as much prep time as possible (at least 72 hours). We make customized cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods for all events including, but not limited to corporate parties, weddings, birthdays, baby and bridal showers, or just because you want a cupcake parties.

What's been the most fun event you've catered so far?

It was actually our first event where we catered a 30th birthday party in Connecticut. We had so much fun with it. The colors for the party were hot pink and fuchsia. She ordered the Perez Hilton cupcakes with her initials on them and she gave us the opportunity to be creative with the presentation. We made a rhinestone embellished cupcake tier for her party of fifty. Each tier was with minis and standard sized cupcakes, with all with hot pink frosting. The client's initials written in fuchsia and because we believe in bling ;-) all of the cupcakes sparkled with edible glitter.

We love customized orders, it allows us to get creative with the client. We received a great response from that event and gained lots of new customers in the interim.

We work as a team -- LuxSugar along with the consumer. LuxSugar works diligently to meet and exceed the client need.

What's your dream catering gig?

Our dream catering gig: an event serving our treats to the personalities that they're named after.

You also ship your cupcakes nationwide. What kind of packaging do you use and how long do they take to get there?

We ask customers to allow 48 - 72 hours from ordering to receive cupcakes. Each order is custom baked, which means that nothing is baked until it is ordered and that is how we guarantee the freshness of our products. We ship our cupcakes overnight, through UPS, securely packaged. The cupcakes are frozen for transit and arrive with cold packs in containers that allow the shipment to arrive in top shape to the customer.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of running Lux Sugar?

Our favorite would have to be the joy that we bring to our customers when they eat our treats. We love what we do so there is no least favorite part!

Do you have any plans to open a storefront bakery?

We would like to open a storefront in the near future and we are scouting locations, in Brooklyn, NY.

Why do you think cupcakes are so popular right now?

They are absolutely the right size...so cute and perfect. For many the idea of having a whole cake can be overwhelming. A cupcake can be shared, or not, and still meet the need: your own customized cake in a smaller form.

Is there anything else about Lux Sugar you'd like our readers to know?

We believe in our product and so do our clients. The value of a quality is profound and priceless. LuxSugar is not simply a bakery, but an experience. We love what we do and hope that the love that we put into our product is evident in the flavors of all of our treats.



And now for some personal questions…

How often do you eat cupcakes?

3-4 times a week...always test tasting.

What's the best thing about eating cupcakes?

Flavorful, and just the right size.

What's your favorite type of cupcake?

Peggy: Diddy, Perez, Samantha, Marilyn... umm... maybe all?
Heidi: Marilyn Monroe
Shari: The Perez and Denzel
Tashia: Samantha Jones

How do cupcakes compare/contrast to other baked goods for you?

The one size fits all concept is most proficient with regard to this question. A cake can be overwhelming and sometimes limiting, as you know that buying more than one flavor can just be too much. Cupcakes allows for variation and choice.. and how empowering is that???!!!

Is there any innovation you'd like to see made to the cupcake that would improve it for you?

The impact cupcakes can have on our diets!...They're great and we love them.

Do you bake your own cupcakes? Or (even better) have someone who bakes them for you?

Yes, we bake our own cupcakes.. and we wouldn't have it any other way.

What's your first cupcake related memory?

Shari: In elementary school; helping my mom make cupcakes for me to bring into school on my birthday (heavy on the sprinkles)

Tashia: When my grandmother told me we were baking a surprise treat for my sister. She allowed me to help stir, add ingredients and of course, lick the bowl.

Heidi: Realizing that they can be customized anyway I like.

Peggy: Ummm.. eating them!!!!

What's the most fun you've ever had with a cupcake?

Discovering the many ways to decorate them. We also love to see our customer's reactions to our samples...that's LUXuriously sweet.

Do you have anything else to add?

Try LuxSugar...We guarantee you'll come back!

Lux Sugar chocolate cupcakes

Comments

KittyLili said…
Irony! I just got my Denzel Cupcake today! ^_^ I highly recommend LuxSugar! So yummy! <33
Anonymous said…
You go girls I can't to receive my order.
jefftaL said…
Hey girls I think the next time I visit my girl I will bring along a basket of your cup cakes instead of flowers... original & cute ehh..backoff you players this way my idea !!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
i <3 these cupcakes!!!! I tried them at the flea market one saturday and found myself going back the next week for more...the minis are adorable, you can eat so many and feel guilt free