Hello again! Hope you’ve all been enjoying this fabulous summer. It’s hard to believe that it’s close to halfway over….in fact, school supplies have already hit the store shelves! It’s a much too vivid reminder to me that I’ll send my first-born off to kindergarten soon…where the bubble I’ve built around her will pop and she’ll be out in the real world, on her own. Sigh. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it…
So what’s a mama to do when she’s feeling sad? Go get a cupcake, of course! Who doesn’t love a beautiful, delicious cupcake as a pick-me-up when you’re down (or anytime, for that matter?!) And don’t even try to tell me you don’t like sweets – because I won’t believe you. It’s virtually impossible. I’ll be convinced you’re lying. Or not human. But, I digress.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most certainly heard of the best cupcake shop around: Flavor Cupcakery. Flavor is located at Tollgate Road in Bel Air, and is owned by local mama and business woman extraordinaire, Shelley Stannard. And while you may have seen the shop, maybe even tasted some of the delectable cupcakes yourself, you probably don’t know how this incredible business venture came to fruition. To me, the story behind the business is almost as fabulous as the cupcakes themselves. Almost.
Shelley is a wife and mother of three children: Lilly (14), Jack (11), and Aidan (8). With a former life as a marketing and advertising professional, Shelley made the decision to stay at home with her kiddos when they were young. Like many stay-at-home moms (myself included), having her children changed everything and she knew that when she decided to re-enter the workforce she’d be doing something entirely different from her previous career. She longed to own her own business – and she wanted to create something beautiful, relaxing, and meaningful for many people. She considered a home decorating business, but with the economy in the state it is she realized that it probably wouldn’t be a lucrative venture. Then a friend mentioned cupcakes, and her wheels began turning
Now here’s the crazy (and my most favorite) part: Shelley was not an avid baker. In fact, she had no experience with cupcakes whatsoever. But the idea appealed to both her creative side and her business savvy. Creating a cupcake shop would satisfy her desire to bring a ‘little bit of comfort’ to Bel Air, and she knew there was an unfilled niche for high-end baked goods. So Shelley turned to the ultimate font of information: the Internet. Along with her sister, she began researching recipes and trying out new flavors in her home. She also turned to other local business owners for support and guidance, and credits them with embracing the idea and encouraging her new venture. With a little bit of trial and error and a whole lot of passion, Flavor Cupcakery was born.
Though Shelley knew she wanted a storefront, she also wanted to hold out for a location that was just right. Instead of putting her business on the back burner and losing momentum while looking, she decided to start getting her delicious product into the community by way of local coffee shops. Word traveled fast and the shops were burning through their cupcake supply after only a few hours each day. By the time Flavor opened its doors in December of 2010, customers were lining the sidewalk just to get a little bit of Flavor for themselves.
Fast forward a year and a half and Flavor has opened its second location in Cockeysville, and is 32 employees strong – and creating those jobs is what Shelley is most proud of. Her role has evolved into one of mainly administration, and she’s turned the baking reins over to her highly skilled and professionally trained pastry chefs and cake designers – most notable being Jason Hisley of Cupcake Wars fame. And oh, by the way – have you heard of that tiny little show on Food Network that Flavor competed on? And won? In reality, saying that they ‘won’ is sort of an understatement. They actually mopped the competition with their delicious and gorgeous creations! While the $10,000 they won certainly helped in opening their second location, what Shelley loves the most about the experience is that it brought such a sense of pride to our community. The same cupcakes that top-notch chefs tasted and judged may also have been at your neighbor’s birthday party. How cool is that?!
What sets Flavor apart from another run of the mill bakery is the labor of love that’s poured into each and every cupcake. They are made from scratch each and every morning with top notch ingredients. Chocolate is flown in from Belgium and Paris and seasonal produce is purchased from local farms. Never frozen or days old, when you bring home a cupcake from Flavor you can guarantee that it was just pulled from the oven that morning. They bake ten classic flavors daily, have two other scheduled flavors that rotate daily, and then throw in a surprise combination just to keep it fresh and fun. These surprise flavors are often customer requests or seasonal favorites – think anything from Margarita to Tres Leches. And while the flavors can be unexpected – exotic even – Shelley says that the customer favorites from day one remain the best sellers: Red Velvet, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel and Black Bottom. (Is your mouth watering yet?)
