When I created Farm Fresh Cupcakes in April 2011, I had set out to create cupcakes using local, natural ingredients. I recognized the importance of keeping cash flow in my local community, and plus - these were the people I knew best! St. Louisians love their sweet treats. However - while I hoped for success, I was happily surprised how quickly people came to know me and my product.
After a few months of selling at two area farmers markets, I had built up a regular customer base. I had FANS! I was ecstatic. People enjoyed my cupcakes and cake balls, and they were coming back for more. Custom orders started to trickle in, and then wedding orders.
When the farmers market season ended, I sadly packed up my tables and tent for the last time until 2012, and buckled down for the winter - creating and testing recipes, revamping my business plan, making plans to expand, and snagging more wholesale customers.
Over the winter of 2012, the plan for Whisk: a Sustainable Bakeshop was envisioned. I was ready to open a shop - a place where people could go, any day of the week, to get their sugar fix. I would expand my product line, and still keep in touch with the "farm fresh" vibe by working with local and/or natural suppliers. I added "sustainable" to the shop name, because I want customers to know that this shop will be as sustainable as possible. I'm planning on installing rain barrels, having a community compost pile, installing as many EnergyStar qualified appliances/pieces of equipment as possible, using low VOC paints...the list goes on and on (seriously! Click here to find out more of my hopeful sustainable practices!). In addition, I'll be providing some much-needed gluten-free and vegan sweet treats options to the Saint Louis area. It was difficult to create gluten-free treats in a shared kitchen (since I couldn't keep track of whether or not other tenants were cleaning equipment properly), but in my own space - it's definitely a possibility.
My hope is that Whisk becomes a place where great things happen - both in the kitchen (fresh popsicles, artisan doughnuts, pies, cakes, breads, cookies, tarts, scones, and of course CUPCAKES) and out (trivia nights, community meetings, and game nights, to name a few ideas). I can't wait to get started making my dream a reality!
And you can help! I created a kickstarter campaign to help with some of the start-up costs associated with opening a business. Click here to be taken to the kickstarter page to read more about the history of Whisk and the plans that I have for the space. Even $5 helps! The kickstarter campaign ends on Monday, May 28 - we're running out of time to complete our goal!
Even if you can't contribute financially, please be sure to tell your friends and family (or anyone else that you know in Saint Louis) about this project. I appreciate the support, and I want to extend a special thanks to the lovely Cupcakes Take the Cake gals, for allowing me to write this guest post! Aren't they fantastic?!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Guest Post: Back a sustainable cupcake bakery on Kickstarter
This guest post is by Kaylen Wissinger, owner of Farm Fresh Cupcakes in St. Louis, Missouri. If you are interested in writing a guest post for us, email cupcakestakethecake at gmail.com and briefly tell us what your post would cover (we especially love cupcake event previews and roundups, posts related to current cupcake events and cupcake/charity writeups, but are open to guest posts of all kinds). All posts are, of course, at our editorial discretion.