A JOURNEY OF 6,000 STEPS...I MEAN, CUPCAKES!
When Epic (the medical software company located in Verona, Wisconsin) contacted us this winter about providing cupcakes for one of their biggest events (after seeing our Facebook ad!), we were thrilled! "What is the largest order you have done for a client?" they asked. "1,325 cupcakes, in two different flavors" we proudly responded. Little did we know that the answer to our next question, "how many will you need for *your* event?" was 3,000 full-sized - which seemed very do-able, really - which then became 6,000 mini cupcakes. We were still thrilled - albeit a little nervous! And so, as one former business owner used to say we stated to Epic, with absolute certainty, that we could absolutely fill that order! And then we went home and tried to figure out how in the world we were going to make that happen. I mean, that's a tall order. For anyone. And we're a small company. But we knew we could count on our good friend Kandy Watson, who has been with me the entire 5 years I've been baking cupcakes - and taking on challenges. She was there when we made 225 monkey cupcakes and had to stay up literally all night, and she was there for the formerly biggest job ever, 1325 cupcakes. She is awesome. And our staff photographer too! She shot the photos at the Epic event.
But we *did* get the job.
The secret to pulling off making *and delivering* 6,000 cupcakes in a word? Logistics! Not to under-romanticize the idea, mind you. Cupcakes are lovely and fun and cute. But 6,000 is a LOT. And never having made that many, there were lots of unknowns. However, we put on our math hats and coordinated with our vendors and created projections and spreadsheets to try to calculate what kind of supplies we were going to need.
A few of the items we went through during our Epic week:
- 264 eggs
- 44 lbs. of sour cream
- 30 lbs. of cream cheese
- 30 lbs. of chocolate decadence cookie dough - which had to become 3000 pieces of cookie dough that would be inserted into the cupcakes
- 10,000 mini-cupcake cups
- 500 12-pack mini-cupcake travel containers
So why not provide cupcakes for a National Association of Wedding Planners event that Wednesday night? Oh yeah, we sure did.
We prepped as much as possible the week before the job, but full-on production began on Tuesday. We baked 20-dozen at a time, starting with the triple-chocolate decadence cookie dough, and then moved on to the lemon cupcakes that would later be filled with raspberry mousse. We wanted to wait to frost until the last possible moment, because frosting is a temperamental thing. So Thursday night we finished baking. My brother Chris came and helped us that night. We finished at midnight. But it was such a great feeling to have baked over 6,000 cupcakes! We actually baked about 6200 - we baked extras because some would get damaged along the way. We mixed the batter 4-recipes'-worth at a time, and mixed frosting in 5-pound batches.
Once the cupcakes were delivered, our team met at the venue - Epic's *stunning* facility. We were going to be in the S-shaped building, at 5 different dessert stations. We had to then unpack all 6,000+ cupcakes and put them onto beautiful silver platters. There would be 2 trays of each flavor at each station, plus cupcakes on the cupcake trees that were provided. Three hours later, all of our hard work had been released from the confines of their containers and proudly displayed on the trays. A very quick break to eat and change clothes and we were back at Epic to finish set-up and work the event. We were running on pure adrenaline at that point! The excitement of being there, though, to see the expressions on the faces of the people sampling our wares was the best part of the job. Some people might not have wanted to work the event, but we definitely wanted to. We wanted to see it through! And we were SO glad we did. The whole evening was fabulous, with wave after wave of Epic employees stopping by our respective stations to grab a cupcake. Or two. Or four. And there were the ones who came back SEVERAL times. That was a hoot. That's the best compliment you can get, I think. Well, we don't mind the all-out verbal accolades either, lol. The evening ended on a high note as we said good night to the chefs and went home, completely and utterly exhausted, but high on the fact that we DID it. We feel like there's no challenge we can't meet!
Co-Owner, Cupcakes-A-Go-Go, LLC