Pooja Mehta, a junior at Duke University, started Cupcake Remake, a business that transforms your typical bakery cupcake into a trendy and transportable cupcake-in-a-jar. Launched in the summer of 2014, Cupcake Remake has seen great progress and some delicious flavors.
1) How did you get the idea of starting Cupcake Remake?
The idea came to me when I worked at a bakery the summer after my freshman year. I noticed that a lot of the customers who were coming in to buy cupcakes were having a lot of issues transporting the cupcakes while maintaining how they looked. I decided to move from the idea of a cupcake to a jar cake—completely change the aesthetic of a cupcake so that customers can enjoy the cakes in a more durable, mobile fashion. As for the idea of the mason jars, they’re really trendy and made in the USA, so why wouldn’t I use them?
2) Do you have a team?
I couldn’t keep Cupcake Remake going without the help of Cassidee Kido, my partner and keeper of my sanity.
3) Where do you get your inspiration for flavors?
When we started, we stuck to traditional cake flavors—chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, etc. However, as we have grown, we have added flavors based on what our customers ask for. Additionally, we love to use local ingredients. For example, our apple crisp uses apples from the Durham Farmer’s Market, and our #artstigators Americano uses coffee from Joe Van Gogh. We are always looking for new flavors though, so for anyone reading, if there are flavors you want to see message us on Facebook!
4) Where do you make most of your baked goods?
We are really a Duke company, because our cakes are right now made in the common kitchens of dorm rooms. However, as we grow we need more space, so we’re looking into moving into industrial kitchens such as the Cookery.
5) What is your favorite flavor?
My personal favorite is the coconut cream. Sometimes I put a little margarita mix in the icing and I’m instantly taken to a tropical vacation.
6) What are your goals for the company in the future?
We want to grow to the point where everyone can get a cupcake remake. This year we are working on providing delivery and shipping services, and if we receive money from the Start Up Challenge, next year we can start working on either a storefront or a food truck where people can buy Cupcake Remakes whenever they want. Additionally, we want to encourage sustainability in our customer base, so we are going to be developing ways for customers to upcycle their jars, and want to eventually offer a buy-back program for used jars.
7) Any fall inspired flavors in the works?
We love fall, and the flavors that come with it. We have a pumpkin spice cake, maple pecan cake, and an apple crisp cake! As the weather starts to get cooler, we’ll start rolling out our winter flavors. Be on the lookout for gingerbread, fruitcake and peppermint hot chocolate!