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Momlogic sat down with executive chef and co-owner Tiffini Soforenko to find out how she blends life as a mom, a chef, and a businesswoman in one yummy concoction.
ML: This is definitely a family business. You run it with your mom and husband Nik, with three children underfoot! Tell us how you are able to balance family and a successful business.
TS: A supportive family is probably the key factor. We have an amazingly supportive family. We all pitch in to help each other and make things work whenever we can. For example, if my son has an important little league game or my daughter has a recital and I have a work commitment, my mom will step in and handle the work commitment so I can attend my child's event.
Time management is always a challenge. While we know what we need to do, it is a constant struggle to leave work at work and home at home. But we try, earnestly, to keep it separate. It helps that my children love cupcakes and feel so connected to our business. We often will ask their opinion on a cupcake matter or bounce an idea off of them, and they love it. It allows me to work ... a little ... when at home.
ML: How did you decide on a "cupcake only" business?
TS: After enjoying cupcakes at bakeries in New York, I had an idea that it would be so great if we could walk into a bakeshop and be faced with nothing but cupcake flavor options, much like you would experience in a cake shop. I ran the idea by my mom and husband, and they both thought it was a terrific idea. So we went into business in March 2004 and now have a thriving business with 175 yummy cupcake flavors and delicious cupcake products we created, like Cupcake in a Jar, Cupcake Truffles, Cupcake on a Stick, Cupcake Biscotti, and Cupcake Party Kit, with bakeshops in Burbank and Santa Monica, with Woodland Hills and Valencia about to open, and a franchise soon to be offered.
ML: You named your shop after your son's reaction to the products. Tell us how it happened.
TS: When we first started, we spent a lot of time in a commercial kitchen, testing and perfecting recipes. My son Logan, then 3 years old, was one of our best taste testers. Every time we had a cupcake that we all agreed was a winner, Logan would taste it and tell us that it was a "yummy cupcake." He never called a cupcake "yummy" unless it was a perfect cupcake. So we thought it only fitting that we name our company "Yummy Cupcakes," as a representation of our feeling about baking the perfect cupcake.
ML: How do you incorporate healthy eating habits into your family's life? It must be hard with a family sweet shop!
TS: Healthy eating has always been a part of our family's life, so we all know to select what we eat wisely. Our cupcakes are all made from whole, real ingredients. We never use trans fats, lards, preservatives, or prepackaged mixes in our baking. We use ingredients such as whole milks, creamery butter, ranch fresh eggs, pure cane sugars, and fresh fruits and their juices and zests. So eating a cupcake is a treat for all of us.
ML: As a mother, tell us your recipe for raising a well-rounded family.
TS: Quality time spent with each member of the family. Respect for each other's time and needs. Being there for each other is important. Our schedules are such that either Mom, Dad, or Grandmother are always with the children, so they get a lot of support and nurturing, and this gives us flexibility.
ML: Finally, what is the perfect end-of-summer cupcake?
TS: Those with fresh fruits such as Strawberry Shortcake, Summer Lemonade, and Berry Pie! But we are looking forward to our fall calendar, filled with fun flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Butterscotch, and Apple Pie!