21 December 2012
Just wanted to let you know about our special holiday hours this week and next.
Sugar Daze will be open:
Sunday, 23 & 30 December from 1 - 6:30PM
Monday, 24 & 30 December from 12 - 4:30PM
The Bake Shop will be closed Tuesday & Wednesday 25 & 26 December AND from 1-8 January. However, we will be taking custom orders during this time so get in touch if your world will end without our delicious, Authentic American-style Cupcakes: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 December 2012
We'll be selling an assortment of Christmas cupcakes, cookies and whoopies, and from what I understand, we'll be next to the Kusmi Tea stand - what better afternoon gouter during your shopping pause?
You can RSVP on Wanderlust's facebook page or just show up!
Joyeux Market at Wanderlust
32, Quai d'Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Saturday, 15 December from 2PM - 11PM
Sunday, 16 December from 11AM - 7PM
Here's a list of the stands:
Kusmi Tea, Millimètres, Cherry Picker, Tattyoo, Bohemian Chic, WISP wild and wicked woolies, Roger-Bontemps, Juliette Beaupin, Jicqy les Mirettes, Mamamushi, Jippi!, Ten Belles, Popup Paris, Untitled Clothes, Facteur Céleste, Hipanema, , Le Bal Café, Marion Graux Poterie, Origami Jewellery, Kika Mishto, Atelier Amelot, TH Gallery, Shakespeare & Company, The House that Jack built, Truffaut, Impossible Project, Carrie's Bio Dogs, Pressing, Maison de Nougat, Tombées du Camion, Casse-Noisette, Hutch Hotdog House, Little Fashion Gallery, Marvelous, Librairie BD Spirit, Potemkine, ATLD, Sugar Daze etc …
02 November 2012
Here at Sugar Daze, we'd like to do what we can to help New York get back on its feet. All this month, you'll find our Empire State of Mind (apple walnut with maple syrup buttercream) in store Thursday, Friday & Saturday. You can also purchase it by special order. We'll be giving 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this cupcake through November to the American Red Cross of Greater New York. Do you really need a better reason to stop in for a cupcake?! Hope to see you soon!
PS If you are not in Paris or can't make it to the store, here are a few ways you can help provide relief to those affected by Sandy.
01 November 2012
27 October 2012
As they say in French, "jamais deux sans trois." Today we celebrate cupcakes at the biggest Bake Sale in the capital! Come join us for the 3rd edition of Cupcake Camp Paris. It's happening today from 3-5PM at Le Comptoir General on the Canal St Martin. As last year, all money collected will be given to Make A Wish France, an amazing charity that does such good for kids in need. Sugar Daze is proud to be a sponsor of this fun, all-family event.
I'll be bringing several of our best-selling cupcakes including Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (our classic red velvet), Cookie Monster (a speculos-Oreo creation you just gotta try!) and the much-requested Jumpin' Jack Flash (a pumpkin spice cupcake). Hope to see you there!!!!
Much thanks to Christina Smith who designed our cute poster, and my partner-in-crime, Bryan Pirolli, who has been the most awesome event co-organizer (for three years running) I could ever wish for!
04 October 2012
Exceptional Opening Sunday 14 october from 2-6PM! Come discover the universe of Les Biscottes chez Sugar Daze - we're having a private sale with stationery, home decor items, baby gifts and a whole lot of other fun stuff. And of course, there will be cupcakes! Hope to see you there!
23 September 2012
Since opening the bake shop, I haven't had much time to take pictures of the cakes and cupcakes coming out of my kitchen. A lot of the snaps I have taken are with my iPhone -- the results being less than spectacular as evidenced by my flickr photostream.
A few years back, I bartered an agreement with a Paris based photographer. In exchange for making a bunch of dairy-free cupcakes for her daughter's birthday, she would take some nice pictures of my cupcakes. The months passed, we both got tied up in our respective careers and then she eventually returned to her native Australia! Fortunately for me (and her!), she is great at what she does and has the opportunity to visit Paris for work projects frequently. On her last visit, we finally got a chance to catch up and do that long ago discussed photo shoot.
If you are looking for a photographer while in Paris, I cannot recommend Sarah more. She is fabulously talented, very easy-going and an all round joy to work with. While she focuses on family portraits shot around town, I think Sarah has a great future in food photography as well! :) You can check more of her work on her site: Sarah Gardan Photography. I'm hoping to work with her again soon as it's hard to go back to the iPhone once you've seen something like these!
13 September 2012
White Wedding cake with Kitty in fondant. Inside waits a colorful surprise -- a vividly hued rainbow! Made for a birthday party; approved by the guests! All our cakes are available for custom order chez Sugar Daze.
