Public Relations Workshop and My Heritage

I attended a workshop on Saturday on Public Relations for your business. I found the workshop very useful and heard some good ideas to use for the future. One question we were asked was what is our heritage and what restaurants were in your town when you were growing up. I told the moderator that I was Finnish and he wanted to know if I ate Finnish food growing up or what were most of the restaurants in my home town. I said no we didn’t normally eat Finnish food and the population of my home town was approximately 2500 people, so we didn’t really have restaurants in town, although there is one diner near the freeway, so the next town over has several Italian restaurants. Since I bake, I wasn’t really sure what this had to do with my baking skills. Today, I am still thinking about this question as it is supposed to be incorporated into a 1,000 word bio I am supposed to write. I remembered while living in Columbus, I stopped at this little bake shop/cafe that had recently opened and the owner was actually from Finland. She served some food and baked goods from there. She had a sweet bread called Nisua, not sure if I have spelled that correctly, that I used to eat for breakfast. You had to toast it to a light golden color, not too much though and put butter on it and it was so good. The Lutheran church in Ashtabula, Ohio still makes this bread and sells to the public. This is a town close to where I grew up. I remember asking the shop owner about Finnish cupcakes and she said they do make them, but they are rather dense. She did tell me the next time I am in Columbus to let her know ahead of time and she would make some. I think the next time we are there, I will call her and ask if she would make some, so I can taste. So, still not sure how to incorporate this in my bio, but it made me remember Nisua and the little bake shop/cafe in Columbus. Off to New York City for a film festival where Season of Darkness will show. I’ll see how many cupcake shops I can hit in a few days!

Back from Thanksgiving Travels

Its been a hectic couple of weeks. My husband Jay & I traveled back to Columbus, Ohio to screen his movie Season of Darkness. The movie was actually filmed there four years ago. Many of the cast, crew, friends and family members came out for the event and it was a success. I have attached a picture of The Drexel Theater in Bexley, Ohio were the film screened. It was so nice seeing my former neighbors of Worthington, Ohio and my water aerobics ladies, family, my former boss and his family and all the friends who came out to support Jay and the movie. We also received some exciting news that the movie was selected for the Phillip K Dick Film Festival which will be shown in two different theaters in New York City in December.

This week I have been busy “experimenting” with holiday cupcakes. I came up with three different varieties of peppermint/candy cane cupcakes and I tried a peanut butter blossom cupcake as I love to bake that cookie for Christmas. They all taste very yummy, but I was disappointed that the candy cane actually bled into my frosting. They were so beautiful last night and I was so happy with them, but this morning was a different story. If I make more of this type, I won’t be able to stick the candy cane into the frosting until delivery time. The peanut butter blossom turned out really good. I tried a different peanut butter icing and it was very good. If anyone has other ideas for flavors for the holidays or for anytime, please email me at serendipitycupcakes@hotmail.com – I am always looking for new ideas to try. Off to bake – happy baking!

Spooky project for this week

Today I have been baking cupcakes and working on the theme for Wednesday’s event. My husband Jay is screening his movie Season of Darkness at Unviversal Studios. I told him I would be happy to do a cupcake display for the after party. I have done Halloween themed cupcakes, but never really spooky themed cupcakes. I am attaching a picture of my 5 tier stand as I assemble it and also after its been assembled. One tier is done in black ribbon and then the next level is done in black and white strip ribbon and then the next in black again etc. I also have white fabric that is very shiney, a skulls head and a glass container. I am going to put white lights in the container and then place the skull head on top of the container and will wrap the white fabric around that to hopefully look like a scary ghost. I have black thicker ribbon that I will drap down the tier in a couple of places. I have baked Vanilla with Raspberry swirl inside, Chocolate with a creamy peanut butter icing and Pink Almond Champagne. Not sure how I am going to make my champagne cupcakes spooky, but I have an idea. I will make sure I take photos before all the cupcakes are eaten. Wish me luck!

