IndieGoGo Perk: Send Me Something!

Our IndieGoGo campaign is in full swing!  We’ve got our video up and we’ve been trying to get the word out any way we can.  We’re lucky to have quite a few non-local fans and we’re hoping that we reach several more through this project.  So what can you get if you live outside of AZ?

Well, first off, you get my envy.  I wish I was anywhere BUT in Arizona during July and August.  Our business drops off – no one gets married when it’s 115 degress outside – but that’s almost okay because it’s too dang hot to stay in the kitchen.  UGH!  So if you’re sad you can’t get our cupcakes every day, just focus on the fact that you don’t have to deal with what I call ‘the Never Ending Sweats’.

Ooops, got a little ranty there.  Back to the topic at hand.  You live in some other state and you want some delicious, amazing, Our Lady cupcakes?  YOU GOT IT!

We can ship our cupcakes to you two different ways:


Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel Buttercream in a Jar

A $50 donation gets you 4 cupcake jars, $150 gets you a full dozen.

This is an already-baked cupcake with frosting and sprinkles, sealed up in a mason jar.  It’s about the size of a normal cupcake but there’s a bit more frosting (so that it stays sealed).  Cupcake jars are good for shipping because they won’t get squished and they don’t get all dried out. These also make a great gift – slap a bow on there, how cute is that?  Plus, you get a high-quality reusable jar, for which there are LITERALLY UNLIMITED USES. Seriously, find something you CAN’T use a glass jar for, I dare you.


Cake Push Pop

A $75 dollar donation gets you 6 push-pops.

Remember Flintstone’s push pop from when you were a kid?  This is pretty much the same thing, but with cake and icing.  Size-wise, it holds just a smidge less than two full cupcakes – you get about twice as much cupcake goodness than you do in the jars.  There are two extra cool things about the pops:  They’re pretty much mess free -and- we can put more than one flavor in there.  Just like getting a double scoop of ice cream!

There’s only one limitation to our cupcake shippables:  They *must* have a buttercream frosting.   This is to prevent super-meltage and, well, poisoning you.  We don’t want to make you sick.  So stick with buttercream!

That being said, if you want a flavor with a non-buttercream frosting, we can probably come up with a reasonable substitution for you.  Options = almost endless!

After you donate, you’ll get an email from us thanking you for your order and we’ll ask you to pick what flavor you’d like.  The actual product may not be sent out until after the project is done on August 17th, but we’ll keep you updated on when you can expect to find a package full of delicious in your mail box.  You’ll also get a nice handwritten card – and the self esteem-boosting knowledge that you really helped out a small business in need.  Aren’t you awesome?!

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Featured Event: Garden Inspired Wedding

Hey there!  It’s featured event time again – I know, the week just flew by.  Today we’re featuring something on the whimsical side… BUTTERFLIES!  Edible butterflies, in fact.

White Out Cupcake with Edible Butterfly

The couple that we worked with on this wedding didn’t really have a particular style in mind when they approached us, so we took a lot of inspiration from the location – the gorgeous garden environment of the Wright house.

Carrot Cake Cupcake with Fondant Flower

It’s a stunning location with two event spaces – one is a classic English garden and the other is French Provencal villa.  Both are lush and green and a total vacation from the rest of Mesa.

Blue and Purple Garden Wedding Tower

The atmosphere of the Wright house and the couple’s blue and purple color palatte inspired us to do something floral and elegant.  We used pearls, glitter, small pressed fondant flowers, and delicate edible butterflies to create this display:

Blue and Purple Garden Wedding Tower

Pretty, right?  We were very happy with how it came out.  What would you guess was the hardest part of putting this display together?

Butterflies and Flowers on an ivory top cake

If you guessed the butterflies, you’d be wrong.  Those were ordered from Sugar Robot – we’d used them before on the *Peacock wedding* and we knew they’d be great.  It was actually the ribbon!  We wanted to match the ribbon to the bridesmaid’s dresses and we couldn’t find the right color anywhere.  We ended up wrapping some green satin ribbon with blue organza, which was quite a process – if you’ve ever tried to sew organza, you know what we’re talking about.  All the effort ended up being worth it because the ribbon matched the other decor perfectly!  Doesn’t it look like the same material as the table cover?

Blue and Purple Garden Wedding Tower

We were really happy with how this display came out, and so were the bride and groom.  Don’t they look great?  We love pictures of happy couples!

IndieGoGo Perk: What Can I Get For $25?

$25 bucks doesn’t go as far as it used to, that’s for sure.  I can’t think of very many awesome things you can get for just $25 – a used pair of shoes?  Mediocre delivery pizza?  18 tennis balls?  Bleh.  Even a night out at the movies for two costs more than that!  But if you donate $25 to our IndieGoGo crowdfunding project, you can get something awesome *and* do something good for a local business.  How cool is that?

