Pick Me! Pick Me!

Jun 07, 2010 2 Comments

Competition is fierce in the baking industry. Feels like there’s a new sweet shop opening every minute. So what separates one bakery from the other? The obvious answer would be your taste buds or maybe it’s the presentation.

The Cupcake Diva’s owner, Danielle Glirten, kills the competition and it’s not just with her tasty treats and creative designs. It’s her personality, genuine care for customers and outstanding attitude that keeps you coming back for more. You don’t need to meet Danielle to understand, just read her interview.

When did you start The Cupcake Diva?

DG: I had just returned home from a 200-mile relay in Oregon and while I was running in the beautiful mountains I had a lot of time to reflect and think. Life is too short to not do what you love. I started the business when I got home in September 2009.

What was your main motivation?

DG: I didn’t want anyone else to tell me what I had to do anymore. I also wanted to make sure I had time with my family without having to ask permission for time off. I wanted flexibility! I figured, I am already the boss of my family, why not be my own boss too (I have a very supportive husband).

What were you doing before owning this sweet company?

DG: I am a trauma nurse by training. I was working in a recovery room at a huge hospital, while being a mother and a wife!

How long did it take you to find all of your great recipes for your cupcake company?

DG: It took a lot of trial and error to develop my own recipes. I would say, a couple of months and lots of sugar! Thank God I have friends and family who were willing to put themselves under duress for my success.

Are you looking to add more recipes?

DG: I would be crazy to say no! I am always looking. I am continuously jotting down notes on scrap pieces of paper with flavor profiles that I think would be appealing. It drives my husband crazy; there are sticky notes everywhere.

How many recipes did you have when you first opened?

DG: I had about five recipes. Three recipes of my own and two from my grandma… She would be so proud!

Once you decided to open up shop, how long did it take you to actually open the company?

DG: Once I made the decision to move forward, I opened the company right away on paper. Meaning with the state because I did not want anyone else to take the name. How funny! How many people did I think would want to open up a cupcakery and use that name?

What was the most difficult part of the process in the beginning?

DG: Developing the most delicious and most perfect cupcake!

How do you advertise?

DG: Mostly word of mouth, but I have had some press. For example, The Sun Sentinel did an article, a Miami New Times blog, Miami Monthly magazine, Daily Candy Kids, and The South Florida Today Show. I do quite a few charity events and I’ve worked with a small PR firm, Nat PR.

Do you have any employees? If so, what do you look for when you hire employees?

DG: Do my 4 and 5 year old count? Is that even legal? No seriously, my husband helps me out once in awhile. I’m afraid to hire an employee because I’m afraid of people stealing my recipes and that is the honest to goodness “diva” truth!

How many orders do you get a week?

DG: Between 10 and 30 a week!!! I love it!

Do you ship your cupcakes?

DG: Not yet. However, I had a bride call me from New Jersey looking to do cupcakes at her wedding. Since she lived far away she wanted to sample the cake first. I said sure! I threw some samples in a zip lock bag and mailed them to her… frosting on the side of course. They hired me!

Where is your shop located?

DG: I have a small leased kitchen space in Kendall. You can buy them at Broadway Bagels on Kendall Drive and 138th Avenue. Who would have thought that a small Jewish deli would sell Diva cupcakes? But they sell a ton!

What would you say separates you from all the other cupcake shops out there?

DG: I would say quality and service. It is easier since the company is small right now. We also specialize in personalized, handmade cupcake toppers that most people don’t offer. SO, we have amazing taste and they are adorable!

What is your favorite flavor cupcake and frosting?

DG: That depends on my mood. Vanilla Bean, but also Red Velvet! So good! Also, The Cupcake Divas Cream Cheese frosting is to die for!

What are your most popular?

DG:Red Velvet (the Ruby Reds)

What great things will we be seeing from The Cupcake Diva within the next year or so?

DG: I am developing a vegan cupcake. If there are any taste testers out there, I am looking! I also hope to be able to add a few more vendors to the list!

What lessons have you learned about owning a company?

DG: Oh boy! Do you have all day? I learned to grow a thick skin. If something doesn’t work out, I just walk away now. At first I would be hysterical! I took things so personally. I’m also not afraid to ask for what I think the cupcakes are worth. I used to be afraid to charge more for certain things. Now, I just ask. And most importantly, when driving with cupcakes, I have learned not to drive too close to the car in front of me. Slamming on the brakes causes cupcakes to fly all over the car, which doesn’t – I repeat – doesn’t make for a nice presentation!

Edited by: Bridgette
The Cupcake Diva
Miami, Sweets

2 Responses to “Pick Me! Pick Me!”

  1. michele says:

    I love Cupcake Diva Cupcakes!!!!!. I have ordered a box of the double chocolate & the chocolate with peanut butter as well as the Vanilla bean ( my favorite), and I can honestly say that they were gone in less than 5 min. Everyone needs to try these cupcakes they are truly a wonderful pleasure.

  2. lkenyon says:

    I was interested to see that the Diva was concerned about her recipies being stolen. The Diva created cakes for my son’s spiderman birthday party. You can not duplicate the personality and caring that goes into every morsal of those delicious little cakes! Her inventions are so creative! For anyone out there considering a try, I personally love her mini cupcakes (various flavors). They make me feel like it is o.k. to eat more of them 🙂

Leave a Reply