|Chocolate Espresso Cupcake|
In case you missed the grand opening of House of Cupcakes in Clifton, Jersey Bites and The Cook’s Tour have the scoop! But first, read our interview with Ron Bzdewka, co-founder of House of Cupcakes.
I was curious how Ron and his wife, Ruthie, got started in this business. He told me a charming story of how they were at a street fair, saw a long line in front of a cupcake stand, and Ruthie’s revelation of “I want to open a cupcake store!” evolved into House of Cupcakes. Like a smart husband, he went along with her idea. They found a small storefront in Princeton, not more than 600 square feet, and launched their soon-to-be empire. The 2008 economy downturn put a temporary crimp in their plans, but they came roaring back.
|Clifton Grand Opening|
They reconnected with an old friend from their days as Party City franchisees who was looking for a new venture. Steve Mandell loved their concept and put together a franchising plan to take House of Cupcakes to new heights.
Ruthie is a self-taught baker, always looking to try new things. And Ron said his background in construction is not so different from baking – “mixing concrete is the same as mixing dough!”
They bake 45 different flavors every day. How do they come up with the flavors? A lot of the suggestions come from customers. When they first started out, they developed with a flavor plan – whatever sells, they keep on the menu. Additionally, they don’t want anybody to walk away disappointed so they don’t rotate flavors, they bake every flavor every day! And then they add in seasonal cupcakes like peppermint for Christmas or pumpkin for the fall. They start out with 1,000 cupcakes each day at every store and then just keep going.
Their original store in Princeton is temporarily closed due to a fire, but they will reopen soon bigger than ever. They will double their store size and have seating for 30. They are planning some big surprises for the reopening so stay tuned.
The Clifton store is their most recent opening, but this summer a new Wayne location will be on line. I asked Ron how many stores they plan to open, and he said “as many as we can, pending the right locations.”
Ron and Ruthie are the winners of season two of Cupcake Wars on The Food Network. One day they received an e-mail from The Food Network inviting them to audition or the series, but Ron thought it was junk mail and he deleted it. Luckily, the network called back. Ron ran out, bought a video camera, they produced an audition tape overnight and two days later they were on the show. Needless to say, after that, their business erupted. And they’ve been on a straight shot ever since. They’ve just introduced cheesecake, ice cream, vegan and gluten-free cookies.
Ron said they want House of Cupcakes to be the kind of place where everybody leaves happy. Sounds like a good philosophy to me!
|Salted Caramel Cupcake|
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Now, how about winning a dozen cupcakes for yourself? To enter, click on over to House of Cupcakes and take a look at the many fabulous flavors they offer, then come back to tell us your favorite by leaving a comment here.
Be sure to leave your contact email in your entry if one is not tied to your user account. If there is no contact information, we will have to pick another winner.
You can also gain an extra entry by tweeting or blogging about this giveaway. You must come back and leave a comment on Jerseybites.com and link to your tweet or blog post to be counted. Winner must be able to pick up prize at the Clifton or East Brunswick location. The contest runs from June 20, 2014, to Saturday, July 5, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. The winner will be contacted on July 6. Winners will be chosen with the help of Random.org. Good luck!
Must be 18 years or older to enter. Entry must include an email address for notification.
No substitutions allowed and the prize is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash in lieu of the prize.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR CLAIM PRIZE.
GENERAL CONDITIONS. By accepting the prize, the winner and companion agree to release and hold harmless The Cook’s Tour, Foxtrot Media LLC. and House of Cupcakes and its subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies from any and all liability including all claims arising from, but not limited to injuries or damages of any kind sustained in connection with the acceptance, enjoyment and/or use or misuse of any prize(s) received in this promotion. By accepting the prize, the winner is responsible for any applicable federal, state and local tax in connection with winning this prize.
259 Allwood Road (accessible from Route 3 West)
Summerhill Square Shopping Center
593 Rt. 18 South
30 Witherspoon Street (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
Princeton, New Jersey 08542
Brentwood Plaza Shopping Center (COMING SOON)
1655 Route 23 South – Unit 17A