This week's cupcake baker of the week is Gigi Andrew, owner of Ms Goody Cupcakes in South Philadelphia. This Philly native opened shop on Passyunk Ave. last year after having difficulty finding a kitchen space to help her get her cupcake truck off the ground. The shop features a rotating selection of flavors including a new cocktail-inspired flavor introduced every friday this summer during cupcake happy hour.
Ms Goody is about to celebrate their one-year anniversary this Saturday, July 29. The celebration coincides with the East Passyunk Car Show and Street Festival. Ms Goody will be serving up discounted cupcakes and testing out their new cupcake shake milkshakes. In addition to delicious treats, there will be door prizes, a coloring contest, a cake cutting ceremony, and more. The street festival outside the shop will provide lots of family-friendly entertainment. Find out more and RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/388005914581464/
I sat down with Gigi at her store to discuss Ms Goody's first year and her experience in the cupcake business world.
Name: Gigi Andrew
Location: Philadelphia, PA
- How did you get started making cupcakes?
I actually got started doing cakes first. When my nephew was four, I made a tiered clown cake from the Wilton yearbook. After that, friends and family would always ask me to make them cakes. Then two years ago when the cupcake craze was going strong, I told my husband I wanted to get a truck. I had seen one in New York and wanted to bring one to Philly before anyone else. We went out looking for a truck and after we got it, I went to get the permits, but the problem was you needed to find a place to bake. There's really no places around that allow you to come in and use their kitchen space.
- So trying to find a kitchen for the truck lead to the shop?
Yes we had the truck just sitting and I saw this place while I was looking for a kitchen. I didn't want a store, but the rent was great and the neighborhood really wanted to work with me. So here I am.
- Have you had any other formal training?
No. Self Taught.
- Do you work with original recipes?
I do original recipes. I also sometimes see things online or on tv that I'll tweak or add on to. There are so many people out there that do cupcakes, eventually there will be overlapping recipes.
- Do you have a signature flavor or favorite?
The Elvis cupcake seems to be popular, as well as the Philly Love (red velvet).
- What sets your store apart from the other cupcake stores and trucks in Philly?
There are no cupcake places in South Philly, and people don't always want to pay $4 a cupcake downtown (Ms. Goody cupcakes start at $2.50). Their pricing is understandable with Center City rent. But being out here makes us different.
- What would you say you've learned from your first year?
I have a tendency to bake something and not write it down. Then I'll try to make it again and customers will notice it's different. So I'm trying to be more organized. Trying to go from baking at your home to doing it in a store, you have to make sure you make it the same way all the time.
- Do you have any plans for your second year and beyond?
We're actually starting the truck (hopefully this fall). Because of this store, now I have a kitchen to use for the truck. We're looking to get the decals put on and get the certificates.
- Do you have any advice you'd give for someone just starting out?
Get all the business information you can. I just went into it thinking it'd be fun and didn't know how much I'd have to work with the city.
- Do you have any cupcake horror stories?
Not cupcake, but a cake story. I did a huge Barney cake, with layers of cookies and covered in purple fondant and beautiful. I put it in the car to deliver it and thought how great it smelled the whole way. The reason it smelled so good was the whole cake just toppled over. I opened the trunk and saw the cake and I just shut it and drove away. I went home and had to make another one.