If you take one step into Cups N Cakes in Collegeville Station, which celebrated its one-year anniversary at its new location on Dec. 17, you get a feeling of the owner’s appreciation for art – from the bright blue walls, to the large photos throughout the store, to the perfectly hand-painted and sculpted cakes.
A feeling you wouldn't get, particularly after tasting the baked goods and getting a glimpse of the gourmet cupcake menu, that owner Aprille Cole holds a full-time job as a national director for a large leasing corporation, and this is a side project for her.
“This is the complete opposite of my stressful job,” Cole said. “This gives me a chance to make people happy, see them smile, create a piece of edible art. It’s kind of like a euphoric high for me.”
Cole, who spends her days as at GMH Capital Partners in Newtown Square, relies on her staff during her work hours, and she is in the bakery most evenings and weekends.
“I see them at the end of the day, we leave each other notes – I have fantastic employees,” Cole said.
Cups N Cakes was born out of Cole’s search for a beautifully crafted, delicious birthday cake for her children.
“I bought a birthday cake for my daughter, and it looked nice but it tasted horrible,” Cole said.
Passionate about art, and with a knack for baking, Cole believed that she could put her artistic skills to use by creating the cakes herself.
“’I’ve done artwork for years – so I kind of took the sculpting and baking and put it together and started doing my kids’ cakes,” Cole said.
After making custom cakes for all of her children, family and friends for free, she eventually expanded her customer base to a co-worker who had the same looks-great-tastes-bad gripe of other bakeries.
When she dropped off the customer's cake at the office, she got five more orders from coworkers.
“I sold my first cake on April 4 of 2010,” Cole said.
One year later, Cole realized she had outgrown her Upper Providence kitchen and needed to look for a place to set up shop – and Collegeville Station was a perfect fit.
From her storefront, she sells custom cakes of all sizes, mini and standard gourmet cupcakes, cake nips, cookies and coffee, and she offers decorating classes.
Cole offers an array of gourmet cupcakes that change regularly, including flavors such as “Banana Tres Leches,” “Pina Colada,” “Pucker Up Lemoncup,” “Chocolate Rum Fruitcake,” “Milk Chocolate w/Peanut Butter Icing,” “Eggnog,” and “Mexican Cha Cha.”
Flavors (and photos) can be found near-daily on the Cups N Cakes Facebook Page.
While baker Deborah, an expert Wilton cake decorator, does a lot of the cake decorating – the more layers the better – Cole prefers the sculpting on the cakes, and hand painting.
It’s not rare to see Cole’s children – 11, 15 and 18 - and her husband in and out of the shop, helping to decorate, deliver, and taste test.
“It’s a family affair,” said Cole.