Bakery Owner Marks One-Year Anniversary
By Sam Burch
Hampton Union, December 2, 2014
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON — Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique owner Danielle Thibodeau recently celebrated her store’s one-year anniversary in the kitchen by baking and giving Seacoast residents something to sink their sweet tooth into.
Thibodeau opened Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique last summer hoping to create a place for custom order cakes. But over the past year, the store has expanded into a blend of both custom and in-store baked goods. The most popular item now is creative cupcakes baked daily.
“We started out with only a few cupcakes but people demanded them, so now we have 20 different flavors, including salted caramel, pumpkin spice, red velvet, marshmallow cream cheese, chocolate buttercream, and the list goes on," Thibodeau said. “We always have some funky flavors coming out of here. We use our customers as guinea pigs, to see what people are willing to try.”
Aside from cupcakes, the store sells caramel apples, macaroons, brownies, cookies and whoopie pies, “which are huge,” she said.
Still the store relies on custom baking, with specialty cakes accounting for most of the income. “We do some hardcore wedding cakes,” Thibodeau laughed. The cost of custom orders depends on size, flavor, design and basically how much time it took to make.
“Time is money!” she proclaimed.
Most of the wedding cakes sell for $300 to $400 dollars but the extravagant ones can cost thousands.
From her own kitchen to Hampton High Street, Thibodeau grew up baking with her mother in Hampton Falls.
She graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in marine biology and graphic design.
Her passion for baking came about after she decided to bake a cake for a family reunion.
The cake, designed to look like a picnic table, was a huge hit with Thibodeau’s friends and family, who encouraged her to start her own at-home bakery.
Operating first out of her parent’s kitchen, Thibodeau started baking for her close friends, selling about one cake every month. Word got around about how delicious the cakes were and the orders started to increase to the point where she needed a bigger kitchen. That is when she found her current location on High Street.
“This place was complete serendipity,” Thibodeau said. “The price was great, the location was great, and the timing worked out just how we wanted.”
But it wasn’t that easy.
“There was a big transition going from home to a storefront,” Thibodeau explained. “Hampton was good about helping us through the process but being both a retail and food business there was a lot of licensing and inspections that took place."
While this is Thibodeau’s first store, she seems to have already outgrown it. “We’re tight on space,” she said, "and it shows."
Thibodeau and her two employees must prepare, cook and clean in a less than 700 sq. foot space.
“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are our busiest time and it can be hectic,” Thibodeau said.
Operating with only two ovens, “Thanksgiving time is like a dance in here,” Thibodeau chuckled. The store was bombarded with pie orders this Thanksgiving.
Thibodeau said she would like to one day expand and open a second store. “Something by the beach,” she said.