Name of business: Ms. Cupcake.
Type of business: Cupcake and cake pop bakery.
Location: Richland Shopping Center.
Hours of operation: No set hours but work is on demand.
Contact info: (209) 765-7892 or 765-7891. Orders taken on Facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of business: Love cupcakes? Cakepops?
Well then you might want to check out Ms. Cupcake, a new Ceres business with an untraditional approach to doing business.
"We don't have a storefront," said Rikki Barnum. "We're basically an online company. We actually don't want a storefront. We're trying to do everything we can with no loans. We're doing everything just out of pocket and having the cupcakes pay for themselves. Our goal is to be mobile."
Barnum, a native of Chicago where she had been employed as a police officer, owns the business with domestic partner Irma Camorlinga. Four years ago they both started baking cupcakes for family members' special occasion.
"Everybody said, ‘You should sell it, you should sell it.' So then we started doing it for family and friends."
Cupcaking production was limited to the weekend since Rikki had a fulltime job in the Bay area. She went into early retirement in December to go into cupcakes fulltime.
"We both come from families that love to bake and cook," said Irma. "I've always baked since I was little. My mom loves to bake, my Dad loves to cook. Rikki's mom and
family have a strong background in baking as well."
They started out baking for weddings and birthday parties and took baby steps to go into business. They contacted Nick Pallious of Richland Shopping Center about leasing the commercial kitchen in the former Richland Market in Ceres. They moved in during April.
"We've never had formal training," said Barnum. "We don't use anything from the box. Everything is fresh from scratch."
Irma said the couple came up with their own recipe to set their product apart from the rest. Butter cream is actual butter cream, not shortening. There are no preservatives and all ingredients are fresh.
"We like to think we're the Central Valley's best kept secret because that's what we've heard before," said Camorlinga. "We're just trying to do what we do best. We make an honest cupcake and we love what we do."
Since there is no storefront, customers have several ways of ordering product.
All of Ms. Cupcake's business has been generated through facebook where they have generated about 2,000 likes. Facebook members can go like their page at www.facebook.com/youhadmeatcupcake and order through the page. Or they are on twitter at mscupcake209. Persons can email too at email@example.com. Then there is the phone. Irma can be reached at 765-7892 while Rikki may be reached at 765-7891. A website is being developed but not yet available.
Cupcakes are sold on a minimum order of 20 cupcakes per flavor and may be picked up at the door of the bakery or delivered.
"For the size of our little town here, we have a great following and everyday people are getting to know us more and more as we've gotten more and more orders. But this is like a baby step to us. We got into our kitchen and we have the capacity to make up to 800 cupcakes at a time, like in 20 minutes."
Slowly word has spread about Ms. Cupcake and orders have come in from the Ceres Unified School District and Oak Valley District Hospital. Over 600 cakepops were ordered and made for teachers and delivered to about 20 school sites.
The pair work according to orders and have worked all night to fill orders.
"We've been in this kitchen for 24 hours at a time, literally," said Camorlinga. "We're custom cupcakes so if you order today, we're going to make your cupcakes today fresh."