For our local supporters, we’re offering a Best Of box of cupcakes.  You’ll get four of our most popular and unique flavors:

Raspberry Beret CupcakeRaspberry Beret – Dark Chocolate Cake filled with Fresh Raspberry Sauce, topped with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting.  It’s rich, tart, and totally unique.Pirate's Booty Birthday Cupcakes

Pirate’s Booty – White Chocolate Chip Cake with a Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting.  A true original and the perfect blend of salty and sweet.

Pink Oreo CupcakesOreo – Chocolate Cake with an Oreo Crust, Creamy Fluffly Filling, and Oreo Whipped Cream Frosting.  The filling is what sets ours apart – other places may have an Oreo cupcake but nobody does it like us.Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

Banana Cream Pie – Yellow Cake made with Fresh Bananas on a Nilla Wafer Crust, filled with Banana Cream and topped with Whipped Cream.  Fresh, perfect for summer, and you can almost tell yourself it’s healthy.

The cupcakes will come packaged in a box that looks a little  like this:
Fall Flavors Tasting BoxBoozy Tasting BoxClassic Desserts Tasting BoxElegant and Fun Tasting Box

And they’ll be available for pick up at Chocolate Star bakery after August 17th (the day our campaign ends).  After you donate, you’ll get an email with all the details and we’ll follow up when they’re ready to go!

For those who either aren’t local or don’t want cupcakes (does such a person truly exist?), we’ve got a cool One-Of-A-Kind prize:  a handmade resin necklace with our logo and sprinkles in it.

Our Lady of Cupcakes Necklace

Okay, so that’s a photoshop I made of one because we don’t have one done yet.  Hey, we’ve been busy baking!  But that really is a necklace that Lisa made from resin and sprinkles – before she was a baker, she was a jewelry-maker.  She’s made a ton of cool resin necklaces and even taught a crafty class on it at Evermore Nevermore.  They look great and we both get tons of compliments when we wear them because they’re so cute and unique.  Plus, they are truly One Of A Kind – because the sprinkles fall a different way every time, no two necklaces will look exactly alike.  These will be mailed as we make them along with a handwritten thank you card.

So what sounds better – four of the best cupcakes in town, one of a kind jewelry, or… The Schticky?

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Featured Event: Allergen-Free Wedding

Welcome to another post in our ongoing series, Featured Events.  Now, let’s talk allergies!

Yes, allergies.  Not fun, but something we all live with.  I have an allergy to avocado that makes eating sushi occasionally a bummer but doesn’t affect much more than that.  I was lucky as a kid to never have to worry about what was in my food.  As an adult, though, I developed a sensitivity to very acidic foods like tomatoes and pineapple.  Now I think about what I’m eating a lot more – and I miss the hell out of spaghetti and salsa!  But I’d never really considered what it was like for people who have a severe, deadly allergic reaction to nuts until we did this wedding:

Aqua, Black, and White Wedding Cupcake Tower

Great display, right?  It’s one of the ones we’re most proud of, but not just because it’s pretty.  This tower is completely peanut and tree nut allegen free!

Aqua, Black, and White Wedding Cupcake Tower

If that doesn’t sound like a feat… you’re not a baker.  Being allergen-conscious meant double-sanitizing our equipment, buying new or disposable decoration tools, researching all our ingredients and decor material, and replacing / rethinking stuff that wasn’t allergy friendly.  We learned a TON from this experience, most notably that it’s not easy to live with that kind of illness.

We also learned that none of Wilton’s products and few of CK Products’ decor items were safe from cross contamination.  We ended up being limited to Cake Mate decorations because they were the only brand that was truly allergy safe.  Crazy!

Aqua, Black, and White Wedding Cupcake Tower

Not that we let that limit our creativity.  We dyed Cake Mate pearls (which only come in white) to match the color palate and we made our own fondant for the flowers and cake.

Aqua, Black, and White Cupcakes

We also had to make royal icing without merigue powder because the only brands we could find all had allergy warnings.  It was a different texture than were used to which made the cake a LOT harder to decorate.

Aqua, Black, and White Wedding Cupcake Tower

So overall, this wedding was a bit more difficult than normal.  But it was a bit more rewarding, too.  The bride was really worried that she wouldn’t be able to eat her own cake on her wedding day and we helped make sure that wasn’t a problem.  She was happy, her new husband was happy, and friends/family couldn’t tell the difference.  Success!

IndieGoGo Perk: Get a Free Cupcake

Earlier this week, we announced the beginning of a great project: our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a new delivery vehicle.  It is VERY EXCITING for a lot of reasons, but the excellent donor perks we’re giving out is a big one!  We’ll be blogging about the available gifts for the next two months so that you can see pictures and get more information about the great stuff you can get if you donate.

