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Cute as a cupcake: Sweet Things Cupcakes & Couture in Proctor

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on May 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm | No Comments »
May 4, 2009 4:09 pm

Coconut, cherry mocha, sweet potato and lavender are just a few of the cupcake flavors Patti Frank and Barbara Kiker plan to whip up for their new cupcake shop and clothing store in Proctor.

Sweet Thing Cupcakes & Couture will open in late May or early June (depending on permits) – at 2510 N. Proctor.

Frank and Kiker have been working on the building for several weeks –much to the curiosity of Proctor neighbors, who are abuzz about the opening of the combo cupcake, coffee and retail clothing store.

Pictured here: Cupcakes! News Tribune file photo.

The women have spent several weeks overseeing work at the building, formerly a private residence. New electrical wiring, seismic retrofitting and plumbing are just a few projects underway. Cupcakes and coffee take up one half of the business; the other half of the store will carry clothing, furniture and gifts.

This is the first venture of its kind for Frank, although Kiker, a designer, previously owned Sumner’s Palouse Moose, a store selling antiques, new furniture and gifts. This is the first food venture for both. Kiker is the one with the food interest, although Frank said she started to develop a true cupcake obsession after sampling cupcakes at nearly every bakery and cupcake store in two counties during the last four months.

Kiker said she intends to play with flavors that trend unusual. A look at what she’s working on now:

Sweet potato: With spicing similar to pumpkin pie, topped with a cream cheese frosting.

Coconut: Buttermilk, sour cream and butter are the moist makers in this cake. She’ll top it with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with coconut.

Mocha cherry: A chocolate mocha cupcake topped with a cherry flavored icing.

Lavender: Made with edible lavender, this cupcake currently is in the works.

Initially, the duo had hoped to open the shop in Sumner or Puyallup, where both women live. One potential site after another fell through. They hadn’t considered opening in Tacoma, but once Kiker introduced Frank to the Proctor neighborhood, they agreed it seemed the right neighborhood to support the store. They both have a healthy dose of love for Proctor.

"Proctor is wonderful, a great fit for us. People walk their babies and kids. You see the strollers and dogs. Even the dogs look happy in Proctor," said Kiker. "What I love about Proctor is that people seem to really use the Proctor area. People really walk the neighborhood, and the locals support the businesses there. … It’s a wonderful little enclave."

So how does the clothes part of the business work? Frank is a bit of a clothes horse and has traveled far and wide shopping for clothes. She’ll handle that side of the business. Furniture also will be at the store, as well as gifts.

Until they open, it’s all about details, Frank said. And there are a lot – everything from developing the website, to getting the phone hooked up and finishing constructing the kitchen on site. Or, as Frank said about getting the store ready, "It’s like cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20 with one oven."

Sweet Things Cupcakes & Couture

Where: 2510 N. Proctor, Tacoma

Tentative hours: Open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Contact: No phone or web address yet, but it’s coming soon

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