21 July 2012
Do you remember this Heinz ad from the '70's? Carly Simon singing Anticipation as the ketchup oh so slowly poured from the bottle? Personally I can never think of Heinz ketchup without hearing Carly singing in my ear!
I made these cupcakes for the Heinz Group here in France to celebrate their reaching 80,000 fans on their facebook page. Quite an accomplishment! Congratulations!
And while I would have liked to try one of those cupcake recipes that calls for ketchup or tomatoes in the batter, these are just a simple assortment of my White Wedding, Pretty in Pink, I Love You Honey Bunny, Storm and Raspberry Beret cupcakes with pink and red buttercream (as requested by the client).
03 July 2012
Crazy, great, fun, interesting, hectic, a headache, tiring, exciting, my dream come true, stressful, an adventure, a work in progress, lovely to meet so many people I've only known virtually, trying, fantastic, really good, I am exhausted, I've done it!, it's just the beginning, amazing first day, hoping to find our rhythm, my back is killing me, I love my kitchen, the customers are so sweet!, time to bake again, blah, blah, blah (I really do say this a lot - my husband has pointed out to me my over-use of the expression "blah, blah, blah.").
I think a rough translation of our first week would be we had a rocking first day (we gave away 100 free cupcakes and sold out of what we had baked to sell about 2 hours in advance!) and it's been up and down ever since. I know from being in this business the past few years, there are a lot of ups and downs and trying to figure out a pattern is almost impossible. I think the same may be true for a brick and mortar. Last Tuesday, it was pretty dead in the shop and today (again Tuesday), I have barely had a second to breath. It's frustrating to figure out so I won't bother!
Many of you have asked where the shop is located. We are at 20 rue Henry Monnier in the 9th. This is a few blocks down from the sex shops of Pigalle and in the other direction, you find your way down to the department stores, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette in just a few minutes. It's a real crossover neighborhood but oh so charming and the locals have welcomed us warmly. There are some adorable, kitschy shops on our street, and so far the restaurants sampled have not disappointed. Several of my friends who have stopped by have mentioned that Henry Monnier is one of their favorite streets in Paris. I can't disagree. Very happy to have settled on this location.
So if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by. And if you're not, why not take a walk on the wild side and come check it out. I'm here most days; otherwise, I leave the shop in the very capable hands of Chris. PS thanks to my bank, we are without a functioning credit card machine for the time being...working on that but don't say you haven't been warned. :P
09 June 2012
Crimson & Clover and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang cupcakes for a baby shower. The young couple, who are expecting their first, were my first customers to get a sneak peek at the new store and I was happy to have their encouragements as they live in the neighborhood. Wishing them lots of luck in the weeks to come too!
Well, I am two weeks away from opening and there is still A LOT to do. But I have started to get some nice press, for which I am very grateful!!!! Here's a little smattering:
Cupcakes Take the Cake - Sugar Daze Has a Home in Paris! Plus, Free Cupcake Alert!
La Belle Bulle - Bonnes Nouvelles pour les Mordus de Cupcakes
Glose - Ouverture de la boutique Sugar Daze, Specialiste en Cupcakes Amèricains
02 June 2012
When I was pregnant with my kids, as my due dates approached, I would think to myself, "Only 2 more weeks until it's not just going to be the two of us anymore." Or, "By this time next week, it's going to be back to diapers, late night feedings and no sleep!" I'm sure I am not the only one who felt this way. Funnily as the target date for my store opening approaches, I've had similar thoughts -- "Only 3 weekends left and then I'll be working every Saturday all day away from my family...."
My store has been a loooooong time in the making. I've watched as many of the other cupcake bakers here in Paris who started out like me with custom-order business have opened their stores, some have even opened two stores (!) and I'm still plugging away on my own in a rented kitchen.
It took us almost 4 years to decide we were ready for a second child and the same is true about my store. Which I guess will be like a 3rd baby. I used to get sick to my stomach thinking about having a store and all the time it would mean away from my family who I love so dearly. But truth is, I'm not getting any younger and I just feel this is something I gotta do...to see how far I can take this, where my business will lead me. I'm ready for more hard work, I'm still overwhelmingly passionate about what I do, I still love seeing the delight on a customer's face when they see the cupcakes I have created for them, and I'm still a little sick to my stomach about the whole store thing but hoping that will pass in time as my baby grows from a needy newborn to a more independent toddler, and then some hopefully!
I can't recall who I was corresponding with but about 2 years ago on twitter someone suggested when I open my cupcake store, I should give out free cupcakes. I thought it was a mighty fine idea and agreed. Well, I am a woman of my word and that's why we'll be giving away 1 free cupcake to the first 100 people through the door on opening day. No strings.
