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Friday
Dec192008

Batter Chatter: Interview with Amanda of Wish-Cake

Wish-Cake 

 Generally, we associate food delivery with gastronomic treats of the savory, often greasy, persuasion: pizza or Chinese takeaway. However, a Philadelphia-based cupcake maker Amanda Schirk is challenging everything we thought we knew about takeaway, with Wish-Cake, a cupcake delivery service. Though started with children's parties in mind, the business has quickly grown with requests for "care package" cupcakes to be delivered to college students, as well as sweet delivieries to businesses and corporate clients. What can we say, everyone loves a cupcake. Here's what we learned during an interview with Amanda:

Vanilla Cake Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
Cakespy: How did you come up with the idea for Wish-Cake?
Amanda Schirk: The original idea for Wish-Cake was created from a conversation between my mom and I. We started talking about cupcakes and my love for baking them. Many of the parents we knew were too busy or didn't have the opportunity to make cupcakes for their child's birthday celebration at school. So, for the launch of wish-cake.com, my goal was to help those busy parents by baking fresh, beautiful cupcakes and delivering them right to their child's school. I never expected the number of requests for cupcake deliveries to colleges and business offices, to grown children from their Moms or friends. I guess, you're never too old for cupcakes!

 

CS: Why did you decide to focus on cupcakes only with your delivery business?
AS: Cupcakes are my favorite thing to bake! They're cute and tasty and most people have a hard time saying "no" to them. Each one is a small cakewith different frosting and decorating potential. I like the potential each cupcake holds as well as seeing the faces of those folks who receive them. They're fun to bake and fun to deliver!
Eggnog Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-CakeWorm-and-Dirt Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: What is your favorite part about running Wish-Cake?
AS: There are so many wonderful things about running a cupcake business, and I appreciate the variety in running the business. If I had to pick one thing, I would say that it is definitely the amount of joy the cupcakes bring to the recipient upon delivery. I find it amazing to see children, men and women light up when they receive them. Seeing their faces makes the job worthwhile, and makes it more rewarding. I enjoy the fact that Wish-Cake gives me the opportunity to express my creativity in different ways, and it's nice to have different kinds of outlets for that creativity such as the things that have been done to make our web site, the pictures and all the things go along with our cupcakes.

CS: What are some of the most challenging parts about running Wish-Cake?
AS: There are so many complex tasks in running a business. I had to go through a lot of steps in order to plan and launch the business. I found I had to deal with more technology and red-tape than I expected when I first started. There have been times when I wished I could just bake cupcakes instead of having to do paperwork. It wasn't easy, and my life has been changed completely by choosing to run my own business, but I wouldn't change a thing. I'm very glad we stuck with everything. Wish-Cake has been a great opportunity.

Pumpkin Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: How did you decide on / narrow down your menu choices?
AS: It was hard! However, the menu was created with children in mind. Kids are some of the most diverse people on the planet, however, when it comes to cupcakes most want chocolate or vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream frosting. (Very basic!) Of course we've had several requests for more complex cupcakes for children too. I wanted to offer a variety of choices so everyone could be happy. Before wish-cake.com launched I baked some of my mom's cake recipes to make sure they were conducive to cupcake baking. After gathering facts I decided on offering more variety that vanilla and chocolate, however, I didn't want to offer gourmet cupcakes. (like those with lavender cake). That's not what wish-cake.com is about. Our website allows personal cupcake customization by the customer. We also created some possible cupcake combinations that would help people understand the process. Those are the cupcakes that have photos on the site. Both ways to create cupcakes (build your own or suggesed flavor with photo on the site) have been very popular.
Vanilla-Vanilla, photo c/o Wish-CakeChocolate frosted Vanilla Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: What's your personal favorite flavor on the menu?
AS: That's too hard - I can't pick! If I ABSOLUTELY had to choose a favorite it would be banana with chocolate chips mixed in and vanilla buttercream frosting. That's our Hannah Banana cupcake, named after a niece who loves banana as much as I do. Or if I'm in a mood for something different I might use the build your own option.
Vanilla Cake, blue frosting, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: You have a build-your-own cupcake option on your site. Have you ever had any really unusual requests?
AS: Surprisingly, no! So far people seem to be very serious about the cupcakes they order.

CS: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect in making a great cupcake?
AS: That's an easy one for me. I need a great cake recipe (baking from scratch - no mixes) and fresh ingredients. The cake is the foundation for a good cupcake and from that point the creativity flies.

CS: Aside from cupcakes, what are some of your other favorite desserts?
AS: I'm a sucker for ice cream, most anything banana-flavored, or anything with whipped cream on top. And although they're not really a dessert sometimes I crave cinnamon buns!
Chocolate Chocolate Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-CakeCandy Cane Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: The Cupcake Club sounds like our kind of club. Can you tell us more about it?
AS: Sure! The Cupcake Club was created for customers who want to give the wonderful gift of cupcakes 12 months or 6 months out of the year. Wish-Cake offers featured cupcakes with flavors or designs that fit the season, such as January's White Chocolate Snowball, February's Chocolate Passion, March's Green Monster, April's Baseball, May's Pink Petals, June's Pineapple Coconut, July's Red-White-and-Blue, August's Cotton Candy, September's Back-to-School Apple, October's Candy Corn, November's Pumpkin Spice, and December's Candy Cane. Once the purchaser signs up for Wish-Cake's Cupcake Club, he/she will receive an announcement (via email) each month listing the two featured flavors for the upcoming month. The purchaser can choose either of the two flavors - or they can choose to build their own. The Cupcake Club makes a great gift for someone very special.
Cookie Dough Cupcake photo c/o Wish-CakeSnowman Cupcake, photo c/o Wish-Cake
CS: What's next for Wish-cake?
AS: We're just getting started and we have high hopes for the year ahead. We still have a lot of great ideas. We're also looking for ways that we can give back to the community. So today for instance, we participated with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and supported their annual bake-sale with a variety of different cupcakes that we donated to the cause. That was something nice we could do that ties in well with our original mission. If one of our cupcakes can bring a smile to a kid's face no matter where they are, then we know we are doing something worthwhile. As far as what might be coming...all I can say is to stay tuned. We'll continue to add new things to our menu and look for ways to delight our customers. If we have big news, we'll be sure the readers of Cakespy are in the loop!

In the Philadelphia area? Get your fix by ordering Wish-Cake cupcakes for your next occasion; even if you're far away from PA, you can still enjoy their lovely photos.

 

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Reader Comments (5)

I love your batter chatter interviews...gives me so many ideas for a business. I'm thinking of removing pickup and just doing delivery and shipping only.

December 20 | Unregistered CommenterVeron

What a brilliant (and dangerous) idea.

I hope someone does it in Australia. xx

Actually if these guys delivered (http://www.babycakes.com.au/) I may never leave home!

December 20 | Unregistered CommenterChantelle

I hear there's a great little cupcake shop in Seattle that delivers...

December 20 | Unregistered CommenterLook Cupcake

Beautifully written interview and very creative business. If I were a little younger, I'd ask about a franchise.

Kae

December 22 | Unregistered Commenterkae1crafts

the snowman cupcake is too cute!

December 23 | Unregistered CommenterJane
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