I tore into the package, and when I saw the gorgeous red fabric staring back at me, neatly folded in the box, I knew I could never give up on my cupcakes. It was a week after my birthday, and I had been anxiously waiting for this package from my boyfriend. It was my very own polka dot, ruffle-filled apron.
Somehow he knew just what I needed to keep me on my feet and chasing my dreams.
A couple weeks passed and I went without orders. I wasn’t looking for them, but I was disappointed no one contacted me. I thought maybe this wasn’t meant to be after all, maybe baking was better left as a hobby.
But just before I lost all hope, my phone lit up with a request from an unfamiliar number. It turned out to be an old family friend in search of someone to provide sweets for her daughter’s birthday. This was it. I had my second order secured: six dozen cupcakes.
This order required intense planning. Shay needed three dozen cupcakes to take into the elementary school on a Tuesday and three dozen for the family party on Saturday. If I still lived in my hometown it would have been no problem, but I lived in Athens, almost two hours from where the cupcakes needed to be.
I wasn’t willing to give up an opportunity simply because it was inconvenient for me. So Monday after classes I intended to go home and bake. I would ice and deliver the cupcakes before leaving for Athens on Tuesday morning, and I would repeat that process after class on Friday and before work on Saturday.
The schedule made for a long couple of days, but there was nothing I would rather be doing. I was so flattered that someone had sought me out to provide for such a special day. I was still so new to cupcakes, but people trusted me to deliver. I made the icing Monday night to save time on Tuesday morning.
I thought it was a practical decision, but it turned out to be my demise.
Tuesday morning I took the icing out of the fridge, and it was hard as a rock. I sat it out to thaw while I got ready for classes. Twenty minutes later I returned and the icing was still solid. I had just about an hour before I was supposed to be at Shay’s door with three dozen beautifully decorated cupcakes.
Panic set in.
I ran to the back of the house and frantically grabbed the hair dryer. At this point my boyfriend, Tristan, noticed the panic in my voice and stepped in to help. He ran downstairs to the pellet stove with the second bag of icing. For the next 15 minutes I stood over my bag of icing, rotating and thawing with a hair dryer while he stood downstairs rotating his bag in front of the pellet stove.
When I finally started decorating, the icing was not a consistency that was forgiving. The first half dozen cupcakes were scraped and decorated at least three times before I was content. Every vanilla cupcake had to be immediately dipped in sprinkles before we could move on to the next one. At this point I was in tears, sprinkles were flying, icing was in my hair and poor Tristan was tasked with calming me down and keeping me on schedule.
By some miracle we iced 36 cupcakes, and we were only 10 minutes behind schedule. Although we were both already late for our classes, Tristan rode with me to deliver cupcakes. There was no way he was leaving our hard work to be destroyed by my frantic driving.
We placed the boxes in the smiling hands of Shay and her daughter, quickly kissed goodbye and sped off to our respective colleges. Now 20 minutes behind schedule with a long drive ahead of me, and a kitchen littered with sprinkles and icing waiting for my mom, I couldn’t help but smile.
By the time I had left the driveway my phone lit up with a photo from Shay. “She couldn’t resist a Kit Kat Cupcake <3,” it read, “and Rodney already took a Reese’s one. Thank you so much!”
That was when I knew for sure this time that I had to see if this would take off as a business for me. So, Tristan and I had pulled it off, but the best part was we had to do it all again just four days later. And if the business was successful,maybe we could do this together for the rest of our lives.
Stay tuned to find out more about Tristen’s journey as a cupcake-extraordinaire next week! If you missed her first column check it out here!