Gourmet Cupcakes Sweeten Downtown Fargo
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 14:09
Becoming creative and entrepreneurial small business owners must run in the family for Andrea Chang and Kristina Lau, or perhaps it runs in marriage.
Andrea and Kristina, relatives through marriage, are the owners of Bakeology, Fargo’s newest small business specializing in baking gourmet cupcakes and cakes at affordable prices.
Kristina’s sister-in-law and brother, Ashley and Justin Morken, own Unglued Market in downtown Fargo, which is a small business featuring locally made art, crafts, clothing and jewelry.
Unglued, located at 408 North Broadway, is the main venue Bakeology chooses to sell their cupcakes. Customers can shop, eat a gourmet cupcake and enjoy a hot cup of coffee, study in the back with the free wireless Internet access, all while supporting two local businesses.
Bakeology’s initial plan was to collaborate with Unglued in the same building. However, because most buildings downtown are very old and have very strict building codes, they were unable to find a permanent spot for their business to house a commercial kitchen.
Instead, Andrea and Kristina found a kitchen space to temporarily rent from in north Fargo where they do all of their baking and production. In the meantime, they are searching for their own location to continue keeping up with the growing demand.
“We’re hoping to expand and get our own storefront in the future,” Kristina said. “Our ideal situation would be to have a central baking location and then have different satellite locations, like Unglued, that feature our cupcakes.”
Their gourmet and beautifully crafted cupcakes range in price from $2 - $3.50 per cupcake at Unglued, depending on the variety and whether or not they are gluten-free. Their cakes range in price from $22 - $56, depending on the size and they are also available without gluten. Bakeology can take orders up to 48 hours in advance to ensure Andrea and Kristina enough production time to finish the order.
Andrea studied at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif. and graduated in 2004. After finishing school, she focused on pastries that were allergy-free because many of her family members have food allergies.
Andrea and Kristina also thought Fargo-Moorhead’s selections of gluten and dairy-free dessert options were limited. Therefore, they decided to make gluten-free baked goods available for those with food allergies all the time by featuring two new flavors of gluten-free cupcakes every week. At first they only started with one gluten-free flavor but had to expand to two because of the high demand they’ve received from the F-M community.
“There really isn’t anybody who really fill the [gluten-free] niche, especially with cakes and cupcakes in Fargo,” Andrea mentioned. “There isn’t much out there, so we thought this would be nice to have.”
Kristina graduated from NDSU with a few degrees in apparel, retail merchandise and design, international studies and also a business minor. “I bring in the business-y aspect of it and [Andrea] brings in her culinary expertise,” Kristina explained. “We can work together to make sure that this is something that will actually work … it’s a good balance.”
During production, it is normal for Andrea and Kristina to stay up until 2 a.m. baking and decorating over eight-dozen cupcakes. “I feel like every time we bake something, we learn something new and move our skills further along,” Andrea said.
Bakeology supplies Unglued with four new cupcake flavors every week. This week’s cupcake flavors include “The Elvis” (peanut butter banana), lemon drop, gluten-free pumpkin spice and gluten-free red velvet.
In the past, Bakeology has featured cupcakes including orange creamsicle, maple bacon, mint chocolate, salted chocolate caramel, apple streusel and chai.
“We have a lot of fun coming up with new flavors, and I think people are really intrigued by the different things that we come up with,” Kristina said. “Research and development is definitely our favorite part.”
Kristina’s younger brother, who is “obsessed with bacon,” inspired the maple bacon cupcake flavor. “We’ve gotten a lot of orders with that flavor,” Kristina mentioned. “It definitely created the most buzz,” Andrea added.
Kristina explained that lot of their upcoming holiday flavors are inspired by what you would generally find on the dinner table during Thanksgiving, such as a cranberry cupcake flavor for example.
“We both really love baking with what’s in season; that really inspires us. We have a ton of things we’re testing out for the holiday season -- but there won’t be a turkey cupcake,” Andrea giggled. “We won’t test the ‘savory’ for a while.”
Some of the upcoming flavors to expect for the holiday season include pecan, cranberry walnut white chocolate, gingerbread and peppermint.
“This experience has brought us closer,” Kristina mentioned. “In the beginning we were just acquaintances who had a similar passion for baking and creating fun flavors of different things; now it’s made us even more like family.”
If you have a cupcake flavor idea, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, you can like “Bakeology” on Facebook or visit their website at http://www.bakeology.us.