Cincinnati’s first cupcakery company just got another sweet deal – selling its confections in private suites and grab ’n’ go markets at Great American Ball Park.
Delaware North Sportsservice, the exclusive concessions, premium dining and retail provider for the ballpark, has contracted with SugarPlums CupCakery to add the tasty treats to its usual offering of hot dogs, popcorn and Cracker Jack.
- Photos: SugarPlums at work
“It gives people more choices,” Delaware North spokesman Glen White says. “People like decorated cupcakes, anything that celebrates the team. It was really an awesome thing for us.”
SugarPlums was selected both for its high-quality cakes and its custom decorations, White says. Four flavors are offered to Reds fans: Mr. Mustache Red Velvet, The Buckeye (peanut butter chocolate), The Cincinnatian (salted caramel) and White Chocolate Raspberry BerriLicious. Two cupcakes sell for $10.
The ballpark gig is the latest success for SugarPlums owner Patty Hannika, who figures she bakes more than 90,000 cupcakes a year in her growing Mason business.
Once found mostly at children’s birthday parties and school bake sales, cupcakes are enjoying a resurgence. Bakers now have weekly showdowns on the Food Network cable TV show “Cupcake Wars,” while shows like TLC’s “DC Cupcakes” and “Cake Boss” follow the travails of cake-bakers.
Hannika says she caught the baking bug from her father, a baker who “made everything from scratch.” She continued the baking tradition while raising her own six children.
“It always smelled good in the kitchen. We’d lick the bowls and sneak it out of the kitchen,” recalls Hannika’s daughter, Tori Root, who now helps her run the bakery.
Hannika left a full-time job as a paralegal when her husband of 35 years became disabled, she says.
“I needed the flexibility in my schedule, and my four daughters said, ‘Mom, do the culinary thing,’ ” she says.
Hannika took online culinary courses and interned with local bakeries. After developing the signature “SugarPlums cake” – a bundt of moist, rich pound cake with a tunnel of raspberries, blackberries and sour cherries inside – she launched the business online in 2005. That first year, she did 300 cakes out of her basement.
“ ‘SugarPlums’ is a very catchy term at Christmas, so I think that’s why it took off,” Hannika says.
Business picked up even more after a customer purchased and shipped a cake to California. Not long after, Hannika received an invitation for her cakes and cookies to be featured in the 2009 Emmy gift suites – the annual gift extravaganza for Emmy nominees, presenters and television executives.
Emboldened by her success, Hannika opened her first brick-and-mortar store near her home in Clermont County’s Miami Township in 2009. As demand for her cupcakes grew, she moved into a larger space nearby and later opened a 1,200-square-foot satellite location in Mason.
“We opened at 9 a.m. in Mason and then we changed the hour to 10 a.m. so we could bake more,” Hannika says. “We would have customers literally buying cupcakes off the tray before we got them in the cases.”
Running her own businesses has its obstacles, but Hannika says she doesn’t regret following her bliss.
“We are very blessed,” she says. “I really believe that God has guided us in this direction and that our hard work has paid off.”
SugarPlums CupCakery takes orders by phone only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Walk-in retail service is offered 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, with eight to 12 flavors rotated weekly.
Mini cupcakes are $15/dozen; classic cupcakes are $2.50 each; large Euro cupcakes are $3.75 each or $36/dozen. Signature cakes are $36.95. Wedding cakes begin at $400.
The shop is at 6209 Snider Road, Mason. Information: 513-248-2253, www.cakesbysugarplums.com
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