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Archive for the ‘cupcakes’ Category

Shut it down.

September 19th, 2010  2 Comments

Yes, you read correctly SHUT IT DOWN! OK, well not really, but almost.

So,  last Saturday I had 2 delicious orders….and it was my eldest daughter’s first soccer game. In case you all don’t know, I am such the soccer mom. No, really. I make the team banners, whip up the coolest snacks for half time and after the game, make team soccer hair clips, you name it. So, you can only imagine how thrilled I was for the first game. I arranged the deliveries for 7:00 am and the other for 12:30…Rick’s game was at nine. The first delivery was in Garden Grove. Having broke my navigation system (which I lived by) two days prior I was a little on edge, but had my iphone to help. So, I plug in the address and was on my way…right on schedule. I took Ani and Snooks with me and left Ricky with Poppa. On the freeway, passing Garden Grove. I am THAT bad with directions….thinking to myself how big is Garden Grove. Well, finally after driving for way too long the phone announces I have reached my destination. I WAS IN SEAL FREAKIN BEACH! I know, cut me some slack..I’m a baker not a delivery person. So, now, I’m freaking out because the clock is ticking. I try to re-input the address and my phone is just not loading. Crap, I was lost. it was now around 7:45 and I was in full panic mode. I call the hubby (who is wondering where I am) and explain…in tears. What? I did not want to miss my baby’s first game. So, the hubby laughs that I am in tears and tries to help….no luck. I’m driving around who knows where and it’s now 8:15…..EF it, I’m going home. 

You have to understand I love ALL of our customers, EVERY single one. You all are what made Two Parts Sugar what it is. This, this was a very special customer though. I’m not sure if any of you remember back when we auditioned for Cupcake Wars, but on lady really pulled through for me and literally got me on the show. You can read about that here. This order was for her….I feel I owe her a lot. So, I snap out of it, call the customer and get directions. 8:30, delivery done. YES! On my way to the game. Huh…not so fast. About half way there (Ladera Ranch) my car dies. You read correctly, died. So, now I am on the side of the road waiting for AAA. Then, AAA ends up on the 405 instead of the 5 and I’m still waiting. I guess it was the alternator…whatever fixed it and I was on my way. Parked the car in the handicap spot (hubby graciously volunteered to move it once I got to the field…awwwww) ran down the what seemed like a mile long hill with both girls in my arms, only to see the game end. Typical Monica luck. 

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I was so bummed. You know those movies where the dad misses the big recital because he’s stuck in a meeting….yeah, I was so THAT parent. NEVER again. I talked with the hubby on the way to lunch and told him I was done. I was not going to be THAT parent. I was convinced there would be no more cakes/cupcakes for me. Well, I think we all knew what bologna that was. I was serious at the time…I wanted to shut it down. But, I started thinking about what it has taken to make this what it is.

Yes, it’s very difficult at times to manage the business and family life. Yes, I hate that I NEVER get to sleep. I hate that I have to drag my girls to the cake shop or deliveries. Yes, it gets frustating that I can only do so much because I am not in LA, or because I don’t have Mom and Dad to shell out a lump of cash to get a storefront. I can’t bake every single day and get samples to everyone I can think of. I can’t take every order that comes my way. The most frustrating thing is that I know what I am capable of, but cannot fulfill my potential. I can’t do all the things I want to with the business…and it sucks. Then, while I am getting down on myself for not doing more…I realize, now’s just not the time. As much as i want to “do it all” now, I’d rather be the soccer mom, the mom that spends every possible minute with these girls, cause they are growing fast. I’m not gonna lie, I do wish I had more time in the day. Plus, it totally bugs me when I see these single gals (with no family, or other responsibilities) hustling half as much as I would. I am struggling with my competitive nature daily and constantly turning to my girls for reassurance that I AM doing enough for both the business and them. 

So, that’s that, I got my cupcakes delivered, but missed a very important game. Just another day in the life of a baker trying to raise her girls and balance life.

Cupcake Camp OC: the outcome

August 12th, 2010  No Comments

Cupcake Camp OC was now a few weekends ago and boy was it bananas! We committed to the event only 2 weeks before it was to take place…crazy I know. Not only that, but we turned away 3 different offers to have us participate in the 2010 Teen Choice Awards gifting suites. No biggie. Those opportunities are popping up all the time now. We felt it was our time to give back. I had no idea what to expect with this event. I guess I imagined the LA Cupcake challenge on a much smaller scale. Wake up call to me! It was huge! Well, the banquet hall was not, but the participation was. Over 90 contributors, 800 attendees and over 5,500 cupcakes! A total of $9,100.00 was raised for El Pozo! What a successful event! You can read about Hannah (the organizer) and how she decided to put this little shindig together here. I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of such a successful and cause worthy event! 

