Dreams are strange constructs of the human mind. They can impel us to the peak of happiness and satisfaction or they can crush us into the abyss of despair. The difference lies in what we’re willing to do to achieve our dreams: How hard we’re willing to work; how long we’re willing to live in hope. I know of one woman who worked on hers and now does what she loves. Robin is the proud owner of Crazy About Cupcakes, a small shop along Main Street Mitchell, South Dakota.
Her story starts with a love of baking and expands into when she ran her business out of her home. Patiently she developed her recipes and her decoration designs and gradually created a name for herself and her cupcakes. Then she began working with who she describes as “a guy down the street, who did fresh meals and stuff like that.” A fond, crinkle-eyed grin calls an answering smile from me. “He said I really needed to do this and I was like, ooh, I don’t know if I’m ready for that. But then this spot came available, and bam! Here we are!”
Robin has her own recipes for the cakes and uses her native creativity as well as that of her staff member Steph to create the specialties that change daily. (In the store, the specialty cupcakes are on the left side of the counter, and the traditionals are on the right.) They even make Gluten-free selections!
And her dream continues to grow. She now has a presence on Facebook, Crazy About Cupcakes, takes orders for any occasion, and the folks at the Mitchell Tourist Bureau are happy to direct visitors to her store. They also have the occasional celebrity guest; we missed the Easter Bunny by less than two hours, and Tessa Dee, Miss South Dakota, will be in attendance on May third! (I spoke to Bethany later, and she said the Easter Bunny’s visit was a great success, though a few of the kids weren’t quite sure about having their pictures taken with him!)
Having visited, it’s easy to see why Mitchell, SD, is proud of Crazy About Cupcakes. Jerry and I were greeted cheerfully not only by Bethany behind the counter, but by bright cupcake colors and the smell of sugar. My eye, in particular, lit upon a small yellow cupcake topped with a small, perfect banana chip cradled in light pink frosting. I enjoy chocolate, certainly, but I have a real weakness for anything lemon or banana. And the taste of that treat makes my mouth water just remembering: Banana balanced by subtle strawberry; sweet butter cream frosting that didn’t make my jaw ache and complimented the flavors instead of overwhelming them (as is so often the case).
Exploring the store with its pink and green decor and sparkly wall accents, I discover a basket of cupcake frosting-flavored lip balm! And Robin’s creativity doesn’t stop there; when we arrived she was preparing an Avengers-themed centerpiece for a birthday party; Tony Stark’s arc reactor was particularly intricate. While we were there, Steph added the final decorative touch onto a tray of cupcake decorations for a wedding, turning them from merely prettily contrasting to eye-catching and vivid.
Everyone at Crazy About Cupcakes was happy, good-humored, and eager to help guide us through the rest of our visit. They even suggested visiting the sweet shop that had resided next door to them until their recent move closer to the Interstate; it seems to be common in Mitchell for businesses to help each other out rather than compete.
Or maybe that all-encompassing warmth is a side effect of having achieved a dream; Jerry loves to cook (at one time he dreamed of being a chef) and has imagined a candy-cane angelfood cupcake. Robin not only encouraged him, she freely gave her advice and suggestions, then described how she makes her version (something we have to go back to Mitchell to sample, because they sound delicious).
Jerry mixed and matched a dozen cupcakes for his coworkers at the dealership, then chose six for us (which lasted a day longer than the weekend) in Vikings colors of purple and gold.
Dreams are wonderful. And the most wonderful thing about dreams seems to be that achieving them makes people happy to help others work on theirs. Robin realizes hers every day: What’s yours?
Crazy About Cupcakes
417 North Main, Suite 104, Mitchell, SD 57301
Tuesday,Wednesday and Friday, 10:00-6:00; Thursday 10:00-7:00; Saturday 9:00-2:00
varies by type (specialty or traditional) and number of cupcakes (half-dozen or dozen)
(605) 990-9866 or firstname.lastname@example.org
None yet, but they have a great Facebook page! Crazy About Cupcakes Check out the photos of their cake decorations and designs!