Cupcake shop sweetens local shopping district

[Hammond] – It has been just over a year since the locally owned Cupcake Concept began catering to Hammond’s sweet tooth.

Cupcake Concept display

A varied display of cupcakes waits to greet Cupcake Concept’s patrons.

The sweets shop nearly exclusively sells cupcakes, but also caters birthday parties, weddings and business events. Located in the downtown Hammond Historic District, Cupcake Concept reflects the rising popularity of shops specializing in dessert.

“They’re becoming more and more popular,” said Melody Woodworth, executive director of the Downtown Development District. “They’re really popular in New York and D.C., so I do think it’s nice that they’re coming out this way as well.”

Woodworth credited the presence of shows such as “Cupcake Wars” and “Ace of Cakes” for the increased popularity in sweets shops.

“They’re kind of following that national trend,” Woodworth said.

The store in Hammond is Cupcake Concept’s third location. Kelli Donahue Stewart opened and currently runs the first Cupcake Concept in Covington. Her brother Matt Donahue co-owns the business.

This shop does not exist solely as a stationary destination for dessert purchases, however.

“We have a cupcake wagon,” said Emma Brabham, manager of Cupcake Concept in Hammond and a business management major at Southeastern. This air-conditioned transportation allows the store to cater and to sell cupcakes at outdoor events.

Listen to Emma Brabham, manager of Hammond’s Cupcake Concept, describe the shop’s community involvement:

 

Besides the cupcake wagon’s presence at local events such as Southeastern’s homecoming last month, Cupcake Concept’s participation in the annual downtown event Starry November Night this coming Friday supports Woodworth’s claim that the business has become involved in the district.

Starry November Night, a signature event hosted by the Downtown Development District, promotes local artists and businesses by having shops feature artwork and participate in a wine stroll. Cupcake Concept will be featuring the art of Lane Grigas of Ponchatoula, who the store also featured at the DDD’s summer event, Hot August Night.

Brabham said that she loves working in the downtown area and that there is a cooperation between the businesses there. “We get a lot of business from people working down here and going to lunch breaks,” she said.

Cupcake Concept exterior

Cupcake Concept sits on North Cate Street in historic downtown Hammond.

The Hammond location of Cupcake Concept also hosts parties and is currently the only one that does. The original store in Covington previously stopped hosting parties.

“We get the cupcakes delivered here every morning,” Brabham said. As manager, one of her duties is taking orders and sending them to the Covington location, which is responsible for baking the cupcakes shipped to and sold at all three locations.

The dessert shop offers a variety of flavors, from the traditional to the more elaborate.

“I like the strawberry cheesecake,” said Logan Perrilloux of Hammond, a return customer.

Woodworth discussed her weekly visit to Cupcake Concept and the difficulty of showing restraint in the face of the shop’s indulgent desserts.

“I try not to go more often than that, but it happens sometimes,” she said.

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