No more cupcakes

We are diehard cupcake fans. When it comes to cupcakes, trust me we know them. On every trip regardless of state or country I seek out the different cupcake bakeries and decide which one we will try. Often we cart a to-go box throughout a city, and indulge in the sweetness in our hotel room. I cannot tell you how many times we have shared many a cupcake in our pajamas before brushing our teeth and crawling into bed before another day of adventures. We have been to most of the famous big city cupcake places, and have a few favorites around the country, but somehow we got lucky and our true all-time top of the list was right here in Portland.

Saint Cupcake has been baking cupcakes since 2005. We were there from the beginning, through a few design changes to their storefront in the Northwest part of town, to when they opened a small Eastside location (Saint Cupcake Deluxe), to their move downtown (under the name Saint Cupcake Galore) and the welcome addition of pastries and cookies. The new baked additions only made it that much harder to decide. We would walk in for cupcakes and leave with a sticky bun, cookie, and cupcakes, because they are just THAT GOOD. They know just how to make them taste homemade, not too much icing and not too sweet. Just the right balance of all the right ingredients. Recently they opened a small storefront in the West End part of Portland called QUIN. It is their newest venture selling locally made chocolate, caramels, lollipops, gumdrops, and more.

So why am I telling you about Saint Cupcake? I am having a get-together with some women soon and was so excited to pick up cupcakes for the event, and found out that as of December 31, Saint Cupcake will be closing all locations and focusing solely on QUIN. I am happy for the owners and their next adventures, but sad to see my #1 favorite cupcake bakery go away. They have been here almost as long as Chris and I have been in Portland. I will miss their pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes, and I know Chris will miss their “Big Top” which had a crunchier chocolate chip cookie top with cream cheese frosting. They also always had amazing seasonal offerings (think Egg Nog cupcake and the like).

I do not know what I will do without Saint Cupcake. Sounds like we will have to visit our #2 place more often, Kara’s Cupcakes in San Francisco.

#bummedinPDX

4 thoughts on “No more cupcakes

  1. you bring up a very interesting observation that market participants are much nimbler than what we often want them to be because the market is much bigger than they may want it to be. if we looked at Main Street USA 75 years ago, we’d see a self sufficient economy where the town’s people would find everything they needed in close proximity: clothes to cars, appliances to apples, butchers to bakers and so on. The business model required daily or weekly visits from a customer base “who knew everyone.” The owner’s income (or business model) was predicated on this foot traffic and, as a result, so was its operating expenses like utility consumption, allowable rent, durable good requirements, etc.

    Now let’s think of our most favorite places (butchers, organic grocers, restaurants, specialty stores, etc.) and let’s ask ourselves how often do we frequent these “specialty” merchants. My bet is that the frequency for most would pale in comparison to the mass market grocery store or department store. I am just as guilty as my neighbor. Unfortunately, the business model has not really changed but the options to their customers (US!) certainly has. As a result, income from these businesses tend to have much more volatility and forces owner to do what you’ve just described – remain relevant and top of mind.

    That is why when the economy threw up in 2008, i told my wife that we will ONLY eat at our town’s restaurants (side note – we don’t have a butcher or a grocer) and our town’s pizzerias and our towns ice creameries. We only use an in town accountant. We do our best to use our in town hardware store for all non bulk purchases like rakes, leaf bags, nuts and bolts and paint. I even have a standing order for flowers for my wife. Unfortunately, we don’t have a grocer and i must go to neighboring towns for my weekly rations.

    I feel we have to make an overt decision to patronize our Main Street. Funny thing happened as a result, I am getting to really know my neighbors!

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    • Such great words of wisdom! I so agree with you. As our towns begin to get larger stores it is harder to find the local grocers, hardware stores, etc. I am all for supporting them in keeping them alive. Portland has a group of stores together called “Supportland” where there are incentives for supporting local businesses. A great idea. Thank you for sharing!

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