DSC00083When we decided to commit we want to do something big…so we raffled off $1,000.00 in cupcakes and teamed up with Orange Novelty Cake Supplies to raffle off a gift basket of decorating goodies (valued at $200.00).We also baked over 550 cupcakes to pass out! Velma Trevino won the cupcakes and Michelle Gonzaga won the gift basket.  We were able to raise $385.00 for El Pozo. It was a family event for me…my hubby and girls were along for the ride (which was also crazy). All in all it was a stressful day, but lots of fun and for a great cause. Can’t wait until next year! 

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WIN $1,000.00 in cupcakes!

July 20th, 2010  3 Comments

Leave it to me to wait until the very last minute to participate in something! As some of you may have heard, Cupcake Camp is coming to Orange County. Others of you may be thinking….Cupcake Camp? Yes, Cupcake Camp! The concept for Cupcake Camp originated in San Francisco and promotes a true spirit of community and sharing, and Cupcake Camps now happen around the world and come in a wide variety of flavors and sizes.  They’ve taken place in Paris, Montreal, Boston, and New York to name a few.  The most essential feature of a Cupcake Camp is that it brings people together to share their love of cupcakes!  It’s open to professionals, amateurs, and even first time bakers. Cupcake Camp O.C. has a goal of raising awareness and money for EL POZO. EL POZO (the well of life) is a non-profit organization that was started in Mexico in 2010, with it’s purpose to work towards ending human trafficking and slavery in Mexico. So, what does that mean for you….CUPCAKES, of course! Over here at Two Parts Sugar we have a huge place in our hearts for charitable events and while we can’t always do everything we would like, we do try to help out as much as we can. Not only that, but if we are going to take part in something, we want to do it big. Have I caught your attention yet? Keep reading….all the way to the end (lots of opportunity to help).

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So, here’s the run down: while the event is technically FREE, a suggested donation of $10.00 is asked upon entrance. Remember this is for charity and you’re lucky to get 3 cupcakes at some bakeries with $10.00. Already a win/win if you ask me. You’ll have access to cupcakes from lots of local bakeries as well as others participating who just love to bake! I have to tell you I was giddy with excitement when I found out Cupcake Camp would be happening in my backyard (not really in my backyard…..well, you know what I mean). I knew we had to participate and do it BIG!

We will be organizing a raffle where you could win BIG! I’m talking $1,000.00 BIG! 

The Two Parts Sugar GRAND PRIZE raffle will consist of the following:

100 decorated cupcakes

100 accent cupcakes (sprinkles/colored icing)

A 6″ decorate cake

A custom cupcake stand

-OR-

A cake valued at $1,000.00 

Not only will you be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE, but with every ticket purchase you will receive a coupon (coupon code if purchased on line) for 10% off you next order from Two Parts Sugar.

Tickets will be sold for $5.00 in the Two Parts Sugar booth the day of the event (please stop by and say hi even if you are not purchasing a ticket). You can also purchase tickets by contacting Monica via e-mail: monica@twopartssugar.com. We will then send you a confirmation and throw a ticket with your name on it in our raffle jar (to be drawn day of event). ALL proceeds go to EL POZO. Contest is open to all Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties. But wait, we didn’t stop there!

We will also be offering our signature “I bleed buttercream” T-Shirts (photo coming soon) at the event and on-line (until 7/31/10). Purchase a shirt for $20.00 and we’ll throw in a raffle ticket and a 10% off coupon! Again, ALL proceeds got to EL POZO.

TPSBLEEDAvailable in a variety of colors with white print.

Yes, there’s MORE….we will be debuting a NEW FLAVOR we have been wanting to do for over a year now(just waiting for the right occasion)! Not only that, but any cupcake we sell in that flavor from now until the end of the year, we will be donating a percentage of the proceeds to EL POZO!

So, let’s sum it up…$5.00 raffle ticket gets you a chance to win $1,000.00 worth of baked goods and a 10% off coupon towards a future purchase. Or buy a T-shirt for $20.00 and we’ll include the raffle ticket and coupon. You’ll be sampling a brand NEW FLAVOR and if you order some goodies in our new flavor, a percentage of proceeds goes to EL TOZO. You’ll meet lots of cupcake lovers and taste lots of yummy cupcakes. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, you will be helping great cause. 