We get it, times are tough all around.  I mean, that’s part of the reason we’re trying to crowdfund this project – the economy just isn’t awesome.  So we understand that a lot of our supporters might not be able to donate much or even at all.  And that’s okay!  It’s what’s great about the crowdfunding process!  Even small amounts can make a big difference and sharing our project can sometimes make the biggest difference of all.

Those who donate $1 (and every level above that) can have their name placed on a Thank You page on our website – forever.  It can also include a company name/link or a personal message.  You could use it to promote your own business or campaign, to give someone special a shout out, or even to tell the world how much you love us!

Those who donate $5 will get either a coupon for a free cupcake or a handwritten thank you card.  The free cupcake coupon is for local folks (or, I guess, anyone planning a trip to AZ) because it’s redeemable at Chocolate Star bakery for any cupcake or push pop we have on sale that day.  Want to know what flavors we’ve got?  They’ll be listed on our *facebook* and our *twitter*.

If you live Elsewhere or if you really don’t want the temptation of a free cupcake coupon, we’ll send you a handwritten Thank You card, signed by both Lisa and I.  It just might give you the warm n’ fuzzies…. and if it doesn’t, you could probably get at least the warms from burning it.  Multifunctional!

If you don’t have the means to donate, you can still help us out by mentioning our project on your Facebook, Twitter, G+, or by composing an ode with quill and ink.  Getting the word out is important for us – the more people who hear about our project, the more likely we are to get fully funded.

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Featured Event: Bridal Showers

Bum bum bah BAH!  It’s Featured Event time again!  Aren’t we doing great with this whole weekly posting thing?

The event we’d like to share with you today is actually two events:  BRIDAL SHOWERS!  We love doing bridal showers because there’s no limit to the fun.  Something that might be over the top for a wedding (for example, covering everything in glitter) is no problem for a bridal shower – sometimes it’s even encouraged.

Bridal shower #1 had a pink and black polka dot theme.  Totally right up our alley!

Pink and Black Polka Dot Bridal Shower Cupcake Tower

They chose two flavors: Margarita and Oreo.  We gave both the cupcakes pink details – a crystal pink sugar rim and a pink umbrella for the Margarita and pink glitter on the Oreo.  We also matched the liners to the polka dot theme.

Pink Margarita and Oreo Cupcakes

The party organizer wanted us to decorate the tower, too, but left it kind of open.  We wrapped the tiers in polka dot ribbon and added polka dot fabric flowers.  It came out great!

Pink and Black Polka Dot Bridal Shower Cupcake Tower

On the other side of the spectrum, Bridal Shower #2, which had a tropical ocean-type theme.

Beach Inspired Cupcake Tower

We made Mocha cupcakes (decorated with chocolate shells and sugar pearls)…

Mocha Cupcakes with Seashells

Pirate’s Booty (with white chocolate shells)…

Pirate's Booty with a Seashell

Blue Curacao Margarita (with blue sugar rim and umbrella)…

Blue Curacao Margarita Cupcake

and Raspberry Beret (topped with silk orchids).  Instead of a ribbon wrap, we fancied up the tower with shell details and sea glass.  Pretty!

Beach Inspired Cupcake Tower

What do both these events have in common?  Besides friends and family coming together to have fun and celebrate the coupling of their loved ones?  Obviously, Margarita is a hit!

Crowdfunding – We’re Doin’ It!

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you got the good news yesterday – we’re officially starting our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo!  SUPER EXCITING!

Why is it exciting?  Well, for you, it means the opportunity to get some really great stuff – cupcakes, merchandise with our killer logo (below), and some limited edition prints.

And for us, it means the opportunity to raise funds for a new delivery vehicle… which we desperately need.

Our current ride is getting on in age and mileage – it’s been a great little car for our little business… but now we’re becoming a big business!  Well, maybe not big, but at least medium.  Big enough that we can’t fit some of orders in comfortably, anyway.  We also really don’t want to worry about a break down or maintenance because we want remain a reliable company.

So, yeah, we need a new car.  We have one picked out and everything – a used Honda Element would be perfect for us.  The thing is, we can’t really afford one on our own… which is why we’ve decided to try crowdfunding!

Here’s how it works: people donate to our fundraiser and they receive a gift – each gift is categorized by donation amount.  It’s a fun way to say “thank you” for contributing to the building of our business and also a  way to give something to our supporters that no one else has – VIP swag, if you will!  With crowd-funding, no pledge is too small (we start out at $1) because the idea is to reach as many people as possible, with small amounts adding up over time from the sharing of our campaign.

We would be honored if you would have a look at our campaign page, pledge if you’d like to support, and most importantly share this on whatever social network you’re using.  We have lots of fun gifts for donors and we’ll be keeping everyone updated on our progress and experiences throughout this new adventure!