I’m so excited to have my first post on FOOD. Food is art, so why not feature it here on CulturedGirlsOnly.com! Mal, the self-proclaimed Cupcake God, makes pastries that I want to bite right out my Twitter page. Let’s chop it up with her to learn more about her yummy goodies.
SHE: I am actually not “self proclaimed” in the “Cupcake God” name. On Twitter, there is a sizeable community of people that give themselves and others names of some sort with “God” behind it to sort of “label” them as based. I’d noticed that many of my customers on Twitter would refer to me as the “Cupcake God” here and there, then on my birthday in September, I noticed an influx. That’s when I simply added the fun name to my profile page on Twitter. It is also a play on another person’s handle on the site. She is called, “BreeDaAuraGod”. 🙂
ME: Hey Mal, tell us about yourself and your cupcake company?
SHE: Well, Im Mal. My full first name is Mallori. I go by my Mal on twitter and I use my first and middle name when referring to my business–Mallori Symone. On Twitter, I am @SlimBellyBella and the business twitter page is: @ACupcakeBrain. I am actually one of the youngest bakers that I know on either twitter or in “real life” as I am only 26 years old. I have baked off and on since I have been 11 years old but did not cultivate the talent until ACB was formed. When I started baking, though, I actually started in cheesecakes and cold desserts. When I was 11 for my honors English course, we had to do a To Do speech and everyone brought food. I brought my aunt’s Chocolate Fantasy that I baked with absolutely no assistance at all. Everyone loved it. Thats where it began for me.
Fast forward to high school and especially college. In high school I baked off and on but in college, my friends and I would have parties and such and if I could attend (because I worked a lot and was heavily involved in extra curriculars plus I was in the midst of graduating early so I missed a few functions we had), I baked cheesecakes and chocolate fantasy often. One time in college, I went to visit a friend out of state and surprised them with a chocolate swirl cheesecake that I made while they took a nap LOL. That was fun and memorable. But again–at the time–you couldnt tell me that I’d be making any money off of the goodies I made. It was always just a pastime for me.
Even though this was just a pastime for me, I always saw myself as a business owner. My personality is not that of a follower by any means. For this reason, not being in charge in some way bothers me when it comes to my career path. I am a writer first. I hold my Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Business Marketing and Advertising. In every area of work that I have had post college with the exception of one job, I have always been my “own boss”, so to speak. I have worked for an advertising publishing firm since 2006 and have, since college, been working on how to become my own boss, create my own business, create my own niche. I suppose that that is the creative side of me. The “innovator”, if you will. I have never been the type to be comfortable with the status quo. I have always strived to push the envelope in all Ive ever been a part of. I consider myself a true leader. But these are just my words. This is just my own vision of myself. And also a vision that, if I am not 100% there yet, I WILL get there. 🙂
A Cupcake Brain is an online bakery that mainly focuses on the trendy cupcake in all sizes, including cupcakes in mason jars, a method of selling cupcakes that found popularity in 2010! ACB opened on April 8th, 2011; however since its launch, ACB has expanded into other forms of goodies including:breads, brownies, cheesecakes, and 6-inch square cakes! ACB is also not just on Twitter.com. Since I have launched, ACB has participated and provided for large parties with as many as 80+ people! ACB has hosted events and been featured in events and small business organizations within the city of Chicago! I am very very grateful of the success I have had so far with ACB and can only hope for more success in this endeavor!
ME: You’d told me that you were inspired by a baking challenge on Food Network. Tell CGO more about what motivated you to start your business?
SHE: True enough, I was inspired by the popular show, Cupcake Wars, in launching ACB. However, my MOTIVATION for starting the project was a very personal one. I was actually in the midst of dealing with a very painful breakup. I have discovered that , for whatever reason, I am my most creative when I am under a period of depression. Why this is? I can not explain. However, when I started ACB, I was indeed going through the motions of all of that. Watching the show one night, I noticed there was a huge marathon going on. Episode after episode of Cupcake Wars came on. This is pretty uncommon for the Food Network from what I’ve seen so it was almost like a message being told to me. I just needed to pay attention. Anyway, I remember tweeting in jest that I wanted to be on the show because I have baked off and on for years and have a VERY huge competitive spirit. Tweeting this, however, lead to thinking of “starter cupcake” types. Thinking of “starter cupcakes” lead to people asking about pricing, shipping, how to order, and my company name, etc. All in one night. It was remarkable! At the time, I had a very small amount of followers (about 350, if I can remember acccurately at all) . By the time I launched my first inquiries of orders, which I had to break up into two weeks because I had no real idea at the time of how i’d manage my time between baking and work, I had close to 20 paid orders, all accumulated over 4 days with the first half of orders shipped and delivered the first week, the second half shipped and delivered the 2nd week. 🙂
There are so many plans that ACB is currently going under. I hope you’ll stay tuned to watch the continual growth of ACB! It will be very exciting!!!
ME: How many different flavors combinations would you guess you have?
SHE: Oh boy. I havent a clue! I am a LIbra, which also means that I am INCREDIBLY indecisive! This indecisiveness explains my vast menu! On the whole, I would say that I have over 20 cupcakes right now. This is a rough estimate and the count keeps growing! However, I have organized my cupcake types significantly by creating Seasonal Lines. Every season, my cupcakes swap out. This helps to keep a balance in the types I have available while still giving my customers something new and exciting to look forward to to try each season! With this said, the Winter Menu drops on 12/15! And it will be available for preview on 12/5!
ME:What’s the most creative thing that you’ve done in baking goodies?
SHE: MOST creative? Hmm….I try to keep my flavors as traditional and close to home as possible. Many people like change and “different” but at the same time, humans are typically creatures of habit! We find something we like and generally stick to it. This is why with majority of my menu items, i’ll tweak and bend the schematics of it. Add a fill, introduce a liquor option, change the coloring of the icing…but in the same vein, try to keep things as simple, yet still very unique as possible.
Sometimes if I have no orders or anything else to do that day, Ill look over the things i have in my kitchen and create totally different flavors. Last week, I created a chocolate cherry cupcake that is infused with blackberry. That is probably my most creative cupcake. The cupcake ALSO has a blackberry ganache fill that is simplly amazing. I love it! And after i introduced it into the ACB Feature Cupcake line, I sold a total of 54 of that particular cupcake within a week! It is called the “BullsEye ChicagaBerry Cherry Cupcake” in honor of the NBA Lockout being over! That is the Bulls cupcake! The next flavor will be the Lakers cupcake! Ive already designed it. I just havent baked it yet! Im excited to bring that out next!
ME: Do you think you can make a Cultured Girls Only cupcake and mail it to California?
SHE: Absolutely! One feature that ACB has always had since it’s launch is somethiing called, “Create-A-Brain”. All of the cupcakes in ACB are called, “Brains”. Pea Brains, Average Brains, and Einstein Brains to reflect the three sizes (minis, standard, and large) as well as Brain Jars (the mason jar option of cupcake). Create-A-Brain, or CAB is something that I created to give people the option to “be their own creative genius” and create their own flavor. I have taught myself how to properly infuse flavors in cakes and icings so Im glad that I can provide this option.
For CGO, you can simply email me with your unique cupcake idea and I will create it! If you are unsure, I can help you come up with a flavor. Because I started ACB on Twitter, I ship all over the country, including the Virgin Islands, so shipping to California would not be a problem at all! Ill be looking out for your order!
Woohoo! Send an email? That’s all I gotta do? Word, then I’ll be doing that. Get your cakes here because Mal is killin’ ’em!