Diabetic, don’t like sweets, on a diet, no worries, you can still participate. The organizers of Cupcake Camp OC are accepting donations! LOVE to bake? Don’t be shy, sign up and bring some cupcakes down to help raise awareness and money! 

Those of you not on a diet can enter the CUPCAKE EATING CONTEST!

Bottom line, a bunch of wonderful people are coming together to do something selfless and raise money for a good cause. Be a part of it and I’m living proof, karma will thank  you later.

*Grand Prize is valued at $1,000.00. Can be redeemed for one cake OR a 6″ cake, 100 decorated cupcakes, 100 accent cupcakes, and one decorated stand. Decorations subject to difficulty/time involved. Delivery/set up may or may not be included depending on circumstances. Open to Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and LA counties. Date of redemption dependant upon availability.

For questions feel free to contact us here or call Monica 714.651.9769.

What’s up…

April 29th, 2010  No Comments

We have been soooo busy! Here’s a few thing we have coming up, and all I can say is INSANITY! 

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First, if you haven’t seen yet, we’ve got a newline of goodies…GLAM BITES! These are our gourmet treats all glammed up ready to hit the town! They are available in all colors and all treats! (The pictures don’t do them justice!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, be on the look out for these cool cakes: Lacrosse cakes, Teddy bear minis, Money bags cupcakes, Damask cake, Turntables cake, pink/black vintage cake, Angels baseball cake x 2, Plumeria wedding cake, Sesame Street cake/cupcake combo…just to name a FEW! 

AND….

We’ll be taking our treats to the VIP BOOTH at TASTE OF LADERA….THE MTV MOVIE AWARDS gifting suite at the SLS Hotel…..the AMERICAN IDOL FINALE…and more soon to be announced!

I still can’t believe all the opportunities presenting themselves and am so thankful to all of our customers and supporters.

Snoopy cupcake tower

April 19th, 2010  1 Comment

What a fun theme! I absolutely LOVE doing new cakes/cupcakes…keeps things interesting. This one was for Ellie who was turning 1. The theme…Snoopy! Fun right? So I began to search for cakes to get ideas and sent over some images to Ellie’s mom. She immediately fell in love with Julie’s (Blue cupcake) cake. Side note: I have admired Julie’s work since I first started doing this. Her work is AMAZING and she is such a sweet gal! OK, so it was a simple cake…not to much could be changed, but we did our best to tweak it just a tad. We also made coordinating cupcakes with Snoopy, Woodstock, Snoopy’s dog house, and some #1s. Once assembled on the stand, it all came together and looked fantastic. 

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“The cake and cupcakes were a hit! Everyone, myself included, just loved the Snoopy decorations you created.  So cute! Not only that but they tasted delicious, especially the raspberry red velvet. Those were gone so fast that my husband didn’t even get to try them, haha!”  

-Ellie’s Mom

Sex and the City 2

April 18th, 2010  1 Comment

How appropriate I get a request for my second set of Sex and the City (which I thought was Sex in the City….I don’t watch much TV!) with the Sex and the City sequel coming out! I was contacted by a repeat customer and she told me she wanted to order the Sex and the City cupcakes for her mom’s birthday. It was a last minute order, but we try and take care of our repeats. So, I told her I could squeeze her in. I was SO excited to do these cupcakes again. I was determined to put a twist on them this time. Instead of the red and gold I thought pink, pink, pink….what could be more appropriate right? So, I got to work brainstorming and made some changes. We did a silhouette of a heel vs. a 3D shoe, changed up the purses and added  a sugar rim to our martinis…cute right! I deliver the cupcakes and start talking to the customer about how excited I was to be able to do these again and how I LOVED how the pink looked….apparently the dinner was decorated in the red and gold!!!!! Yikes! She said they were “still cute”. Every day is a learning experience for me in this business. I am still just getting my feet wet and will never again overlook confirming the color scheme! (Sorry Thi!) So, here’s a look at the first and second set of Sex and the City cupcakes!

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Let’s do the Mario all together!

April 17th, 2010  No Comments

Since our recent article in the OC Register, business has been booming. I am trying to squeeze in every possible order, but it’s just insane (and I do need SOME sleep). So, one of our more recent orders was for 6 year old Julian. His mom contacted us and was so excited about doing something extra special this year for his birthday…. a cake/cupcake combo! Her theme was Mario Bros. and we had so much fun creating these goodies especially for Julian! 

