There's a wonderful little shop in Salisbury called Cupcake Heaven, and it really is just that. Full of delicious cakes all tempting you to buy them, and lots of tea (even enough for me), coffee and hot chocolate to warm you up on these chilly winter days; it's got to be one of the best places to recharge during the Christmas holiday shopping!
Cupcake Heaven was relatively recently taken over by the lovely Sandy and Paul Gregory. Paul, it seems, harboured a dream, or what Sandy called a "Plan B" from his normal day to day work.
Having had a childhood of happy memories, firstly from watching his mum, who worked at Le Croquembouche - in Plymouth - and then later as a teenager actually helping out with the cooking and the waiting, he remembered it always as having a "good vibe" about it; it had "good coffees and cakes" and this was something he wanted to share with others, and so the search began to find a likely place in Wiltshire.
Sandy and Paul did rigorous research, all hard work and grafting; that is visiting likely venues for ideas, concepts and positioning in the local area. Obviously the compulsory trying of the products had to be included and scored.
In March 2012 they visited Cupcake Heaven. It ticked lots of their key things, which included the size and the location, so they took it on as a going concern.
There were big challenges, it was at that point making a loss and the change over in staff can often be quite trying. Their first weekend included facing the prospect of being closed by the Monday because there wasn't enough stock and the baker had handed in their notice. They looked into getting suppliers so they could survive the following week, one of which was a local cake maker - a lovely lady called Sharon - who just so happened to be looking for a change in direction for her career. Some would call this a match made in heaven, I like to think it's more a match made for Cupcake Heaven! Sharon started work that Monday and she's still there now concocting marvellous creations for the shop. It's really fantastic to know where this little company have come from and where it wants to go; Sandy told me that they are all still "learning together".
There's now a whole collection of staff working there, and as of this week, Cupcake Heaven have embarked on a local government scheme to help mum's gain work experience prior to going back to work after having a child. It's wonderful to see how they support the local community.
Things in the shop have changed in the time since it was taken over; they now offer savoury snacks, including panini's, sandwiches, home made soups, toast and more. Their menu is inspired by the seasons and it's allowed them to cater to a wider audience. Lunch times are now busy where they used to be quiet, and new customers as well as the regulars are finding more reason to pop in and try the delights on offer. Something that has had a huge impact has been the addition of Gluten free cakes for customers, now just about everyone has the chance to indulge a little bit. You can also order celebration cakes, made to order and with fantastic detailing and decorations. You can see some of their client orders here
Delicious Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes, or Raspberry Cupcakes, too many choices!!
Sharon about to take her creations into the shop for selling
Some interesting things you might not know about Cupcake Heaven,
While I was spending the morning with them I got to see how some of the creations come to life. These are Chocolate Orange Cupcakes, and Mars Bar Cupcakes
- which ones do you think you'd go for?? The Mars Bar one is winning me over I think.
I'm rather a fan of afternoon tea and scones, so I was totally delighted to see that Scones were on the menu, and you can have them served warm or cold. Made from a recipe that has been altered to meet with Sharon's exacting standards, from start to finish they look fab.
Scones, with jam and clotted cream, perfect any time of the day, week, month, year!
Every weekend, Cupcake Heaven do "something Special for the Weekend" A cake and/or cupcakes that are themed for an event, season or just something unique. Obviously these next few weekends are themed for Christmas, so make sure you pop along to see what they have this weekend.
I can thoroughly recommend Cupcake Heaven as a place to go and hibernate from the cold with a good book, or catch up with a friend over a guilty pleasure, and even a place to go with the kids as a treat after a day racing around the shops. The weekends are always busy, but Cupcake Heaven is just the place to stop and recharge, eat good food and pick up on the good vibes that are in the air.
This Wednesday (11th Dec) I'll be blogging again about Cupcake Heaven, specifically about their "Something for the Weekend" specials. I have a behind the scenes photo story of how they brain storm (often in a local pub over dinner - a winner as far as I'm concerned!) and how a little trial and error helps create some really fabulously festive treats for you. So, if you want a little heads up before next weekend of whats going to be in store, be sure to check out my blog on Wednesday!
Until then here is Cupcake Heaven's address, pop in and see them and tell them I said Hello!
9 The Maltings
And just in case the images I've included so far haven't tempted up, check out these yummy cakes
Mince Meat and Brandy, Mocha, Vanilla Flake, Blueberry (Gluten Free), Peanut Butter (Gluten Free) and finally Chocolate Egg - nom nom nom nom nom!
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