In addition to cupcakes, Flavor also stocks cake truffles (think a warm cupcake, blended with icing and covered in chocolate) and cake push pops, perfect for the younger set. They’ve also moved into the world of cakes, and boy are they gorgeous! Shelley’s staff can come up with a complement to just about any theme – from an Americana cake topped with fondant hamburger and hot dogs to a 75th birthday cake with yarn and knitting needles! (Check out the photos on their Facebook page for even more ideas!). Flavor’s also begun offering cupcake party boxes, which are so cute and super fun! Since the shop is too tiny to accommodate parties, they’ve made it possible to have a cupcake party on the go. Complete with unfrosted cupcakes, icing in pastry bags and toppings, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a fun birthday celebration.
Through it all, what remains most important to Shelley is the same as what she focused on in the beginning: bringing happiness to people. She wants to continue to provide a high-quality product that tastes good, and that will bring a smile to someone’s face – even if for only the ten minutes it takes to eat a cupcake (though I’m pretty sure I could down one is much less time!). She wants to grow, but wants that growth to be based on developing a great team of people, and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their career with Flavor.
Flavor has brought so much to Bel Air: creativity, comfort, and community pride, disguised in the form of a ridiculously delicious cupcake. Thank you Shelley for going out on a limb to bring your passion to life. We are all so grateful…well, everyone but my thighs. Maybe you can develop a low-cal, low-fat cupcake that’s just as delicious next?!
Want to get some Flavor of your own? Shelley so generously offered to donate half a dozen cupcakes to a selected reader! Simply comment below with:
1. Your favorite Flavor flavor!
2. That you ‘Like’ LP Photography on Facebook
3. That you like Flavor on Facebook
Remember, each comment is one entry, so you have three separate chances to win!!
nicole fishpaw - My Favorite Flavor is choc. with pb!
Kristian - Favorite Flavor: Chocolate Peanut Butter
I like both Flavor and Lindsay Parks on FB
Tina Mackey - My daughter Tamsyn and I ADORE the chocolate peanut butter banana…and heart Lindsay Parks!
Debbie Dawson - Thanks for sharing the background story! Hard to choose but Salted Caramel is my current favorite!
Debbie Dawson - Oh and of course I like (LOVE) Lindsay Parks and Flavor on FB!
Kim C - My favorite cupcake is the Chocolate Cherry Wassail…when that is not in season I LOVE the Chocolate Covered Strawberry cupcake!
Jessica Lamoureux - Margarita is my favorite!!!
Kate Bradshaw - Fan of LP Photography on Facebook!
Kate Bradshaw - Fan of Flavor on FB!
Kate Bradshaw - My favorite Flavor flavors are Black Bottom and Red Velvet! 🙂
Mackenzie - I haven’t had a “flavor” I don’t love…the customer inspired ones are super delicious ..i’m bananas about the banana cream pie … Flavor is so community orientated and constantly give back, so it makes eating yummy cupcakes that much more pleasurable 🙂
Carrie Kerem - I like Flavor Cupcakes and Lindsay Parks Photography on FB and my favorite Flavor cupcake is their Red Velvet. Talk about a total classic!!! Yum!!
Margie - I tried quite a few Flavor cupcakes and have given many gift cards as well. They are all very tasty, but my “FLAVORITE”, would have to be the Chocolate Cherry Wassil. Can’t wait until the Christmas holidays so that I can have my “FLAVORITE”!
anni matusky - My favorite FLAVOR is the cookie dough!! I like LPP and Flavor on Facebook 🙂
Jaime Navarrete - Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Macaroon is my favorite flavor! I have liked Lindsay and Flavor on FB for a long time!
Amy - It’s hard to choose but I think my favorite is salted caramel. I like both on Facebook too!
Kathryn - My favorite flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – yum! We were at a wedding last weekend that served Flavor cupcakes for dessert. I about froghopped over another guest to get my favor cupcake from the stand 😉
Kathryn - I like Flavor on FB ♥
Kathryn - I like LP Photography on FB ♥
Karen - Chocolate Cookie Dough is my absolute favorite. Great work Krista, Lindsay and Shelley!
krista decker - Yummo! Chocolate with peanut butter of course!
Heather - I love Flavor!! We love chocolate PB and plain with sprinkles!! Cotton candy is awesome too!! 🙂
Heather - I am a fan of Flavor on FB!! 🙂
Heather - I am a fan of Lindsay Parks on FB.:)
Megan - My favorite flavor is Red Velvet! Of course I like (love)LP Photography on fb, She was my 3rd grade teacher!! lol 🙂 And i love flavor cupcakery as well, best cupcakes in Maryland!
