Michael and Angela Moed had no idea what they were getting themselves into before starting the process of opening their own cupcake shop. In fact, it took them almost three years of planning. All for cupcakes. Sounds silly, right?
But when you step into Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee, a tiny shop located just off Kendall Drive, the time and effort the husband-and-wife team put into the place becomes apparent.
Not bad for a professional poker player (Michael) and a recent graduate of pastry school (Angela) with zero restaurant or commercial baking experience.
What sets Sweet Times apart from other local bakeshops is that it uses only Italian buttercream. "It's more time-consuming and it's harder to make, but I think it tastes better, and people can taste the difference," Angela says.
Every morning, she and Michael wake up before the sun rises, leave their 3-month-old son with his grandmother, and head to the shop to begin baking.
That means everything is baked and made fresh daily.
It takes no work to admit the cupcakes are truly delicious. The cake is moist, the Italian buttercreams (which come in countless varieties and vary by day) are smooth, and the ganache is silky. You can find out which flavors are offered any given day via Instagram: #rollcall @SweetTimesCupcakes.
But even with such a great product, how can this Design District-style shop expect to succeed all the way out in West Kendall?
"We sort of lucked out with our location," Michael says of the shop, which is nestled between a university campus and a medical center.
In fact, they incorporated an original blend of coffee into their concept to give the place a more "coffeehouse loungy" feel -- a place where caffeine-pumped college students, nurses, and doctors can take a break with a cupcake and some coffee. The shop even has free Wi-Fi for that purpose.
"So far, they've been our primary customers, and they usually come in in packs," Michael says as a group of nurses dressed in cornflower-blue scrubs walks through the door.
Michael admits he doesn't expect people to drive from all parts of the county just for a cupcake. "I wouldn't, at least," he says. But with that in mind, you should definitely keep Sweet Times on the radar if you find yourself in West Kendall. Michael even says he wouldn't mind making deliveries if a customer with a party or catered event asked. It seems as though the idea has hit him right then and there, and voila, the shop is delivery-friendly.
Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee offers boxes of four, six, 12, and 24 cupcakes. A box of four -- petite enough to enjoy on your own -- costs $5.50. A single cupcake costs $1.50. Cups of coffee, tea, frozen drinks, etc., are offered in 12-,16- and 20- ounce sizes and will never cost more than $3.95. Beat that, Starbucks! A 12-ounce cup is just $1.75.
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The shop is located at 8530 SW 124th Ave., #101. For inquiries, talk to the friendly person who picks up at 305-270-0300.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.