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“EVERYONE loved the cake and nobody even wanted to touch the cupcakes they thought they were decoration! 
I couldn’t BELIEVE how everyone reacted to the cake, when they bit into it, myself included people were like, omg…. it was sooo good!” 

-Julian’s mom

My story

April 6th, 2010  2 Comments

This past Sunday a huge article ran in the O.C. Register about my business, my family, my life. It gives you an insight of what I’ve gone through to get Two Parts Sugar up and running. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive family, friends and following. I truly love you all. A special thank you to Teryl Zarnow for writing such an amazing article and really capturing the heart of Two Parts Sugar.

From Sweat to sweet

Only a certain kind of woman is willing to mix it up and go head to head against guys in a wrestling match. You might not expect it to be the same woman who now bakes cupcakes for a living – but it turns out they require the same ingredients.

The tenacity to score on the mat is not all that different from the tenacity you need to make a business into a winner.

So call this a story about what happens when sweat meets sweet. To me, though, it’s that familiar tale of a young mother juggling family and work. Mothers who learn how to fit their dreams around their children know how to grapple with life.

Monica Serratos, 28, wrestled at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa. As one of two women on the team, she wrestled mostly guys in the 103 or 112 -pound weight class.

She didn’t win a single match in her first year, but that only made her work harder. By senior year she was team captain.

Monica met her future husband, Fernando, on the wrestling team at Golden West College — and that’s where three babies come in.

Monica is primed to tell me about all this, plus cupcakes and the Academy Awards, but 3-month-old Angelica announces – loudly — she’s ready to eat. There’s no arguing with that.serratos-ceremony-academy

Monica fell into baking the way women fall in love: opportunity and attraction to something sweet. She was working weekends and nights at Macy’s, and wanted to start her own business. Then her sister took a culinary class and Monica sampled some recipes.

“I liked the cake on one and the icing on the other,” Monica recalls. “When we put them together, it was gold.”

First, she experimented with recipes – a little more egg here, a bit less oil there. A good cake is moist, not over-baked, with icing that isn’t overly sweet. One result is her signature raspberry red velvet cake.

“This is my passion … when people pop a bite into their mouth and their reaction is ‘Wow!’ you’ve created this little bit of dessert heaven.”

For a year she explored the idea of a baking business. She took some classes in cake decorating and discovered she was good at it – very good.

Monica began selling her creations to friends and their friends and suddenly realized: “I guess I’m in business.”

Two Parts Sugar (www.twopartssugar.com) launched in December of 2008. Listening to Monica explain how she hustles to build her business is exhausting.

Less than a year after launching, a very pregnant Monica was competing (and losing) in the first episode of the Food Network reality show, “Cupcake Wars.” Yes, she admits, she spent one crazy evening with power tools building a display stand for her cupcakes.

Twice she’s accepted the annual LA Cupcake Challenge, passing out thousands of samples so the public can eat and vote. The first year Two Parts Sugar won a second place and bragging rights for its (suddenly) “award-winning” cupcakes. In February, she won a third place for her chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes.

She’s already diversified from cupcakes into other sweets and aprons. With marketing help from her brother, Monica tweets and blogs and looks for every advantage.

When the Academy Awards came calling, Monica didn’t hesitate. She pulled several all-nighters to bake mini-cupcakes for tasting and “swag” bags for stars visiting the gifting suite.

She’s tasted other cupcakes. With no modesty she says:

“Some of the cupcakes out there made me realize that what I have here is fantastic.”

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An entrepreneur and mother, Monica knows all about juggling her time. Most mothers mentally barter with our kids, trading more favors than a backroom politico: If we accomplish one chore for me, later we will do one fun thing for you.

Monica trades a morning at the park for a run to buy ingredients or make a delivery. She packs Alicia, 3, Anabelle, 2, and the baby into the car and tells them it’s time to make a trip. She bakes; they bake with an Easy Bake Oven.

After the girls’ 8 p.m. bedtime, she heads to her Irvine-based kitchen to work. Her time is her own until 6 a.m. when the kids wake up.

“I tuck them into bed. They know Daddy is here and Mommy has to go to work.”

No problem – if you don’t require sleep.

And here’s where wrestling comes in. This is a grueling schedule. To meet it, Monica calls upon the same focus and drive she needed just to finish a practice.