Lauren - I will go in special for key lime. But my everyday favorite is cookies and cream
Mandy Zeller - I*love* Irish Cake Bomb 🙂
Janice - I love every flavor, but my favorites are snickerdoodle and salted caramel. Yum! I want one now 🙂 might not help that I am 9 months pregnant :):)
Janice - I LOVE Lindsay Parks Photography and I would “like” them on facebook if I had an account. Still counts right?? 🙂
Janice - Same goes for Flavor! Love them and “like” them also!
Karri Dawson - We love all the flavors but the cotton candy wins in my house. We like to watch our youngest because shes so delicate with it and the older kids act like they are dinosaurs. It brings us all together time and time again.
Leigh - LOVE Flavor! Jason made an elegant cake for my sons 1st communion that was not only beautiful but delicious!!!
Our favorite is Red Velvet..
Leigh - I like Flavor on Facebook
Leigh - I Like Lindsay Parks Photography on Facebook
Samantha S. - I ADORE their Salted Carmel cupcakes… we actually had those TWICE this week! 😀
Samantha S. - I like LP on FB! ♥
nikki wolcott - My fav is black bottom!!!! They are the best by far!!!
nikki wolcott - I like Flavor on facebook
nikki wolcott - I like lp photography on facebook
Sharon - I love the stawberry shortcake!
Sharon - I like Lindsay Parks on Facebook:)
Sharon - I now like Flavor Cupcakery on Facebook!!
Sharon - Forgot to say that I LOVE the photos you took at Flavor!!
Sandi - Flavor has the BEST cupcakes! What an amazing combination…..Lindsay and Flavor!!
Meghann - My favorite Flavor flavor is the Chocolate PB Banana!
Meghann - I like Flavor Cupcakery on Facebook!
Meghann - I like Lindsay Parks photography on FB too! 🙂
Gina O'Brien - My favorite Flavor flavor is black bottom…but a close second would be red velvet! Yum!! I also like LP photography and Flavor Cupcakery on fb.
Myriah Mae - I LOVE Flavor Cupcakes…I live in Fawn Grove PA but find myself stopping in for a cupcake EVERY time I go to Bel Air…even on not so special occasions. My favorite flavor is white chocolate mocha or black bottom its a toss up…man I actually really like the chocolate macaroon flavor too! 🙂
Myriah Mae - I “liked” Flavor on FB a LONG time ago:)
Myriah Mae - I “liked” Flavor on your FB page too!
Amy - I like LP Photography on Facebook!
amy - I like Flavor on Facebook!
lindsay - I love Snickerdoodle!
Amy - My favorite flavor is hands down, chocolate peanut butter! YUMMY!
Becky Rohrback - My favorite Flavor cupcake is Fluffernutter. However I recently tried strawberries and Champagne and Oh Em Gee….. That could turn my frown upside down in an instant! (oh and I like Flavor and Lindsay parks on Fb too) 🙂
lindsay - lindsay likes lindsay (parks photography)
lindsay - lindsay likes flavor
Lauren - favorite everyday flavor is cookies and cream– favorite specialty is key lime
Lauren - <3 lindsay
Lauren - <3 flavor
Jessie - My favorite, so far, is the salted caramel….although, I have not tried too many of their flavors
Jessie - I like flavor on facebook…
Jessie - I like LP photography on FB… and i like your blog 😉 I will definitely be coming back to visit/read it again!
kim - It’s so hard to pick a favorite…coconut? snickerdoodle? anything with fruit? YUM!! I’m so happy for Shelley that she’s been so successful
theresa jenkins - 1. my favorite flavor is: cookies and cream
2. i like lindsay parks on facebook
3. i like flavor cupcakery on facebook
Julie Baker - My favorite flavors are snickerdoodle and chocolate peanut butter. It’s always a tough decision what to get so I usually choose both. I am eating for 2 since I’m 9 months prego.
Dena - My favorite Flavor is red velvet!
Dena - I like LPP on FB
Dena - I like Flavor on FB
Maranda - I LOVE Flavor! I went their for the first time a few weeks ago. As an aspiring baker, I absolutely love their back story and hope that I can create such awesome goodies as I continue to bake more. I’m already a fan of Flavor on fb and LP photography.
Maranda - Also, my favorite flavor is as simple as their double chocolate. I also love their chocolate peanut butter, their salted caramel and REALLY want to try their raspberry lemonade, carrot, and generally every other cupcake their because they all just look/sound so delicious.
Judi Mayberry - The crumb cake is one of favorites. I plan trips to Bel Air just so I can go by and get a cupcake.
Tina - I havent met a Flavor cupcake that I didn’t like! To pick a favorite depends on my mood that day. Today my favorite would be Double Chocolate! I enjoyed reading about the beginning of Flavor. I have always followed them on Facebook and will def become a fan of Lindsay on fb!