Pink House

Just got back from the “Pink House” in Wellsville, New York. My husband and I walked in the annual Ridgewalk, which is either a run, walk or bicycle through the mountains. Luckily, we had nice temps and sun for the 2 mile walk we chose to do. I really love visting this town for many reasons. One is the opportunity to visit the family home called the Pink House that has been in the family since 1868 when Jay’s great-great grandfather built the house. Its been said that while on his honeymoon with his bride in Lake Cuomo Italy, they spotted a pink Italian Victorian home and came back to Wellsville and had it built. Another treat is visting the Gathering Place Coffee Shop. Jay’s mom and I go to Curves and then head over to the Gathering Place for coffee and a cookie. The coffee shop is owned by Jean Murray Colegrove.Jean will have several different types of cookies and a few sandwich choices for lunch. I love this place as the locals will gather and “chew the fat” each morning. This shop was really an inspiration for me to have a shop someday, a place where people can come and “chew the fat” and just hang out as they have some coffee and a cupcake. An oddity about this story is my father has a friend from his navy days that he still stays in touch that lives not too far from Wellsville. When I started dating Jay, I told my parents about this Pink House in Wellsville, New York that their family owned and my dad said “Kristy, we used to drive by that house”. When I was a child, we would travel to this area to visit his naval friend and family and here Jay could have been outside playing as we drove by. So, I believe we were meant to be as we come up on our 2nd anniversary on the 30th. So, now I must get back to baking cupcakes!

Happenings for this week

This week in cupcakeland brings an event in El Monte. I will be a vendor at the Annual Rotary Club Spagetti Dinner Fundraiser. It should be a fun evening of tasty spagetti, live entertainment and raffles! The fundraiser will be held at Grace T Black Auditorium located at 3130 Tyler Ave, El Monte, CA. from 4-7:00pm. So, tomorrow Mr Cupcake aka/Jay Woelfel and I will head over to Chef’s Center in Pasadena to create some fall type cupcakes, although it does not feel like fall this week. I decided to create a Halloween themed table since its so close to Halloween and it will at least look like fall. I have some cool colored lights that I will place into a bowl and then place a large plate on top of the bowl and place my cupcakes to sell on top of that. Should give the plate a nice glowing effect. I will post pictures next week on the table set up, so you can see how neat it is. Kudos to Mr Cupcake as Jay is an independent film maker and happily puts on his manly apron to come and help me out and never complains at all. Stay tuned for photos and I also have a special post coming up soon.

If you don’t try you will never know and always wonder, what if……

My philosophy is “If you don’t try you will never know and always wonder, what if”. I told myself I would give myself one year in the cupcake world and if its not working, then I would have to go out a find a job. Its coming up close to a year that I started Serendipity Cupcakes and I believe I am on the right path, so I will keep plugging along. I am going to attach a picture of an event I participated in this past Saturday. My friend Lori Hartwell founder of Renal Support Network co-hosted a celebrity poker tournament along with Leyna Nguyen from Love Across The Ocean. Lori asked if I would like to do a display of cupcakes and of course I said “YES”. The best part of baking cupcakes is how to decorate them. Since this was a poker event, I went with a poker theme. I purchased a 5 tier cupcake stand, spray painted it white to give it a nice finished look and bought a ribbon that I thought resembled a spade and placed it around the raw edges. I found a little table cloth that was poker themed to place under the stand and then found poker themed cupcake liners, along with red and black riboon to drape down the tiers. I was lucky enough to find a mold of aces, hearts, spades and diamonds and made red and chocolate pieces. One thing I do not recommend is trying to write a name on a small cupcake. There were close to 60 celebrities and I wrote a celebrity name on each cupcake. I hope you like my poker display and the pictures I attach of Jack Black and myself with his Serendipity Cupcake.

Living and working in California

Now I am living and working in California. The company I worked for in Ohio was kind enough to allow me to telecommute, so I still had my corporate job. I was living in this beautiful state, but not being able to enjoy as it as much as I would like to since I had my 9 to 5 job. I really wanted to start my cupcake business, but with the economy the way it is, how could I quit a stable job of 22 years. After researching the requirements for the state of California to start your own cupcake business, I was shocked. This has been such a dream of mine and I thought there is no way I am going to be able to make this happen, but I was determined. I found a commercial kitchen to use close by, filled out all the paperwork required for the licenses I need to have and studied for a week to take my Food Managers Certificate.After all of that, I did it, I quit my stable job! What have I done now. My first cupcake assignment was a food fair that the commercial kitchen I use held one Saturday. I was so excited, I baked and baked and purchased items to use on my table for a nice display and you wouldn’t believe what happened…. a wind storm came through days before and hardly anyone showed up to purchase the food/baked goods everyone produced. Everyone was home still cleaning up their yards and some people still had no power. Not the best first experience, but it does get better as time goes by.