“Some nights I’m baking and I’m dead tired and I tell myself: All right, it’s overtime. I need that extra bit you have to give.”

Endurance counts. She’s taken a self-taught, crash course in business: setting prices (too low), buying supplies (no longer at the grocery store), packaging and marketing.

So far, Two Parts Sugar is barely profitable. The deal with Fernando is that she needs to at least cover expenses and pay the family’s bill for health insurance.

Monica is selling cupcakes, but she’s buying herself time.

Right now, her business is the freedom to stay home days and weekends with her girls. But she has ambitions: maybe her own storefront bakery one day, maybe a little saved for the girls’ education. She would like them to finish college.

“I am setting an example. My girls can see it’s important to be independent and be able to support themselves and not have to rely on anybody else.”

She wants to build a successful business. She wants to be a successful mother. She wants more hours in the day.

All mothers wrestle with that.

And the Oscar goes to….

March 15th, 2010  1 Comment

Wow, THE Academy Awards! Last weekend we attended 2 different gifting suites at The Academy Awards. It was a whole lot of plotting, marketing, last minute details and oh, LOTS of baking. Here’s what we took with us….

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IMG_6088Another all-nighter produced lots of mini cupcakes for guest to indulge in. We took our vanilla throwback, chocolate covered strawberry, haute hostess and raspberry red velvets. They were a hit! They were so well received, for a minute we actually considered renaming our raspberry red velvet cupcake the “oh wow”. It seems everyone that popped one in their mouth responded with a joyful “Oh WOW”. We took boxes of 4 cupcakes, one of each flavor for guests to take home. We had contributions from a few people who really helped pull our “swag bags” together. Chico bag was amazing in contributing 100 eco-friendly bags screened with the Two Parts Sugar’s logo! These bags are awesome. They are made of 99% recycled material and are super roomy. We also had contributions from Sugar Cat Studio providing 100 sets of cupcake wrappers to be included in our “swag bags”. Lastly, Dazzle & Chunk provided the cutest cupcake necklaces.

I was able to take my big brother Juan who has contributed so much to the business with his technological smarts and creative ideas. Also, my sister Maria who contributes occassionally with baking and recipe ideas and sister Alicia who helps with all the extras. How fun to be able to share this experience with them.

I’ve been getting some questions about the people we were photographed with…No, I didn’t get shots of Brad Pitt, or Hale Berry with our cupcakes… Was I disappointed about that…NO. What I did get out of this experience was more than I could ask for. I met some really grounded and amazing people. People who loved our cupcakes and who were really interested in the story behind Two Parts Sugar and what we stand for. I have to mention a few people who really stood out to us: Jackie Tohn, American Idol finalist and recording artist and actress…she has a great sense of humor and is awesome. Another favorite is Ben Decker, actor, fashion model, song writer and super fun guy. Lastly, Jordan Johnson, singer, songwriter producer, also a sweetheart. We have generated some business from this event, including requests for samples from other gifting suite organizers and magazines, and requests for our cupcakes at other awards shows! It was a lot of work, but well worth it. It really was an exciting experience and just so fulfilling to have everyone really enjoy what we brought to the table.

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               Ben Decker                      Jordan Johnson

If you are interested in placing an order, you can contact us here. If you are interested in more information about our business or would like to have us at an event you can view our media kit here.

LA Cupcake Challenge results

February 24th, 2010  3 Comments

Here are the results…needless to say we are thrilled with the outcome!

Best Traditional
1st Place:  Big Man Bakes “Red Velvet”
2nd Place:  Blue Cupcake “Sweet and Salty Vanilla”
3rd Place:  Southern Girl Desserts “Red Velvet”

Best Original
1st Place:  My Delight Cupcaker “Breakfast Cake”
2nd Place:  Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
3rd Place:  Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

Best Overall
1st Place:  Jus Minis “Caramel Banana”
2nd Place:  My Delight Cupcaker “Breakfast Cake”
3rd Place:  Two Parts Sugar “Chocolate Covered Strawberry”

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So there you have it…we took 3rd place in the Best Original category and what we were most excited about was taking 3rd  (out of 54 cupcakes) in the Best Overall category. Congratulations to all the bakeries who attended…it was an accomplishment just baking all those yummy cupcakes and presenting them along side all of your beautiful displays. To all the other bakeries who placed…awesome job! Again a super-duper big giant thank you to everyone who helped….you all played a huge role in our success.