Pairing decadent cupcakes with cute greeting cards, two local businesses are planning one sweet fundraising event for local food banks this weekend.
Home bakery Sweet Love Bake Shoppe and paper crafters’ paradise The Paperie are presenting Saturday a second serving of “Gourmet Cupcakes and Sweet Greeting Cards,” an event they first held together for Valentine’s Day.
Taking place at The Paperie at 36 Pippy Place, Sweet Love owners Joanne Metcalfe and Gary Hunter will be selling some of their most popular flavours of cupcakes at the event, while Paperie staff will teach participants how to use stamps and other supplies to make cupcake-themed greeting cards.
Paperie manager Meghan Fahey first heard of Sweet Love on Facebook, and thought of a connection between the two businesses right away.
“We go hand-in-hand, both involved in the wedding business,” Fahey explained. “When I saw on Facebook that people were asking if the bake shoppe had a location, I realized I wasn’t the only one who was wondering where to get these cupcakes. I thought it would be great to organize something together.”
The Paperie, established in 2004, is the province’s first store dedicated to scrapbooking and rubber stamping supplies, with a focus on custom handmade wedding invitations.
“The options are wide open to brides in terms of colours and designs,” Fahey said. “We’ve done everything from calla lillies to cute little green and blue owls.”
Brides can either choose how they want their invitations to look and have The Paperie make and assemble them, or have a hand in it themselves, with staff providing the supplies and teaching them how to make the invitations.
The Paperie also teaches classes and workshops in scrapbooking.
“We’re a very family oriented business,” Fahey said, adding about 80 per cent of the store’s customers are mothers.
Sweet Love is an even newer business, launched just last fall by Metcalfe and Hunter. Both longtime bakers, the couple started off by making 100 mini cupcakes for a party.
“The guests were just bubbling over with excitement over how delicious they were, so we started a Facebook page. When we saw the response was the same as it had been at the party, we took it from there,” Metcalfe said.
Sweet Love has an extensive menu of about two dozen flavours, from the classic Chocolate Love and Vanilla Love cupcakes to Red Velvet Romance, Coconut Lime Corruption, Chai Love Latte, and Cookies and Dream, in regular and mini size, with some gluten-free options. Metcalfe and Hunter will also custom-develop a unique flavour to suit a customer’s needs.
All flavours include ingredients like pure vanilla bean extract, organic cane sugar and unbleached flour, and, although you’d never know it from the decadence of the buttercream icing, all the treats are vegan, meaning they’re made without any animal products whatsoever — not even milk or eggs.
“We say that our cupcakes are good for the soul and kind on the heart, because they’re trans-fat and cholesterol free,” Metcalfe said. “I think if people can indulge in a way that’s better for them and kinder environmentally and socially, it’s great.”
At this weekend’s event, Metcalfe and Hunter will be selling their Sweet Love Bake Shoppe cupcakes for $2.50 and $3 each, depending on the flavour, while The Paperie’s card-making mini-workshop will cost $2 per card, all supplies included.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Community Food Sharing Association, which is the central collection and distribution point for about 56 food banks throughout the province. In the metro area alone, there are about two dozen food banks, serving more than 16,000 people per month. About 40 per cent of these are children under 18, according to the association.
Canned soup and stew, peanut butter, dried pasta, noodles and rice, canned meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and baking supplies are some of the commonly-needed items, as are diapers and personal hygiene products.
Partnering with the Community Food Sharing Association is a way for Sweet Love to continue their “good for the soul” motto, Metcalfe said.
“We were happy to do a fundraiser for the association, because food is a basic need,” Metcalfe said. “Not everyone can afford to indulge in cupcakes, but food is necessary. We would love to be able to help out wherever we can.”
At the last “Gourmet Cupcakes and Sweet Greeting Cards” event, Sweet Love sold more than 500 cupcakes over a weekend, completely selling out in the first day, and The Paperie saw about 100 people, some as young as two years old, hand-making cards.
This time, Metcalfe and Fahey say they’re coming even prepared with inventory.
“Gourmet Cupcakes and Sweet Greeting Cards” takes place at The Paperie Saturday, April 23, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
More information is available online on The Paperie and Sweet Love Bake Shoppe’s Facebook groups.