Move from Ohio to California

For my birthday, I flew to California to visit Jay. On my birthday, Jay said lets go shopping. I had been wanting an entertainment unit, so I assumed that is what we were going shopping for. We walked all 3 levels of the mall and we stopped and leaned on the rail and I kept wondering when are we going to look for my gift. Jay had mentioned to me, if he was ever going to propose to someone there was a special jewelry store, which he had seen years earlier and that would be the place he would get the ring from. It was a beautiful, unique store, not like your average jewelry store, but something special about it. So, he said “Would you marry me?”, of course I said “YES”!! Years earlier before I even knew Jay existed, my friend Nancy’s mother would say “Chrissy, when are you going to get married?” and I would always answer “I don’t know”, but one day I said the same thing “I don’t know, but I do know where it would be”. I had a vision of me up above on a cliff over looking an ocean. Right away, she said “thats Hotel Del in San Diego”. So, I tucked that information away in case I needed it down the road. Once he asked me to marry him, I said we must go check out Hotel Del in San Diego, which we did,but it was way out of our budget, unfortunately. I checked around with my good friends Bob & Nancy about locations around San Diego that might fit that bill. They had mentioned La Jolla and a beautiful Bridge Club that was above the cove area. So, on my next trip to California, we went there. It was absolutely beautiful and just what I had imagined. The seals were beached on the rocks below and the courtyard at the bridge club would be the perfect spot for a outdoor wedding. As we were taking photos of the location, I thought the area looked familiar to me and that is because years before I knew Jay, Bob & Nancy had taken me there to sightsee when I was visiting them.

Stay tuned and you will soon know how the cupcakes actually to be baked…..

How Serendipity Cupcakes Really Began

One day while at work in Columbus, Ohio a co-worker called me over and showed me her computer and said I used to date this guy during high school, I said “no way”. He was a handsome man who lived in California. I have really good friends Bob & Nancy in Hemet, CA, so I thought maybe I could meet him one day since I came out to California on my vacation each summer. We actually tried to meet twice in Ohio, once on a day I was not at work and he stopped by and a second time he was visiting Ohio again, but the night we were to meet, tornadoes were happening and I was not going to go out in the severe weather. A couple of months later I was visiting my friends in California, my handsome man “Jay” drove 2 hours into the desert to meet me, never had even seen a picture of me. That was the start of our long distance romance. While we were dating, I told Jay of my visions to one day have a cupcake shop, possibly a coffee shop/cupcake shop combined. I had visions of it in my head. It would be very casual, lots of pink and white colors, a place where people could come and “chew the fat”. My grandfather used to “chew the fat” each day with his buddies at a local bakery in Ashtabula, Ohio. What a great way to start your day. So, one day as I was talking with Jay long distance, he mentioned he was shopping for store fronts for me. It was at that point I knew he was serious about helping me to follow my dream. So, I decided I better take a cake decorating class, so I would be prepared when the time came. Stay tuned to find out what happens next.

Serendipity Cupcakes Dream Advances

As I became older, I progressed my baking skills with an Easy Bake Oven! I loved making those little chocolate cakes in those cute little pans. They didn’t taste the best, but it sure was fun. Soon my grandmother and mother were allowing me to help them with the real stove. I started helping make pies, I just loved eating the raw dough, that was the best part! My favorite cake to bake was a chocolate cake with blue-green icing. It was so good. At Christmas time, it was great fun making all kinds of holiday type cookies, which I still due to this day. I love being able to give friends, neighbors and family my cookies. Cupcakes were always so fun to make and to be able to decorate in anyway you like. So, I got the idea in my head someday, I want to have a little cupcake business……. Stay tuned to find out how that became possible, its a great “serendipity” story.