So without further ado, I am delighted to share that June 23 is the day I've circled on my calendar for the opening of the Sugar Daze Bake Shop. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we'll be ready!
The Sugar Daze Bake Shop
20 rue Henri Monnier (map here on Foursquare)
Metro: St-Georges, Pigalle
Open Tues-Sat (still working on those hours)
Phone: Will post just as soon as the phone company gets me set up!
Every day you will find a rotating assortment of the over 30 flavors on my current menu, plus special limited-time only flavors & other traditional, American-style baked goods. Oh and did I tell you how stoked I am to be partnering with Le Palais de Thés whose tea you will be able to enjoy with your cupcakes either as take-out or on-site (yes, there will be a small seating area in the Bake Shop).
Hope to see you there!
PS If you'd like to help me spread the word, please feel free to contact email@example.com for a copy of our press release.
12 May 2012
If you want to follow news about the store, check out my new Sugar Daze facebook page: www.facebook.com/enviedecupcakes . Oh and sorry for the lack of pics with this post; my tech capabilities are a bit limited as I'm in the hospital with a nasty staph infection (a word to the wise - you know when they tell you to take extra care to disinfect a cut or wound? Just Do It!).
Hope to see y'all real soon at the Bake Shop!
20 April 2012
07 April 2012
These are Vanilla Lovers cupcakes with raspberry cream centers - a special request by the client. All decorations are lovingly hand-made with fondant. These were made for a baptism happening tomorrow on Easter. Congratulations!
18 March 2012
I've always been a believer in karma and like many people I spoke with, believed that this space was probably not meant to be. I've spent the past several months chasing down various property agents and visiting a number of available stores. Two weeks ago, as I was on my way to visit another space, I happened by an empty restaurant with a for lease sign in the window. I called and made an appointment for the next day. Despite the agent being almost 40 minutes late to our RDV and it being a very very cold day where I found myself out on the sidewalk waiting with my 4 year-old daughter, I just had a feeling about the space. And when I walked in, I "knew." All the weeks of agonizing over that original space, the months of frustration with the real estate process, all the times I had almost thrown in the towel thinking I would never find a space, it was all worth it for here was the space I had been waiting for. When I say it was perfect in every way, it's no lie (okay, maybe it could be a little farther away from some of my "competitors" but I'm hoping that there will continue to be a large enough market here in Paris for cupcakes so that we can each have a piece of the pie.). This one was "the one."
Here's what I have learned in the almost year that I have spent looking at commercial retail properties:
1) Brokers here are not looking to form relationships with you. If they have some inventory that interests you, great, but don't expect them to come up with other properties that fit your criteria and don't expect them to chase you down when they get a new property in that would suit. I spoke to about 30 different brokers during my search and not in one single instance did one of these brokers call me after the initial contact to propose a new or different property.
2) If you visit a few different properties with the same broker (almost unrealistic to expect) and after you have seen 2-3 different things, if you haven't found and made an offer on one of those properties, they will lose interest in you as a client and discontinue to make any efforts for you. This happened to me with 3 different agencies. In one case, I had visited 2 sites with a broker, neither of which would permit my particular activity (baking on-site) yet he felt they would be perfect for me! When I saw a new listing on his site and called him to arrange a visit, his response was: "That store is owned by ABC company, check their website for opening hours, go visit the store and if you like what you see, call me and we can talk about the charges." Really? REALLY?
3) If you see an ad for a property and you are not able to visit within the next 48 hours, don't even bother calling; the agent will make an appointment with you but in 9 times out of 10, the property will no longer be available once that window has passed. Now I don't know if this kind of thing is a scam but on at least 12 occasions I called to see a space several days - 1 week in advance and a few hours before the scheduled visit, the broker would call me and say either there had been an offer made so they weren't showing it anymore OR that they had been unable to reach the owner, get the keys, etc.
4) Persistence, persistence, persistence. I consulted a variety of real estate sites on an almost daily basis. Any time I saw a new listing that fit my needs, was within my budget and would allow my activity, I would call. (I learned early on that filling in and submitting the contact sheet provided by the agency on their website electronically or emailing for more information was guaranteed to go without reply in the great majority of cases). Even when calling, I found that I would get my call returned in maybe 2-3 out of 10 cases. I am not kidding when I say that I inquired about maybe 100-130 different locations since last summer and actually spoke to a live body about the space only about a quarter of the time. Of those, I visited maybe 12 properties total to give you an idea of how difficult the process can be.
