Cupcakes With a Local Flavor

COLUMBIA, S.C. - In 2006, when most local businesses were closing their doors because of the economy, Kristin Cobb said her business was just opening its in South Carolina. After journeying to New York City to find professional inspiration, Cobb said she found it … in cupcakes.

In March of that year, Cupcake Bakery opened and became part of a delicious trend that was taking off.

"This was a brand new idea to the city of Charleston. Most of my friends thought I was crazy. I probably would have agreed! But it was a chance to incorporate a passion of mine—cooking and baking, which had always been just a hobby—with the desire to own and run my own business,” said owner Kristin Cobb.

According to Cobb, the shop had immediate success, which allowed her to expand to two other locations in South Carolina: Mount Pleasant and Columbia.

“It’s been incredible! Columbia has just been so excited to have us here…it has been amazing,” said Cupcake Columbia manager Heidi Cavileer.

The Columbia store, which opened in August of 2009, is located in the heart of Columbia in the downtown Vista. The thriving location, surrounded by the University of South Carolina and downtown offices, shops, and restaurants has likely contributed to a 6.8% sales increase this past year. Cavileer said the sales growth is also because they offer an affordable indulgence.

“You can do once a week or once a month and it’s not going to break the bank…and it makes people happy…it’s a reminder of your childhood,” she said.

Cupcake features four everyday flavors, including chocolate, vanilla and red velvet. They supplement those flavors with specialty flavors, such as cinnamon swirl, lemon blueberry, and chocolate raspberry. Next on the Cupcake agenda: expanding to Greenville, South Carolina this spring.