- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Creasy Lane may be a candidate for a name change to Cupcake Lane.

Two Lafayette women have claimed space for their sweet treat enterprises on the city’s east side.

Bridgett Pope recently celebrated the grand opening of her business, Yum Yum Cupcakes & Tea near Unity Hospital.

And in July, Emily Goertemoeller plans to open a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise at 170 S. Creasy Lane in Lafayette Pavilions shopping center.

Why build a business around a food item whose staying power was contemplated in a January article by Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and whose popularity peaked in 2012, according to a Google Trends analysis?

Cupcakes make people smile, both women replied. The treats are served when people gather for celebrations.

“I wanted two smiling cupcakes in my logo because people smile when they eat cupcakes,” Pope said.

“My daughter’s friend ate one of my sweet potato cupcakes and said, ‘This is love. You can feel the love in it.’”

Both women also want to operate businesses that allow them to express their creativity and Christian faith.

That’s where the similarities end.

Pope has transitioned from a full-time legal secretary and part-time wedding planner to a full-time wedding and event planner who happens to bake moist and flavorful cupcakes covered with icing that’s not too sweet.

“I developed my own recipes,” she said. “I want to give people something different.”

She has space to host themed birthday parties for children, tea for little princesses and ladies, Bible study groups and family gatherings in her space that can accommodate 40 to 50 people.

While Pope’s business is a family-based homemade operation, Goertemoeller said she’s glad she chose a franchise.

During the six-month delay in finalizing her lease at Lafayette Pavilions, Goertemoeller has built anticipation and a customer base by leveraging the nationally known Gigi’s name.

She’s sponsored two youth softball teams and one adult team, delivered cupcakes to area businesses, and used Facebook to interact with future customers and give away products that will be delivered after her store opens. She has 3,700 fans.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement from people who’ve had the product previously or heard about it,” she said. “My main focus is building relationships in the community … and (making sure) the guest experience is a premium experience.”

Goertemoeller has booked a few weddings and parties. Meanwhile, her equipment has been ordered and a contractor is building out her space between Moe’s and Firehouse Subs.

She’s hired a few people, and 30 days before opening, expects to have 20 employees - seven or eight part time.

There is room for both businesses, the women said. Goertemoeller echoed Pope’s sentiment about their products.

“Gigi, the founder, has said, ‘Our mission is to spread love one cupcake at a time,’” she said. “I wholeheartedly agree with that.”

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Source: Journal & Courier, https://on.jconline.com/1G3RfLB

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Information from: Journal and Courier, https://www.jconline.com

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