Have you looked for commercial property here in Paris? If so, I would love to know how your experience compared to mine. I worked for a big real estate holding company with multiple properties in Battery Park City for about 6 months when I was just out of college and I can still remember how much we bent over backwards to appease our clients and close the deals. The Paris market is a total 180 from that and I am still quite shocked about how trying it is to navigate.
So that space I was telling you about....PLEASE CROSS YOUR FINGERS FOR ME - I made an offer last week and unfortunately I'm not the only one to have made a bid. I am trying to stay positive and hoping my bid will be accepted - I'm also hoping this will bring to a close my tangle (or should I say tango) with the commercial property agents here in the City of Light. More to come soon.....
PS That original space? I walked by it last week and shuddered. It's still filled with all the junk the previous tenant left behind when she fled including a number of rotting plants in the window. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I just consider myself extremely lucky that one never panned out!
05 March 2012
28 January 2012
I can't help but think of the US and my experience apartment-shopping where you better be sure to carry your checkbook on you lest the property be gone before you even get through the door. Or the real estate agents who work so dang hard for their commissions, they will call you about any and every property they think might interest you...or your dog. I have been working with one agent here for a few weeks who for whatever reason cannot schedule more than 1 property viewing per week. It's frustrating to say the least.
On a more positive note, I have a feeling things are going to start getting easier here for cake bakers with this week's opening of the new Cake & Bake shop near Republique. My friend, Lindsey, and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the new space when I stopped by for a fondant fix and chat with the owner, Paul. (Did I mention he happens to be 19 years old! Man, I only wish I had myself as together when I was that age).
You can read more about Paul and his boutique in an interview written by Bryan, my Cupcake Camp partner-in-crime. All this to say I am very much looking forward to having pots of edible glitter, cookie cutters, fondant, food gels, etc. at my disposal rather than lugging them back from the US or UK every time I go on vacation. Wishing Paul a fantastic opening and a bright, successful future!
If you haven't yet contacted me for a Valentine's Day cupcake assortment and want to order, please do get in touch. There are literally only a handful left, though you can tempt your chances to win a box on my new Facebook page.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!
22 January 2012
In recent years, just like the cupcake, it seems the tradition of a baby shower (or bridal shower) has caught on here in France. I have prepared cakes and cupcakes for many of these occasions and this weekend was bombarded with requests from 3 different baby showers! I have to count back to see what was going on about 9 months ago but apparently there was A LOT of love in the air! :P
Pictured here are mini cupcakes from two different boy baby showers. My last client, who is having a girl, and I came up with the COOLEST idea - which was to print pictures from a 3D ultrasound of her baby in the womb on to rice paper and I used those to decorate her cupcakes. Due to the personal nature though of that order, I don't have any pictures to share. But I LOVED doing this to celebrate her soon to be born baby. Best of luck to all the parents-to-be.
Blue seemed to be the theme of the week as I also worked on these I Want (Cotton) Candy cupcakes for a film shoot.
Oh, and let's not forget Nils' blue polka dot 3rd birthday cake and cupcakes!
Lastly, to round all this blue, I worked on a Disney princess themed party this weekend and just loved the results. What do you think?
16 January 2012
The Sugar Daze Valentine's Day gift box is back and better than ever for its 3rd year!
This year, you'll get an assortment of 6 cupcakes dressed up for the most romantic day of the year. The gift box is 24 euros -- find out how you can enter to win a gift box at the very bottom of this post.
Inside the 2012 gift box, you'll find one each of the following:
- La Vie en Rose (pistachio cupcake, rose buttercream)
- Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the classic Red Velvet with its traditional vanilla bean frosting)
- Lovefool (strawberry-champagne cupcake and buttercream)
- Go All the Way (yup, it's back! raspberry swirled cupcake with chocolate buttercream)
- Vanilla Lovers (the name says it all!)
- Mademoiselle Orangette (orange cupcake, chocolate ganache frosting)
You can order yours now:
firstname.lastname@example.org (please be sure to indicate the number of boxes you want as well as your preferred pick-up date and time).
For the moment, gift-boxes are pick-up only in the 17th(Courcelles/Wagram) on the 13 or 14 February at the following times:
Monday, 13 February 13H30-16H or 17H-19H
Tuesday, 14 February 13H30-16H or 18H-20H
Note: I'm only making 50 gift boxes this year so hurry up and reserve yours now! Orders will be taken on a first come, first serve basis.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN A VALENTINE'S DAY CUPCAKE GIFT BOX FROM SUGAR DAZE.
12 January 2012
Speaking of skates, and the title of this post, this song has been on my iPod playlist for about as long as I can remember -- I bet you can guess my favorite parts of the video!