FOOD A new cupcake store seeks to offer the city a sugar rush

It’s not like Indiranagar needed any more new hip eateries. And certainly not the one corner where Toit and Huckleberry are located, both newish establishments well-known for their beer and pizzas (respectively). But here’s a new one, anyway: Cupcake Company, a well-known name in Chennai, has just set up in the area.

A visit to the brand-spanking-new premises of the store might well lead you to sugar heaven, if you’re into cupcakes. There are cheesy sayings framed on the walls (for instance: “It’s my bum – I will eat as many cupcakes as I wish”). There are display cases filled with colourful cupcakes – and even brownies and cheesecake slices. If you prefer something caffeinated to go with your sugar rush, there’s also a coffee section on the menu.

Shitija Nahata, the owner of the company, quit a sales and marketing job to set up a store devoted to cupcakes. Her strong sense of business stays with her, though. She talks of the shop in terms of “capturing a market”, “consumer expectations” and “demographics”. “The sales helped me understand different consumers.”

After setting up stores in Chennai, she realised she wanted to expand to Bangalore. Next on the journey is Hyderabad. She has trained staff in Chennai to bake the cupcakes, and plans to visit the Bangalore outlet two or three times a month to keep an eye on things. Shitija avoids Hotel Management graduates for staff as they are too opinionated, and are too used to industrial preservatives, she says, adding that they are a “preservative-free zone”.

Shitija is aware that Bangalore has plenty of home bakers who offer cupcakes, but is confident there is a need for a retail outlet. “In a store, the customer gets to walk in, and select one cupcake – without a minimum order or a waiting period,” she says.

Some of the most popular flavours at the outlet have been the Death By Chocolate, a ganache-and-nutella filled indulgence; a red velvet cupcake, complete with cream cheese icing, and even their cheesecake. Prices veer on the steeper side, at about Rs. 100 for a cupcake.

Cupcake Company is at 298, 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, next to Toit Brewpub. Contact 40913088.

NEHA MUJUMDAR

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