Cupcake Wars reprise: Royal Oak bakery triples sales after first airing
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Taste Love Cupcakes' sweet potato flavored cupcake is one of the top sellers.
Royal Oak-based Taste Love Cupcakes, which was featured this week in a re-aired episode of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, says being on the show propelled the new company to profitability.
The bakery, which opened in April 2011, was featured originally in the episode that ran in April 2012.
"Since the show our sales have increased drastically," said co-owner Yolanda Baston, adding that sales have more than tripled since the episode.
Cupcake Wars is a national, weekly show featuring four cupcake bakers who face off in three elimination challenges until one bake shop remains. The last cupcakery standing receives $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase its cupcakes.
Taste Love received word five months after it opened that it was chosen to compete on the show, but Baston and other co-owner Michelle Wilson Brown had to keep it a secret until two weeks before the episode aired.
The store sells 500 to 1,000 cupcakes a day during the week and 750 to 1,000 each weekend day, and goes through more than 90 pounds of butter a week.
The best-selling cupcakes, in order, are red velvet, sweet potato and chocolate peanut butter. They cost $2.95 when purchased individually, and less in bulk.
The bakery has catered corporate events for American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co.
The company recently began selling cupcakes online. It ships the desserts with an ice pack. By the time the cupcakes reach their destination, normally they are thawed and ready to eat.
The store fulfills 10 to 15 online orders a week.
Brown and Baston are batting around ideas for expansion but have no concrete plans.
The two grew up and live in metro Detroit, and graduated from the University of Michigan. They funded Taste Love with their savings.
To commemorate the original airing of the episode, Taste Love Cupcakes will offer all the flavors featured on the winning episode through Saturday. The award-winning cupcake, a salmon caramel cupcake, will only be offered Wednesday starting at 11 a.m. – until sold out.