IT'S REFRESHING to talk to a franchiser who really knows what she likes. Elizabeth Lane wasn't really searching all that hard, but the former pharmaceuticals rep knows what she likes—and aren't we all glad she does. While on a business trip to Valdosta she got a craving for a little something sweet, and was informed by a local friend that Smallcakes was the place to go.
Elizabeth was amazed at the tempting variety of cupcakes displayed and picked out six for a take-home treat...then found she couldn’t quite resist tasting them then and there.
Returning home she put the pink bakery box aside and her household and business duties took over, until it was another four days before she got back to her goodies...and found them just as fresh, moist and delicious as the day they were purchased...which got her thinking...
All the travel and hassle of being a pharm rep was taking her away from her little son and she considered that buying such a franchise might keep her at home more often—and she loved the product, and that’s when Smallcakes came to Sandfly, opening up on March this year.
The store, neighbors of Cutter Point Coffee, sits facing Skidaway Road and sends out waves of that fresh bakery scent that drifts past your open car window. The combo of coffee and the buttery sweet fragrance of Smallcakes is undeniably enticing.
Lane has designed her own store interior beautifully, right down to the specialized display case and white hutch, to the whimsical calligraphy on the chocolate brown walls. One of my first thoughts, upon seeing the scrumptious display of cupcakes, was that this place was Instagram heaven—you upload of pic of these lovely goodies and you’re bound to garner plenty of comments!
Though some Smallcakes stores sell cookies or other sweets too, this is a new place, still feeling around for the customer baseline, and the offering presently is cupcakes alone...ahhhh, but what cupcakes!
Moist, tender cake, gently flavored, melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness—good enough to eat on its own, for sure!—topped with a buttercream or caramel swirl, fruits, chocolate, sprinkles or glazes of an astonishing variety.
I have tried many cupcakes around town, including a certain well-known store on the Southside that is known for its towering icing (though, truthfully, rather dry cakes), but the flavor, the exquisite succulence of the texture of these big cupcakes (much bigger than most local competitors’), just blew me away.
My family is, by now, accustomed to these taste-tests, and actively looks forward to them. With decadently rich fare like this, the pattern goes: Take home the goodies, cut each one in four parts, then pass around the plate, asking each one to give their opinion—it’s the only way to avoid overdosing on salt, sugar and fat (an admitted danger for food writers everywhere) yet still get to savor the new taste, and you get brownie points for sharing! Heaven forbid that I should consume every bite of the dishes and desserts I am in the business of writing about—the results would be scary, to say the least.
Let me say that this taste-test was an eye-rolling success—a friend of my daughter, something of a writer himself, stated that the Red Velvet was like angel wings, glowing, creamy, a taste of Heaven itself—and I second that
Elizabeth states that not a single cupcake stays for a second day review—yet nothing goes to waste. Smallcakes makes regular donations to the Children’s Hospital at Memorial and to Second Harvest Food Bank’s ‘Kids Café”. Her assistant, Lexi, assures me that not a crumb gets lost—you gotta spread that joy around!
Elizabeth tells me, “A friend of mine shocked me with a story of little kids seen downtown scrabbling through garbage bins after school in search of something to eat. She’d asked one of them, and was told they’d heard there were day-old cupcakes behind the grocery store, that mama worked all the time and didn’t have time to bake and daddy couldn’t afford such treats. Oh, my God, that just broke my heart! Every child should be able to enjoy a special sweet now and then!”
Baby showers, weddings with snow-white cupcake towers, tea parties and office meetings now boast the lavish Smallcakes treasures in and around Sandfly, and I, for one, will be glad to have my cupcake and eat it too!