Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest Post: Main Street Cupcakes

I have a Sugar Crush.  I have a Sugar Crush of the buttercream kind.  It goes by the name of Main Street Cupcakes.  My crush has a face. Two faces, actually.
Kimberly Martin and Sarah Forrer.  Sweet sisters.

I have been patronizing their Hudson shop for years now, and I think they know me at first glance.  My favorites are Petal Cake, The Buckeye, and Cup of Java. And I think they know.  And that's how they've become Cupcake Moguls.  I'm not kidding.
The Home Shopping Network successfully pursued them for a partnership.
TLC and The Food Network approached them about doing a reality show.   The timing was off.  Lucky for us!

I won't even get into how British Intelligence used their mojito cupcake recipe to deflect Al-qaeda.  I kid you not.  

I will get into the fact that Kim (cupcake lover) and her husband Sean (baker) noticed Ohio was seriously lacking in cupcakes-done-right.  In 2007 they put thought to action in picturesque Hudson (Happy 5th Birthday TODAY!).  They now have locations in Rocky River (Happy 2nd Birthday TODAY!) and Medina, as well.  If you walk in, you'll see something like this:
They must have to clean the lick marks off the glass a lot.
Gosh I wish I had smell-o-vision on my blog.  Have you ever smelled buttercream in full force? Gah.
When I started this sweets blog, I was driven by folks who turn something they love into something they share with others.  MSC fit the bill.  They don't just prey on the sugar-lover.  They love sugar, they love good cupcakes, and they love people.  A recipe for success!
A mere fraction of the 240 flavors on their menu.  Excuse me while I drool.
 Sarah was kind enough to let me pick her brain and share it with you all.  Because she's a genuinely nice (and pretty smart) cookie.  I hope you enjoy AND hope you stop in* to see them in one of their locations.  I assure you that you'll not only walk out with cupcakes, but a new friendship, as well!
1. I know that the original idea for MSC came through your sister Kim and her baker-husband Sean. Why cupcakes?
Why not!
It's a niche business and no one else was doing it at the time. We loved the idea of being the first in Ohio so we just went for it! We started with some great recipes that Sean had developed and the list has been rising ever since.
2. This seems like a venture for doing what you love and sharing it with people. Has building the best cupcake "empire" in Ohio over the years changed that original vision?
I think staying at the top of our field has definitely been a motivator. Doing well, being well received and having success is a huge motivator day to day. Above all though we've all had other corporate jobs and done a lot and we still love this job the best. It's very satisfying to have a fun popular company.
3. Ever since I first walked in MSC door I felt like your personal friend. How to achieve the personal connection with your customers?
From day 1 we said we set out to treat our customers like friends. That's just how we work. We blur the lines between customer and friend day in and day out. We are social people! Perfect example, at my small intimate wedding in 2010 I had four customers there who had turned into close dear friends.
4. Sharing sugar has made MSC famous. What is that like for you all?
Well it's sweet, of course ;)
It's pretty funny because I guarantee there is no one who takes butter and sugar more seriously than Kim does!
5. Do you love bossing your sister around? Does she retaliate? Does Sean ever have to send you to your rooms with no cupcakes for dinner?
Yes, I boss Kimmy around constantly. I'm not even kidding about this.
That said, when she speaks up it's law though. haha
We are sisters, we are insanely close, and we're Sicilian, do you think Sean gets in the middle of it?
6. Have you had any flavor failures? What happened?
We don't consider this a failure but Peaches & Cream was not a big mover in the cases. However, we loved it and thought it was totally tasty. So we decide to revamp it slightly by changing the decor and the name and low and behold we have a super popular cupcake by the name of...Bellini! It's all abut marketing sometimes!
7. You have an extraordinary choice of flavors on your menu. Aside from the Miami Vice, what is the WILDEST story about how one of the flavors came about?

I don't think this is a wild story at all, but it makes me giggle. It might be one of those you had to be there moments though. Early on years ago one night Sean was more than likely very tired and just playing around with flavors. He was trying to develop a flavor that was like that old fashioned cherry cake that our Grandmas used to always serve. He landed on an excellent combination but when we came in that day to open the store he had a little flag in the cake and had written "Nick Nock" on it. (Sean's last name is Nock.) Kimmy and I were like no way, thanks for trying but that name is not staying. So we put the kibosh on his name choice, and simply called it Chips & Cherries!
8. Are there any cupcake trends in style or flavor that you've decided to stay away from?
We like our cupcakes to be edible. I know that sounds obvious, and I'm not saying some people make their cupcakes inedible, but we are in the business of selling lots of cupcakes so we haven't jumped heavily on the savory bandwagon. True we do bacon flavors and we have some with outstanding spices, but we've read about cupcakes with smoked salmon, and honey glazed hot dogs. Let's be honest, no one is buying 10 dozen of those for the bosses birthday ;)
9. Can you share any sources for special ingredients you love to use?
Honestly, we do one thing and we try to hit a home run with it so we try to buy the best. One thing we personally love is Callebaut Chocolate. Sourcing ingredients is quite a task. As we speak we are waiting for an ocean liner to get to dock to get us  ingredients for our big buttercream project.
 10. A fan wants to know - salted or unsalted butter - or is it not butter in there and just love?
Gotta keep some secrets, but I assure you it is NOT shortening!
11. Do you have any tips for the home baker on turning out a great "from scratch" cupcake?
Don't over bake them!
12. If my dream came true and you created a feature flavor named "Sweet Teeth", what would be in it? Would you and Kim be in a photo with me eating it?
Maybe we should! What's your favorite flavor combination? Yes, we'd be happy to take a picture with you anything.
13. What's your satisfaction meter (1-5) sitting at today with regard to ascending to the status of Cupcake Queen?
I have a pretty big head, it sits at a 6! Kidding aside, if you don't have confidence in your business, whatever your business may be, then you're not going to succeed. If you're not at least your biggest fan then no one will get behind you.

*Main Street Cupcakes is also found on facebook, where they post their daily menu so you can plan your trips accordingly. 

Thank you, Sarah!  See you soon!
If you've already visited MSC, drop a comment below with YOUR favorite flavors!  Commenting is easy, and you don't need an account!  Just choose "anonymous" from the drop down and sign off your name in your comment, if you like!


  1. Well I cant wait to give them a try next time I head North!

  2. Great peek inside the cupcake biz! Love this!

  3. What an amazing post! I love all the questions you asked, and their answers are awesome!! I love the story about the Bellini cupcake flavor - I don't normally like peaches, but I do really love this flavor!!! I also love their Mojito flavor too!! (Bellinis and Mojitos - sounds like my kind of party!)


  4. Who better to make a living with your sister. Loving what you do and others loving what you do.
    Thats Sweet!

  5. I die for the fall flavors and the cookies and cream.


Play nice in the sandbox, please!