Today’s Meet Me Monday is extra special because I actually got to meet this baker in person!
Melanie of Lil’ Cutie Pops & I have “known” each other through Facebook for a few years now. One of our first exchanges was when she entered these amazing Trick-or-Treater cake pops in our first ever Halloween Cake Pops contest back in 2011.
When I heard she was opening her own cake pop store, I was so excited! Lil’ Cutie Pops opened on April 12th, and luckily my hubby’s family lives just 10 minutes from her location. So when we came to Red Bank for a visit this past weekend, the first place we stopped was Lil’ Cutie Pops!
The store is absolutely beautiful. The instant we walked in, the scent of cakes baking filled the air – it smelled soooo good. Not only did I meet Melanie, but I met her mom too, who was busy rolling cake balls. I loved the glass jars of colorful sprinkles lining the walls of the work station & how she uses an iPad for a cash register!
We bought an assortment of pops; all the flavors are delicious, but my fav’s by far are the cookies & cream. Check out some pics I snapped during my visit — then please read below to learn more about Melanie & Lil’ Cutie Pops!
When & how did you become a cake pop maker?
I used to work in production and casting in NYC, which was a very fun but high stress job. I needed an outlet, something I could do for myself. I stumbled upon Angie Dudley’s blog Bakerella, and having a degree in art, I thought of cake popping as a new medium to work with – and haven’t stopped since! It’s so much fun to create characters and new flavor combinations. To see people’s reactions to what you created touches my heartstrings. Everyone can make a decent batch of cupcakes, they’re pretty simple and most bakeries can turn them out so fast! We specialize in something more involved, with more attention to detail, which works out great for me since I’m such a perfectionist!
Background of store (general process of opening):
We just had our Grand Opening on April 12th in Red Bank NJ, and have had such support from the local community! We had formed the company back in 2010, and worked out of rental commercial kitchens and our home when we first started out, and now with our storefront and SECSI commercial kitchen we are able to reach an entire new platform of customers and soon you’ll be able to order straight from the website.
How did you come up with your business name?
Oh I brainstormed for days! I had a food blog that no one has ever heard of called “littlemisssweetnspicy”, and wanted to play off that. I bounced ideas of tons of friends and family, and even had a voting poll on my Facebook page when I was deciding between two logos.
Do you bake as your full-time job? If yes, how do you enjoy it?
My full time job is running our bakery, now that we are open it’s all about cake popping full time, ALL THE TIME!
What inspires you in your baking; how do you come up with original ideas?
I guess I’ve always been creative, and sketch out a lot of ideas I have. Sometimes things just strike me, like when you see a new shape of candy and think “oooh that would make a great bat wing!”
What are some of your favorite cake pops that you have made?
I really like our sharks and sea turtles that we created, and our butterflies are so pretty too. We get asked to do our Star Wars cake pops all the time so they’re up there on my favorite list too! But I am a sucker for our chocolate chip cookie dough pops and the salted caramel ones….they’re so tasty!!
What advice do you have for other cake pop makers?
If you want to do what you love and quit your job to make cake popping your full time job, I STRONGLY suggest sitting down with an advisor from SCORE. I worked with an adviser for almost a year getting my business plan together, sorting out finances, expectations etc. They were instrumental in the opening of my storefront and helping my dreams come true.
Do you make anything else in addition to cake pops?
Yes, we make homemade marshmallows, pies in a jar, and many other sweet treats! We also carry macaroons and gourmet chocolates that are to die for!
Some non-baking questions…
- Favorite TV show or movie: I’m the girl on the couch with a glass of wine watching reruns of Law and Order…I’m THAT cool..haha!
- Favorite book: cookbooks of all shapes and sizes
- Favorite non-baking hobby: I don’t have time for hobbies anymore! The time I do make for myself I try to fill with family and friends.
- Favorite candy: Salted Caramels.
- Favorite celebrity: Jennifer Lawrence is my girl!!
- If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why? Is the care bear stare a superpower??
How can people find you?
What area do you serve/sell to? USA
Do you ship your cake pops? Yes!
What’s the best way for people to order from you? Call us! 732.383.5602 or stop by! 16 Monmouth Street, Red Bank NJ 07701