We are very pleased to be featuring The Cupcake Lounge, located in the Byward Market. With ingredients like Argentinian dulce de leche, Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake, and spiced chai tea cakes, these cupcakes are truly unique. They are unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
What inspired you to open a “cupcakery” in Ottawa?
Claudia came from Mexico in 1994. We decided that Claudia was going to stay at home to raise their three children but at some point would need to work. We decided a family business was the best way to go so, at one level, our family and more specifically our children were the main inspiration for our business. The day our youngest daughter took that bus to go to a full day of kindergarten was the same day Claudia went back to school to do a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. There was so much to learn that she had to set her alarm clock to wake up at 1 a.m. to do reading and homework. Daytime was her children’s activities and night time was hers on a new journey. Since then, we have sacrificed a great deal of time and money and hard work as a couple and business partners to get our business off the ground.
We eventually opened our cupcake shop in the heart of Ottawa’s Byward Market in May 2011. When we did the planning for The Cupcake Lounge, we wanted to project a traditional bakery. In terms of design, we always thought we had to go back to basics, back to where everything begins, so natural-looking walls the colour of some of the ingredients we use in our baking like cocoa powder and butter; nothing pink, black or purple. We used natural elements like wood and stone, and natural light coming in from a skylight, an open concept so customers can see the actual ingredients that we use and the artisanal way we ice our cupcakes by hand with a spatula rather than piping. We put on a show.
Our principal mission is to bake hand-made, high quality, signature cupcake products that celebrate important life and other events, and give customers great satisfaction. We also want to manage the company on a sustainable financial basis, providing a good financial return, and offer career and development opportunities for employees. So far, we have 5 full-time employees and 5 part-time employees so we are helping the Ottawa economy. We also want to promote socially responsible business practices in a way that respects the earth and the environment, helps the disadvantaged in our community, and improves quality of life. We help support several deserving organizations including: The Canadian Cancer Society; The Children’s Make a Wish Foundation; The Ottawa Human Society; The University of Ottawa Parents Association, and; The Shepherds of Good Hope.
What is unique about The Cupcake Lounge?
There are a few unique things about The Cupcake Lounge. We ice our cupcakes by hand with a spatula rather than piping so they look very different than most cupcakes. Our cupcake are large so more like individual gourmet cakes than anything else. Our products have high-quality all-natural ingredients, no preservatives, no artificial colours, preservatives or transfats. The only exception is our Red Velvet cupcake as we haven’t been able to find any natural ingredient that will retain the exactly red colour we want after baking.
What is your favorite cupcake?
We sell over 40 different flavours of cupcakes throughout the retail year and 12 different flavours every day. We have many favourites including: Chocolate Chocolate; Key Lime, Lemon Coconut, Red Velvet; Strawberry, and Vanilla Vanilla.