Ahhh, Sweet Victory!

Cupcake Camp Saturday arrived with the sun shining, birds chirping, and our nervous stomachs churning! We were, after all, about to embark on a Cupcake Quest…

6AM- Sleepily post pics of our cupcake contest entrants on facebook. Didn”t want to post them the day before so as not to alert the competition to our mind-blowing ideas!

6:30- Load cupcakes in unfortunately slide-y round cases. Strategically placed aprons between and around to avoid any cupcake tragedy.

6:45- Leave for the ferry, Donna driving, Amie as passenger, Captn in the back seat, keeping watch over the cupcakes.

7:15- Arrive for 7:20 Bremerton-Seattle Ferry. Drive on, walk upstairs, find a seat, take a deep breath. Whew!  We”re on our way! Wait, where”s Lulu?

7:17- Call to Lu. Lu arriving at parking garage in “plenty of time”. Except that the parking garage is a 10 minute walk away.

7:20- Ferry leaves with no Lu. Lu decides to drive around. Thank goodness there”s no traffic on the weekend!!

8:15- Arrive Seattle! Garmin takes us on wild goose chase thru city circling 415 Westlake, passing cool 3 story antique store, before finally “arriving at destination”. Lu not far behind.

9:00- Doors open to bakers and we carry our cupcakes to set-up area. Scan the room to see that the other sponsors all brought tiers for display. Maybe we missed that part in the paperwork? Now what?

9:15- Arrive at Antique Liquidators after two block walk.  Three stories of antique bliss. More wardrobes, sidetables, buffets, dressers, china hutches, bedframes, chairs than we realized could fit into one store! But where are all the smallwares? We need a tier-FAST. After scouring the store, we notice what we were looking for is tucked into bigger furniture pieces. We gather several objects, mix and match, go back for more stuff, change it up a bit, recruit the store clerk, Janice, to find more treasures, add a faded fake flower, and VOILA!  Here is a picture of our plant stand, upside-down wooden plate, glass vase middled, copper gold-digger”s sand sifter, minister priced (thanks Carl!!) genius tier:

10:00- Rush back, re-arrange cupcake display to include genius tier. The room is getting busy! Professional bakers (that”s us!) and amateur bakers, a total of 70 in all, have arrived. Volunteers are in place including our Miss Silverdale (Amanda Maynard) and Kitsap”s Most Outstanding Teen (Holly Wasson) complete with Bella Bella T-shirts and Crowns!  The cupcake fan line is already forming outside the door and we are ready to go!

11:000- Doors open and people pour thru like patrons to the Vatican. You can almost hear the boys choir over the buzz of excitement as plates of cupcakes are carefully chosen and mouths are filled. There are people in cupcake t-shirts, with cupcake earrings, cupcake purses, fashionable cupcake hats. Tables fill, kids are spinning sugar high circles and the people just keep coming! We stop for a moment to take a picture:

  12:00- The cupcake frenzy continues. Lu and Amie  are stationed near our cupcake display to answer questions about flavors. Donna is making friends with fellow bakers. Captn is kid watching, fetching us water, and is conducting general damage control. People are moving thru fast and suddenly the tables are near empty. ..

12:30- 5,000 total cupcakes are gone! Just as many people who have already come thru the doors are still waiting outside and must be turned away, disappointed and cupcake-less.

12:45- Bakers are called to the front of the room to prepare for Contest Winner”s Awards. The judges are a mix of “covered in frosting”, “really-wound-up-because-I-just-tasted-75-cupcakes”, “don”t ask me to move because I just tasted 75 cupcakes”, and “if I have to eat another cupcake…”. All seem excited about giving out prizes but a bit confused about some of the categories since not all of us marked our entrants completely (oops! we were just so excited!!…).

1:00- Still waiting for Winner”s announcements.

1:10- Donna peeks at a list in one of the judges hands held up just right and punches Amie”s shoulder casinotions (kinda hard), “Oh my God, we won SOMETHING!” Doubt and forced “I refuse to get excited at your teasing me” reaction from Amie. Scolding from Captn, “Cheaters never win”. “I wasn”t cheating, I was SNOOPING”, says Donna.

1:15- Waiting…. wait-ing…… what is going on up there?? We can”t sit still any longer!!!!

1:20- Winners are finally revealed! We clap graciously for the Amateur Bakers who are VERY excited to be recognized. Cameras are flashing all over and squeals of delight shoot up from different tables as names are called and prizes are handed out and husbands comment “Well I knew you would win, dear!”. Then come the Pros. “And the winner of the Best Seattle Theme is Bella Bella Cupcakes with their Pacific Northwest Sustainable Granola”! Lu jumps and claps for joy, Donna giggles and squeezes Captn, Amie flashes her signature jazz hands. We all go forward and accept our prize bag and take our official winner”s picture all the time whispering to each other, “We beat the Seattle bakers!! We won in Seattle!”

1:45- The day wraps up with the much anticipated Cupcake Eating Contest featuring a rather large Top Pot Doughnuts Doughnut Eating Champion complete with doughnut chain around his neck and an equally large sidekick/fight promoter man making way and announcing their arrival. The other contenders are a very small and skinny woman and an equally small and skinny man. In a minute and a half, yes I mean 90 seconds, Top Pot Champ eats 6 whole standard size cupcakes, including 2 or 3 of the skinny woman”s, with not even a crumb left on his fingers. Yes, I”m serious! Don”t believe me? Fine! Check out the video here:

 In conclusion, it was an amazing day! We had a great time mingling with fellow bakers and exchanging preparation war stories. We met the Frantic Foodie, the CakeSpy artist, the chair person of Hope Heart Institute and countless cupcake fans so excited to be there eating cupcakes. We are looking forward to participating again in the years to come!

On the way home, we delivered a special box of cupcakes to Donna”s brother, John, who works on the ferry. He took the box of 12 cupcakes into the crew room and shared them with his co-workers. They were delighted with the special treat, dished about their favorite flavors, and even asked about how to place orders. The next day, we receive this text message from John while he is at work:

Was stocking paper towels in the crew room and found one of your cupcakes hidden inside the paper towel roll! Someone must have forgotten where they left it. Bella Bella Cupcakes: good enough to hide from your friends!

We laughed until we cried! We concluded that sometimes it”s OK to not want to share! And if you want to keep your cupcake all for yourself, that”s OK with us too!

We can”t come close to expressing how much joy we feel when experiencing the simple happiness that our cupcakes bring to those who have the pleasure of tasting them. It warms our hearts and drives us forward to put cupcakes in every hand and smiles on every face. Keep loving your cupcakes, Kitsap! Cupcake Camp Seattle was unforgettable and with your support, we know there are even bigger things to come for Bella Bella Cupcakes. And we can”t wait to share them all with you, even when you”re not always willing to share us with your friends!!  

More links that include lots of pictures, the total amount of funds raised for the Hope Heart Institute, and plans already in the works for next year”s Cupcake Camp: