The cupcake shop adored by the likes of the Food Network, Oprah, Rachael Ray and celebrities at the Academy Awards could only found in California and Michigan — until now.
Yummy Cupcakes will open Monday, June 9, at 119 S. Michigan St. in South Bend, and owner Larry Katz is excited to be the seventh store worldwide.
Katz, a South Bend native, is familiar with what it takes to run a successful food business. He has worked at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Café Navarre and McCarthy’s on the River Walk, and he was a chef at Summit Club, which closed in 2012. (Editor’s note – The original version of this story referred to Katz as the owner of these restaurants. He’s not. We regret the error.)
But cupcakes called to him. When Katz began seeking a model for a cupcake business, he found Yummy, originally started by Tiffini Soforenko and Brogan Faye in Los Angeles in 2004. Yummy’s structure was appealing because “there’s 450 different recipes, made from scratch and all-natural ingredients,” he said.
“This is my baby,” Katz said. “I’m lock, stock and barrel, 100 percent owner of this company. I’m risking my entire future and all the savings I have to try to live the American dream.”
“You want to make people happy, stick a cupcake in front of them.”
For Katz, that dream includes 26 varieties of cupcakes every day, including one vegan and one gluten-less option. There will be 17 daily flavors that stay constant, such as vanilla bean, chocolate, salty caramel, coconut and red velvet, as well as nine daily specials, with flavors ranging from familiar (frozen banana, lemon blueberry, chocolate mint chip) to a bit wild (buttered popcorn, mango lime chili and salt, and even pancakes and bacon). One of the vegan varieties has fresh spinach and pineapple.
Bakers will come in every morning at 3 a.m. and decorators at 8 a.m. to make products fresh for each day. In addition to regular cupcakes, which come in both large ($3.25) and mini ($1.75) sizes, Yummy will also sell cupcakes in a jar and on a stick; truffle pops; biscotti; and cupcake pies (cut in half, piped with filling and coated in Belgium chocolate). Coffee and other hot drinks will also be available.
General hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Yummy also will cater events such as weddings and graduations.
The shop will hold a grand opening on June 18 at 10 a.m., and free cupcakes will be offered until noon. Free frosting tastings also will be offered all day, and there will be a buy one, get one free promotion from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to a press release. A ribbon cutting will be at 5:30 p.m.
Katz doesn’t doubt that his new shop will soon be full, in part due to his downtown location.
“The vibrance and people of downtown reminds me of older days when I was growing up,” Katz said. “There’s 18,000 people who live and work here every day. And everybody loves a cupcake. You want to make people happy, stick a cupcake in front of them.”