Judi Mayberry - We have a couple of dog parties at our shop a year. Everyone looks for the mini’s we get for them and the dogs. The dogs, and I, love the pumpkin ones.
Judi Mayberry - Chocolate, banana & peanut butter – It is hard to pick just one favorite. My daughter’s is the Snickerdoodle.
Anne - My favorite flavor is Salted Caramel…SOO good!
Anne - I’ve ‘liked’ Flavor on FB for a looong time! YUM!
Megan - My favorite Flavor flavor is pb although funfetti is a close second.
Megan - I like Flavor on Facebook
Megan - I like LPP on Facebook.
Linda H. - My favorite is the chocolate Peanut Butter!
Althea Hughes Wills - My favorite FLAVOR cupcake is the Chocolate Orange Grand Marnier! I acted like a groupie when I ran into Jason at Wegman’s. I told him how that cupcake took me to another place! Flavor is the BOMB!!!!!
Linda H. - I like Flavor on Facebook….
Linda H. - I like LP Photography on Facebook…
Althea Hughes Wills - I liked LP Photography on Facebook!
Althea Hugdes Wills - I’ve long since ‘liked’ Flavor on Facebook! Thanks so much for this giveaway.
Althea Hughes Wills - I liked LP photography on Facebook.
Angela Baker - My favorite cupcake is Salted Caramel
Angela Baker - I like Flavor on Facebook
Amber Lotocki - Banana Cream Pie has become my absolute favorite!
Amber Lotocki - I “like” Flavor on Facebook 🙂
Amber Lotocki - I “like” Lindsay Parks Photography on Facebook 🙂
Teresa - My favorite Flavor is their Salted Caramel!
Teresa - I “like” Lindsay Parks Photography on FB
Teresa - I “like” Flavor Cupcakery on FB
Nefertari Johnson - The Smores are the best in my house and loved by all!!!
Karen Buckleman - Fluffernutter! The one that was featured on Cupcake Waars with the macaroon was fabulous, but I don’t remember the name!
Stephanie - My favorite “Flavor” is fluffernutter….yummm!!
Stephanie - I “like” Flavor on FB and look forward to drooling over the daily flavors and pics! 🙂
Stephanie - I “like” LPP on FB as well….beautiful pictures!
Sherry Mays - I love the Salted Caramel but I always try a new cupcake when I visit Flavor.
Sherry Mays - I just “liked” Lindsay Parks Photography. What beautiful pics. I am looking for a place to take my daughter for her 10 yr old birthday pictures.
Sherry Mays - Oh how I love FLAVOR on Facebook. Getting to see what the new cupcakes is and a listing of the cupcakes for the day. I am definitely thinking about doing “Flavor” cupcakes for my daughters 10th birthday, she would love it.
Mandy Zeller - I *liked* Lindsay Parks photography!
Mandy Zeller - I *liked* Flavor Cupcakery!
marvetta - I LOVE the cookies and cream and salted caramel!
marvetta - just liked the photography page on fb! great work!!
marvetta - i’ve already liked the flavor cupcakery page on fb!!
Melissa Steimel - My favorite flavor is Chocolate Peanut Butter… every bite is absolute heaven 🙂
Melissa Steimel - I just liked the LP Photography page on Facebook… amazing pictures!!
Melissa Steimel - I’ve “liked” the Flavor Cupcakery page on Facebook for years! I was one of those buying cupcakes at Coffee Coffee in the Festival before the store opened in Bel Air 🙂
Desiree - I like both pages on FB and my favorite flavor is choc chip cookie dough!
Michele - Salted Caramel, for sure!
Michele - I like Flavor on FB, but it’s dangerous seeing all of the pics of cupcakes everyday!
Michele - I like LPP on FB.
Stephanie Furst - My favorite flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I have been coming to Flavor every Friday since January for that kind alone. I like Lindsay Parks and Flavor on Facebook
Meghan - My favorite flavor is chocolate with chocolate icing… or red velvet… or blackbottom – oh I love so many
Meghan - I like LP Photography on FB
Meghan - I like Flavor on FB
tammy - Chocolate PB is my favorite
tammy - I like Flavor C…on fb too.
tammy - I “liked” LPP on fb years ago and still do today!
stacie chaillou - I absolutely love chocolate peanut butter banana.
I liked flavor many years ago on fb
I like Lp photography
Carrie Riffey - I like both LP Photography and Flavor and I LOVE their Boston Cream Pie cupcakes (and blackbottom) — though I’m not really choosey — they are all good!!! 🙂
Erinn - Do you deliver to Nicaragua yet?