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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Family owned cupcake shop thrives

Story by Emily Hecker
Photo courtesy of Emily Hecker

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Good employees can be hard to find. Fortunately for Christina Moffatt, the first person applying for a job at her bakery was someone she had worked with before: her mom.

Moffatt’s mother inspired her passion for baking.

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“My mom always made everything from scratch. She baked and she cooked. I was one of five kids, so we definitely did not go to McDonald’s,” Moffatt said.

Armed with her mother’s arsenal of baking tips, Moffatt opened her own bakery, Crème Cupcake in 2011. Now in its seventh month of business at its new location on Ingersoll Avenue, Crème has expanded from its humble origins in Moffatt’s home kitchen.

Crème’s 10 tables provide the perfect vantage point for customers to survey dozens of cupcakes in the glass case. Each flavor, from Red Velvet to Strawberry Champagne, dares mouths not to water. Behind the counter, rows of liquors peek out and tempt customers to return for the dessert lounge between 5:30 p.m.
to 10:30 p.m.

During those magic hours, it’s typically standing room only at Crème. Perhaps it is the temptation of making drinks and desserts acceptable that draws such a crowd. Whatever it is, Moffatt
is awed.

“It is truly amazing because when I started it, I had no idea that it would turn into what it’s turned into.”

Without the support of her familial entourage, Moffatt said the bakery would not have been possible. They helped her tackle her first big event since going full-time with the bakery: the Bravo gala. Bravo, an organization dedicated to strengthening the arts, put in a cupcake order for a thousand people.

“I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I knew that this was a sign, that this was what I was supposed to do with my life,”
said Moffatt.

Proving that blood is thicker than batter, fifteen of Moffatt’s friends and family turned out for an all-night baking extravaganza. By 4 a.m. the next morning, 1,200 cupcakes were ready for their debut. Moffatt personally frosted and decorated each cupcake.

At 5 o’clock that evening, Moffatt hung up her apron and searched for some glass slippers.

“I basically felt like Cinderella going to the ball because they had given us tickets to go and it’s formal,” said Moffatt. “We had worked so hard in this kitchen for about 48 hours, since you’ve got to clean up once you’re done. Then we (my mom and I) put on ball gowns and went to the ball.”

That evening was a turning point for Moffatt’s business. The higher-end clientele she was trying to attract began to take note.

“People started talking about them (the cupcakes) and asked if we knew where they were from. Of course, that sparked the conversation. It was pretty amazing. We had absolutely no dessert left that night and from what I hear, it was kind of a knockdown, drag-out fight as to who got to take what flavors home.”

Having a more stable business has allowed Moffatt to support several charitable efforts, like the 2011 Sweet Relief Benefit. Crème donated its products to raise money for Japanese tsunami victims.

“I wasn’t surprised to see her there because she’s always involved,” Scott Carlson, Moffatt’s friend and managing partner of Court Avenue Brewing
Company, said.

For the moment, though, Moffatt’s main focus is her due date. In another month, the Crème family will grow with the addition of a baby they’ve nicknamed ‘Little Cupcake.’

“It will be fun, especially this past year for them (the baby) to look back at pictures with the new shop opening and know that they were with me the whole time because I’ve been pregnant since we opened the shop.”

Moffatt looks forward to having her son or daughter cook with her, as she did with her mother.

“It’s unfortunate that people are letting that tradition go because nobody makes anything anymore,” she said. “I cherish those moments because my mom taught me everything.”

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