I was always baking with Grandma…I would bake cookies…and I would just naturally do it on my own…I have just always been a baker.
Today we chatted with Tiffany Rice of Cupcake Artistry. We chatted about the cupcake business, how she got started, favorite flavors, Covid and the startup and where people can order and find out more.
Tiffany Rice 01:08
My name is Tiffany Rice. That’s new for me. I just got married in August. So I was Tiffany Belts prior. I grew up in Tomah, Wisconsin, actually outside of Tomah, the little tiny town of Camp Douglas. My grandma was the first one that really got me into baking. When I was in middle school, she taught me how to bake a pie from scratch. Grandma was my best friend growing up, she lived across the road from me and I was always baking with grandma. She worked in the food industry. I would bake cookies and all sorts of things. And then I just naturally did it on my own. My dad has a bit of a sweet tooth. So that was my way into my dad’s heart was through baking. I just have always been a baker. Cupcakes started, we’ll get into that a little later, but the cupcake thing started about eight years ago, I would say so.
Brent Hanifl 01:53
Finding you on Facebook, you know, I know there’s a kind of this resurgence, at least to me or at least being notified about these, you know home bakers. And it’s really kind of see what Sabadash app is out there selling goods for different businesses. So how did the whole idea for cupcake artistry come about?
Tiffany Rice 02:10
I lived in the town of Alma Center for five years when I first started my teaching career. And there was a couple of cupcake artists there that I was like always inspired by and loved watching what they were doing. They were very small and did it out of their home as well. So it was one year when I was teaching in Sparta, we needed cupcakes for a baby shower, and I was on the sunshine committee. Of course, we had very little money to spend on a treat. So I was like, I think I can do this. Like I’m a creative person and detail is my thing. And so I made cupcakes and they were a huge hit for the baby shower the next day. So from then on anytime there was a celebration at school, I was it and I was making cupcakes. And that gradually grew into baking for my co workers when they’d have celebrations, graduations, birthday parties, they asked me to bake for them. So it was just kind of a very casual thing on the side. And then when COVID hit actually I was home. I am a teacher or was a teacher. I was home for those months and a former coworker and Sparta asked me to bake cupcakes for her daughter’s mini graduation party. And I did and I had some extra so I took them to my friend is a nurse at Mayo, so they were struggling and I took some to her. And her boss was like, oh my goodness. And she asked me to bake. She was having an outdoor COVID safe graduation party for her daughter. So I ended up baking 300 for her that summer. And I was like I’ve never done that many. And the whole day when I was baking that day. I’m like, what am I calling this? What’s this name? Like it was kind of frantic. And in the middle of the afternoon, I was like Cupcake Artistry. That’s it. And so I created my first logo that evening and sent 300 cupcakes out the door. And then it just kind of grew from there.
Brent Hanifl 02:31
Yeah, just I mean, just checking out your social media and your website. I mean, it looks like you have close to 4,000 people following you on Facebook alone. For someone just kind of jumping into it, finding you, what are some of your favorite flavors for them to try out?
Tiffany Rice 04:15
I think that I have a new flavor every week, I feel like. My personal favorites, I love the salted caramel cheesecake. I love the blueberry cheesecake. My husband loves the red velvet cheesecake. Nutter Butter is a popular one. Oh gosh, monster cookie is another popular one. There are so many. And that’s where my creativity comes in. I love like going through the grocery store aisle and oh, that can be a cupcake. And that can be a cupcake. And it’s turned into a family thing where I constantly get texts from my mom and my sister and my dad and friends like what about this kind of cupcake? So I have so many favorites. Oh vanilla latte was my new favorite last week, which is amazing. Oh, Alexa is going off. Alexa goes off every 10 minutes in my house and that tells me that I need to flip cupcakes. So I’m gonna go flip cupcakes and I’ll be right back.
Brent Hanifl 05:02
Alright, sounds good.
Tiffany Rice 05:16
Okay, I am back.
Brent Hanifl 05:20
So you know, maybe I know one of them is you’re working from home, but you know, you kind of reference COVID? How did COVID affect the business? Was it something that kind of pushed you out the door? Or has it been a positive for the business or?
Tiffany Rice 05:32
COVID, it was totally a positive thing for me, I had the time to really make it a thing. I don’t think if I was, I mean, I was teaching virtually last fall. But I had the time that summer, I’m such an active social person. So I was always out doing things and COVID made me stay home and I needed a hobby. So it gave and I was single at the time. So it gave me something to do. And then people needed anything to make them just a little bit happier during COVID. So if they could pick up cupcakes, and I could do contactless porch pickup, they could pick them up without any contact. So it’s a safe thing. And it just totally became this sensation. I don’t know how else to describe it. But word of mouth spread. And I would say COVID definitely gave me my start, like I credit COVID, like COVID was a very positive thing in my life.
Brent Hanifl 06:28
In terms of this Cupcake Artistry coming out of you know, the last, I guess, 18 months, I would imagine or maybe a little longer. You said you’ve been baking for quite a while. What are you excited for, for the business in the next year or two?
Tiffany Rice 06:41
Well, my husband and I are closing on a new house a week from today. So we’re moving to Holmen, just this side of Holmen. And our plans are downstairs. We have like a utility room. So we’re going to turn that into my like more commercial bakery space. I’ll still be a home baker, but it’ll be just more suited for commercial baking and not a home kitchen. And we can get the cupcakes out of our home kitchen then. So I’m really excited for that. I’m excited for just continuing to grow. And really, what just gives me so much joy is becoming more of part of this community. I was super involved in education when I was in education. And I always wanted more in this community. And this has given me an outlet to kind of give back to this community. So I hope to do more of that and get more connected to people and events and nonprofits and things like that in this community.
Brent Hanifl 07:34
So if people want to find out more, or you know, even order some, what’s the best avenue for them to go to?
Tiffany Rice 07:40
I have a Facebook page, the handle there is Cupcake Artistry, La Crosse, and I have a website which is www.cupcakeartistrylacrosse.com. And then you can send me a private message on Facebook, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Instagram. I’ve Instagram to @cupcakeartistrylacrosse.
Brent Hanifl 08:01
Sounds good. And for someone I mean, it seems like used to be able to order online, you order pizza and you go and pick it up. I think you know, have people had an issue with going that I’m going to order some cupcakes and then go to someone’s house and pick them up or has it been kind of refreshing?
Tiffany Rice 08:17
It’s been kind of refreshing and I think that there are a lot of kind of things that have taken off in our area because of COVID that do you know our home bakers and such. I bought from another home baker and the first time I did I was like, oh, this is what people feel like going to my house. But now that it’s established and I think that it’s becoming a norm like you know, it’s I think it’s okay, I haven’t had any problems with it.
Brent Hanifl 08:41
Amy Gabay 08:45
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook at La Crosse Local. Find out more about us at lacrosselocal.com and you can subscribe to the La Crosse local podcast on your favorite podcast app. If you like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.
About La Crosse Local
La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
Find us in your favorite podcast app.