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Cupcake Half Full

Side Dishes: Baking biz expands


Published October 19, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

This May, Michelle Trudell of My Little Cupcake decided to dedicate herself to the budding business full time. The results, she says, were surprising. “I make more money doing this than I did at my ‘regular’ job [as an executive assistant at Dynapower],” Trudell says.

Now the cupcake maven — who sells the bite-size confections in flavors such as red velvet and salted caramel — is ready to take the next step. On December 11, if all goes well, she and her business partner, fellow baker Stephanie Lacayo, will open the doors of a brick-and-mortar business in Essex Junction.

At the 12-seat spot, the twosome will sell whoopie pies, cookies, brownies and mini-cheesecakes in addition to cupcakes. Eventually, they will expand to offer breads and specialty cakes, too. But don’t expect to see soups or sandwiches. Trudell says she has no interest in making savory stuff.

Coffee will be on the menu, but, at least initially, espresso drinks won’t. “Neither of us knows how to make it, and we don’t want to hire somebody just to do espresso,” Trudell says. There will be tea, hot chocolate and a “milk bar” from which patrons can order moo-juice mixed with a variety of flavorings.

Although running the bakery will be a lot of work, Trudell plans to keep supplying her current wholesale accounts — City Market, Healthy Living, Sweet Clover Market and Shelburne Supermarket — and perhaps pick up a few new ones.

The new shop will make Trudell’s business more visible, and it’ll bring another bonus, she notes. She’ll finally be able to sell her popular maple-bacon cupcakes, which she can’t legally offer to grocery stores because of state regulations governing the sale of meat products.