Cupcake heaven at Yummy Cupcakes in Encinitas

OK, I’m going to admit up front that I’ve always been a bit skeptical of stores dedicated solely to cupcakes.YummyOwners

Maybe that’s because I’ve seen a few of them come and go in various locations and I’ve always wondered how one could sell enough cupcakes unless your location was such where foot traffic was heavy enough to generate significant volume.

Well, that’s what’s wrong with assuming things before you actually spend some time getting to know the business and the people behind it as I did recently with Yummy Cupcakes in Encinitas. These are smart people with a solid plan and they have more than just cupcakes. I sat down with owner Shannon Mahoney and her partner Renato Cautela in their store recently and should point out that the entire time I was there the place was packed with people, on a weekday afternoon.

How did Yummy Cupcakes come to be?

Renato and I have been friends for over 10 years and we both were interested in working for ourselves. Renato has been a sales manager in the wine industry for over 25 years and has a passion for savory cooking. I have been in the marketing and events industry for 20-plus years and have a passion for baking. So, when this franchise opportunity came up we jumped on it. Along with our other two partners Michael and Dana Mahoney, we attended a ”discovery day” at Yummy Cupcakes main location in Burbank, Calif., and fell in love with the concept

We purchased the franchise in January of 2013 because of the variety and uniqueness. We are not just a cupcake store … we are a solution to everyone’s sweet tooth craving! Our executive chef Tiffani Soforenko has created over 450 artisanal cupcake recipes and over 300 buttercream and cream cheese frosting recipes this alone makes us so unique. Unlike other cupcake stores in San Diego, we bake everything fresh every morning.

On top of your store traffic, there are many other channels you sell your cupcakes and other treats through, can you elaborate on that?

Cupcakes are not a “fad” as many people will say. I remember having cupcakes at every birthday party I went to as a kid, and cupcakes are here to stay. It is an industry that if done right, will be around until my kids have kids, just like my mom and grandma made them for me and my siblings. We focus the majority of our efforts on business to business, wedding’s, catering, corporate or private events, birthday parties, baby and wedding showers and in store cupcake decorating parties.

You do sell much more than cupcakes, what else do you have going on?

We do cupcakes 14 different ways. It’s all about a great tasting cupcake, but it is also about being able to be unique and give them as gifts. We are entering the holiday season and we have been taking a ton of orders for our Cupcakes in a Jar as holiday gifts for businesses to give employees, vendors and clients. Our Cupcake in a Jar is cupcakes cut and layered with frosting and the cupcake topping. They are a fun way to give a cupcake.

I also noticed you have sugar-free and vegan options, those options must appeal to a lot of the health-conscious folks in this area?

Yes, we cater to all dietary restrictions including sugar free, vegan and gluten-less. We use a high-end sugar substitute for our sugar-free, it does not give an after taste and actually is a favorite among many diabetics and moms serving their young kids. We serve a sugar-free flavor every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gluten- Less is the Yummy Cupcakes version of gluten free. We are not a gluten-free environment, however we use gluten-free ingredients to make an amazing “Gluten Less” cupcake.

I’ve seen cupcakes at weddings and other large events, is there a trend towards this?

Yes, people seem to really love the idea of cupcakes or a dessert bar at their wedding, versus a traditional large tiered cake. We want to honor that tradition so we serve a 6-inch cutting cake so the bride and groom can actually perform the “tradition” of cutting the cake, but serve fun flavored cupcakes that give their wedding some fun and variety. The trend seems to be moving towards dessert bars … giving their guests a variety of choices for desserts.

Visit Yummy Cupcakes at 1514 Encinitas Blvd. in Encinitas or at




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