By Kate Oczypok - 11/18/09 12:32 AM EST
Or it could be choosing exactly what we want to top our healthy frozen treats. No matter what the reason, D.C. seems to have been overtaken by cupcake and frozen yogurt eateries as of late.
LaMontagne, a former venture capitalist, and Kallinis, who worked in fashion, grew up baking and one day both quit their jobs to open the bakery. “I remember when we first started my husband was mad I spent $50 on the Kinko’s poster outside,” LaMontagne said. “Now we bake about 5,000 cupcakes daily.”
Kallinis said that word of mouth is the best way for food crazes to travel. “Being in Georgetown helps. We have a lot of tourists and locals alike who’ve heard from friends and family members about us,” she said.
LaMontagne also mentioned that the shop’s fresh ingredients such as Verona cocoa, fresh fruit and hand-grated carrots help. “We bake our cupcakes fresh throughout the day,” she said. “People can really taste the difference.”
When asked if being sisters helps or hurts running a business, both Kallinis and LaMontagne exchange knowing glances. “I think it’s definitely better,” LaMontagne said.
“We don’t sugarcoat anything,” Kallinis said.
After their parents doubted the potential success of their project, the two are opening a Bethesda branch later this month. They now employ a staff of over 70 and plan to move to a more central location on M Street soon. LaMontagne also said they now ship cupcakes overnight.
“We get a lot of e-mails from women all over the country,” LaMontagne said. “We always say go for your dreams, even though it’s scary — just put in a lot of hard work.”
Kallinis echoed LaMontagne saying that when the two first started they didn’t think anyone would visit the cupcakery.
Whereas the Georgetown Cupcake sisters are seasoned veterans, Michelle Snow and Todd Bracken are set to open their very own bakery, Frosting: A Cupcakery, in January.
The two, who met on match.com, are set to marry on New Year’s Eve and open the bakery shortly thereafter. “Our honeymoon will most likely be spent in the bakeshop,” Bracken said.
Opening a bakery was a dream of Snow and her mother’s growing up. “One of my first stories when Todd and I started dating was that I wanted to open a bakery someday,” Snow said, looking adoringly at Bracken.
Opening Frosting became Bracken’s dream too when the two visited a Manhattan bakery. “I said if they can do it so can you,” Bracken said.
Snow has since left her job in marketing and advertising in real estate to work full-time at the shop, which will also sell cookies, brownies and other baked goods in addition to coffee. Bracken, who works in IT for a defense contracting company, will continue to work there as well as Frosting.
Snow’s mother owned her own catering company, specializing in desserts. Snow said that what will set Frosting apart from the rest of the bake shops in D.C. area is its frosting. “It’s really a special secret ingredient that sets it apart,” she said.
“This all feels like a sort of like the Serendipity story in New York City,” Bracken said. “You go into these shops and are wowed with being a child again. It’s amazing the amount of joy a cupcake can bring.”
Even though the weather is turning colder, many District dwellers still crave frozen yogurt. Froyo, a frozen yogurt bar, recently opened up next to Booeymonger’s in Friendship Heights. Froyo plans to open another location on F Street in Metro Center soon.
What sets Froyo apart from other icy treat stands is that it’s all self-serve.
Cheryl Klein, general manager of the restaurant, thinks that is why this type of frozen yogurt stand has gained so much popularity. “Customers can have as little or as much as they want and can mix and match toppings and flavors,” she said.
Froyo typically has eight different flavors to choose from, including two rotating flavors. The restaurant, whose owner is also part-owner of Booeymonger’s, has a lot of regulars. “We have this one boy whose bus drops him off every day at 3:20 in the afternoon,” Klein said. “We also see new people every day.”
Froyo also has a lot of promotions to keep customers coming back even when snow begins to fall. Klein said they will offer free hot fudge for the month of December and anytime it’s raining outside, customers get free sprinkles. There are also monthly drawings for free frozen yogurt on its website, froyodc.com.
Holiday flavors include pumpkin pie, peppermint stick and eggnog.
“All of our yogurt is fat-free except one that is 98 percent fat-free and it’s one of the cheaper options out there,” Klein said when asked about why frozen yogurt has taken off in D.C. “We’re inexpensive in the recession, a great night and a lot of fun.”
Continuing the cupcake craze, a brand-new, bright pink truck began wandering the streets of D.C. as part of the new company Curbside Cupcakes. In addition to the Sweetgreen yogurt truck, those working in the city will have even more food-craze options.