Count Yourself Cool if You Have Cupcakes
Forget about location quotient. If you want to know if your community has arrived, it’s all about the cupcake quotient.
Paris has crepes, New Orleans, beignets, and New York’s cheesecake is practically legendary. All the great cities of the world have their signature sweets, and Arlington – though small in size – is likewise mighty in cupcakes. Cupcakes are in, and if you’re one of the naysayers who thinks they’re on their way out, think again. The Food Network premiered the third season of competition show “Cupcake Wars” just this week and, according to market research firm Mintel, sales of cupcakes are expected to rise 20 percent through 2015, at least 10 percent more than other baked goods.
We always love to see new businesses thrive, but cupcakes offer something more to communities beyond the successful dry cleaner or nail salon: a coolness factor. You don’t find cupcakeries in strip centers or desolate malls; rather, they flock to vibrant places that attract visitors with one-of-a-kind businesses and opportunities to indulge in experiences. Through visioning, the evolution of legacy communities, and healthy market demand, Arlington’s urban villages have become these types of places.
In the past year (give or take), six new cupcakeries – including two on wheels – have helped transform Arlington into a dentist’s delight. Clarendon claims Crumbs’ “colossal” cupcakes and Bakeshop’s classic favorites and seasonal surprises – think Nerds candy at Halloween. Bayou Bakery has brought Southern tradition to Courthouse with its scrumptious red velvet offerings, while Ballston’s Buzz Bakery appeals to our inner child with tasty S’mores varieties. It’s all about family with the roving cupcakeries: a husband-and-wife team rolled out their third Curbside Cupcake truck just last week, and customers are already snapping up sweet treats from newcomer Sweet Fleet, an aunt-uncle-niece venture whose pastry chef will appear on "Food Network Challenge" in October.