This Mount Dora shop takes the (cup) cake
Cupcake Delights of Mount Dora, Fla., is located at 112 E. Fifth Ave. For more information, call (352) 383-2200 or log on to www.mountdoracupcakes.com. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, though it may close earlier if it sells out.
When the appetite hankers for a morsel of sugary goodness, look no further than a small shop facing Donnelly Park in the heart of the historic downtown district of Mount Dora, Fla.
This bakery is unlike any other in the community as it specializes in only one type of decadent dessert, the miniature cake, or better known as the cupcake. Similar to its menu singularity, Cupcake Delights staff also often stands alone. Judy Owens dutifully handles the roles of proprietor, baker and barista.
Owens opened Cupcake Delights in November 2007, as the cupcake craze swept the nation, many deduce, because “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker noshed on a pink-frosted cupcake during an episode. She studied and worked diligently to find a location, renovate the building, establish suppliers and set up shop.
While her decision to open shop wasn’t taken lightly, it seemed like her destiny. As a teenager, she started her own cake-decorating business selling to friends, parents and their co-workers. She made cakes for all occasions including her brother’s wedding.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking cupcakes,” Owens said. “I started decorating cakes when I was 13.”
The menu card of Cupcake Delights includes 40 different varieties of cupcakes. Typically, only 17 flavors are featured in the case each day. The shop’s “Signature Cupcakes” are carrot cake, classic buttercream, chocolate buttercream, coconut dream, cream cheese and red velvet. A few of the more daring flavors include Key Lime Delight, Beer & Pretzel and Cookie Dough.
“What sells the best are the flavors people grew up with,” Owens said. “That’s why I think our two best sellers are red velvet and carrot cake.”
The cupcakes are like a work of art. Each cake’s icing is carefully sculpted and made from scratch
“I think that’s what it’s all about — the icing,” Owens said. “The cake is good, but people really respond to the icing. After it sits for awhile, the cake absorbs the icing.”
Cupcake Delights enjoys a variety of customers. Walk-through traffic in downtown Mount Dora continually drops by and it soars during the city’s annual festivals with the shop selling hundreds of cupcakes to passersby. Customers also travel from around the state to treat themselves.
“I have people that come from all over just for cupcakes,” Owens said. “I have a group of ladies from Fort Lauderdale that will frequently call in before coming to Mount Dora to put their orders in.”
Perhaps Cupcake Delights’ largest customer base is the locals. Families will buy dozens for special occasions and its cupcakes are becoming a posh thing to serve at corporate gatherings. Owens recently baked 400 cupcakes for a function at the Barry University School of Law in Orlando. At special events, cupcakes from Cupcake Delights are served on “trees,” which hold 24, 60 or 120 cupcakes.