Side Dishes: Baker brings miniature sweets to market
Cupcakes have been a hot trend in America’s cities for years — just ask fans of “Sex and the City.” But, like many food fads — small plates, bánh mì, chef-made charcuterie — they took years to make it to Vermont.
Now, fans of both traditional and original breeds of petits gateaux can find them at the Williston Farmers Market. Entrepreneur Michelle Trudell, who works as an executive assistant at Dynapower during the day, turns into a cupcake-making dynamo on evenings and weekends. The 38-year-old estimates she’s baked “thousands and thousands” of the treats for her friends and coworkers. “I’ve been dreaming about starting a cupcake bakery for years now,” she says. “I’d always thought I had to do it big, but it makes sense to start off small.”
A graduate of the Women’s Small Business Program offered by Mercy Connections, Trudell, who’s also had stints working at a couple of St. Albans eateries, was able to hit the ground running. To create her company, My Little Cupcake, she says, “I just made a website, a blog and some business cards.” Her cakes run $1 each, $5.50 for six or $10 a dozen. If sales are good enough, a brick-and-mortar bakery could be in the works.
And, with funky flavors such as “S’mores” and the strawberry, chocolate and vanilla “Neapolitan Dynamite,” it’s no wonder Trudell is reporting early success. She’s also gaining notice for her coffee and hot-chocolate varieties, both of which come topped with miniature donuts.
While she loves baking, it’s not Trudell’s only kitchen skill. “I was a cook in the army for eight years,” she dishes. “If you need gravy for 500 people, I’m your girl.”