I went on my first wine tour the other week. The crew put it together for our baker Cindy. She’s a great team member who often has to skip out on company outings, so we coerced her husband into bringing her into Boston for the day. We surprised her with the tour and a tiara, naturally.
The Wicked Good team marched through Boston’s North End (our version of Little Italy) and sampled wines at a few locations, our last stop a really small place called The Wine Bottega. We were all gathered in a (literal) wine cellar to not just taste some amazing wines, but to learn about them.
With the Internet, anyone can learn about anything. I’ve encouraged the Google search “how to start a business.” I love the Internet, but actually learning about a topic from an educated human being is priceless. You can hear the passion in their voice making the topic even that more exciting.
Yes, I know wine comes from grapes just as many people know that sugar goes into cupcakes. Yet, when the wine tour guides explained about what was in my glass and the process behind it, my total view on wine was transformed. To make wine is an intense labor that can only be described as a commitment to detail.
It got me thinking about how people view what we do at Wicked Good Cupcakes. How do they formulate their experience? Is it always through taste? Many people look for certain ingredients, descriptions and even staff favorites. I get lots of calls where people say, “I have no idea what to get. Give me what you like.”
I want people to be cupcake experts. I want them to mirror my own passion in how they order. Go beyond the chocolate versus vanilla; let’s talk texture! Get the Cookies’n’Cream. The cookies are both baked in the white vanilla cake and sprinkled between each layer. Do you crave a smash of flavor? Get the Salted Caramel! It’s incredibly sweet and has two types of caramel: salted caramel frosting and homemade caramel drizzle that is soaked into the cake.
Take our Red Velvet for example. The light airy texture with the almost tangy taste is a result of how the baking soda and vinegar are mixed first then integrated into the batter later in the process as opposed to other flavors where the baking soda is mixed with the other dry ingredients early on. This subtle, yet very important step is the difference (along with a good buttermilk) between a real Red Velvet and a chocolate cake dyed red and called a Red Velvet.
Wine is more than getting plastered while binging Netflix (don’t pretend you don’t relate) and cupcakes are more than a blast of yumminess. Both products are about creating a moment and the people involved in that process just want to make sure you savor that moment.
Just like some people like the heaviness of reds or the pop of a sparkling wine, I want my customers to be cupcake aficionados who crave certain flavors based on the process and ingredients. If you’re someone who likes a heavier cake with layers of flavor and texture, get The Wicked Good. You may enjoy pushing the peanut butter around with your tongue. If you like semi-sweet bitterness under a heavy chocolate, wait for March to get your taste buds on our Chocolate Guinness cupcake.
Whoof – that was long winded. Do I sound like a cupcake snob? Hell, if you can be a wine snob then you can be uppity about your cake! I want my awesome customers to fall in love with my process as much as they love what comes from it. I feel there’s a deeper love for food (and drink) when you know how it came to be.
Oh, and if you’re in the Boston area, here are the links to the tour and our final stop: