Growing up watching her grandmother and mother bake during the holidays, Taylor Stump, who graduated from Manhattan College last spring, always knew she wanted to own her own cupcake shop.
That dream came true when she opened “Little Miss Cupcape” in Cape Cod, Massachusetts soon after receiving her degree.
“I always loved cooking,” Stump said. “My first oven was an Easy Bake Oven. My grandma let me make a mess while I experimented with recipes.”
Her passion for baking as a child followed her throughout her life. When she was a senior in high school she began catering her friends’ graduation parties with her own cupcakes. During that time she was focused on perfecting her homemade frosting.
Realizing her dream, she entered MC to pursue a bachelor degree in marketing with a minor in communication. Economics and finance Professor Hyeon Park supported Stump’s career path.
“I was very surprised to hear from her, during the last semester in my Money and Banking class, that she was preparing for her own business,” Park said. “I encouraged her efforts and attitude, as well as time management since she had to manage both her school work and business prep under limited time constraints.”
Motivated by professors, family and friends, Stump created business plans and research projects that centered on her cupcake shop.
“I would review existing companies to improve my business plan,” she said. “The assignments allowed me to focus on my future shop.”
During her senior year Stump worked at Mother’s Bake Shop on 235th street. She was able to witness how a business functioned, and how to run her own. When she left the shop, she understood the foundation of owning a shop.
“She is very sweet, and polite,” Mother’s Bake Shop owner Beth Zeitouni said.
“As a senior in college, I started to focus on making my own cupcake mix from scratch,” Stump said. “I began experimenting by using both family and online recipes. This allowed me to make changes on how I wanted the cupcake to taste.”
When it came time to open her own shop in Cape Cod, her father helped her name the shop Little Miss Cupcape.
“I wanted a twist on the location’s name,” Stump said. “Once the name was decided, we built the shop around a nautical theme.”
Her recipes do not contain any preservatives, so she can only sell her cupcakes on the day she makes them. If she has leftover cupcakes, she will give some to her employees, and donate some to local food banks. None are thrown away.
“I would never sell day-old cupcakes and call them ‘fresh.’ It might be harder work to make fresh cupcakes each day, but customers will love them more,” Stump said.
Since opening her shop, Stump already has plans for the future. In the upcoming weeks she will begin selling cinnamon rolls on her menu as a breakfast item. By adding a twist to her grandmother’s recipe, she hopes that they will be a success.
In a few months, she plans to ship her cupcakes to customers in other states.
“My friends will be so happy that they can have my cupcakes without coming to Cape Cod,” Stump said.
In the long run, she hopes to open additional locations so she can share her creations with everyone.
Looking back at MC, Stump urges students who want to be business owners to plan ahead. They should think of everything from the tiniest details to the big picture. Also, having support for their business ideas is essential.
Stump’s biggest advice to MC: dream big.