Cupcake maker opens retail kitchen
Daily Inter Lake | April 25, 2021 12:00 AM
Marin Blandon is making a lot of people happy with her new location in Evergreen. Sugar Happy Cupcakes opened to the public on March 1.
“A lot of customers are glad I’m in town,” Blandon said.
Since 2019, she ran the cupcakery from her home kitchen. Cupcakes were only available by preordering, and there was no way to casually drop in and explore Blandon’s confections.
That didn’t stop Blandon from building a popular business, but her new space on U.S. 2 East, just south of Family Dollar, will take it to the next level.
“It’s different now that I’m in a spot than when I was at home,” Blandon noted.
She scoured the area for an appropriate location but ran into months of COVID-related delays before finally moving into the former home of Just Desserts.
When the previous baker retired, Blandon relocated and completed renovations throughout the building.
“It worked out perfect,” she said.
That positive attitude has carried Blandon since she started the business from scratch in 2019.
Formerly a hairdresser, Blandon taught herself to bake by watching videos online over the course of about two months. She received no formal culinary training, but instead used her natural artistic talent, her family’s recipes and her own private kitchen to launch the business.
Since moving into a commercial location, the cupcakes themselves haven’t changed. Blandon still uses her own original chocolate recipe and her sister’s vanilla recipe. Her one-of-a-kind frosting artwork, made to resemble cacti, daisies, sunflowers and other floral arrangements, is as mind-blowing as ever.
But with her new space, Blandon now has the opportunity to make her cupcakes even more accessible and expand her menu.
A lot of Blandon’s business has traditionally focused on catering orders for weddings, parties and corporate events. That’s still her bread and butter, but Sugar Happy Cupcakes also operates like a traditional bakery, with confections available on site whenever a customer’s sweet tooth calls. The biggest change for Blandon is being able to move away from a strictly preorder operation.
Sugar Happy Cupcakes now also offers cookies in addition to cupcakes, and the flavor choices are growing to include a rotation of options like lemon, Oreo, red velvet and chocolate peanut butter.
Now that Blandon has moved her small business out of the house, she has also been able to add helpers to the one-woman show that was Sugar Happy Cupcakes.
She has just a few staff members helping in the kitchen and the front counter of Sugar Happy Cupcakes, and she hopes to bring on a new decorator, too.
“It’s been so great having people helping,” she gushed. “It’s a huge change. It’s so much nicer because I have more freedom.”
Her customers seem to share that sentiment.
Blandon said many of her longtime followers are thrilled by the increased availability of Blandon’s treats. She’s been able to attract plenty of new business, too, from walk-ins and people who were previously put off by the preordering system.
“Preordering was a hassle,” Blandon acknowledged.
With the success of the new bakery, Blandon hopes her small desserts build to something even bigger. She said she’d like to add more workers, more menu items and, eventually, more locations.
But for now, she’s mostly just excited to be out of the house. “We’ll work up to that,” she promised.
Sugar Happy Cupcakes is located at 2181 U.S. 2 E. no. 3, Kalispell, MT 59901. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day but Wednesday and Saturday. On Wednesday and Saturday, hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bakery is closed Sunday.
Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at (406)-758-4459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.