• Wed, May 18 2011

Career Envy: A Cupcake Shop Owner

I don’t know if it’s my sweet tooth or the fact that I want to be Amy Sedaris when I grow up, but I’d love to own a cupcake shop. I’m not big on cooking, but I do love to bake. Actually, the only thing I bake are cupcakes. I don’t use Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker – no way. I bake them from scratch. It’s the only thing even remotely domestic about me.

I’m not sure if I’ve completely crossed being a cupcake shop owner off my list yet. It could be a side project later on in life, if time and money play in my favor, but I guess only time will tell. So for now, I’ll hit up my favorite cupcake joints around the city, watch my waistline expand and casually ponder what it would be like if I was in charge of the sprinkles.

The pros:

1. Doing what your love. Not many people can say they love their job. To be able to get up every morning, schlep your way into your “office” and be happy all day long, well, that would be more than a treat – it’s what we call a career.

2. It’s your own business. Sure there are many stresses that come with owning your business, but it’s still yours. You decide the hours, the decor, who you’ll hire and fire, and more importantly what color the frosting will be on any given batch of cupcakes. Pastels were actually invented for cupcakes.

3. Being someone’s #1 fan. Cupcakes are a happy food. No one goes into a cupcake shop pissed off, and if they do, they’re definitely going to leave thrilled. Adding several teaspoons of sugar to someone’s life is bound to get you more than a few fans. Whoever said groupies were just for bands, never made a perfect cupcake.

The cons:

1. Start up cash. Unless you’re independently wealthy or come from money, this is going to be tricky. In order to start the shop, you’re going to need to come up with a business plan that will procure a loan to get everything in motion. Sometimes rich friends can come in handy for this, but most times, it will involve a trial and error process of trying to convince a bank that your business isn’t risky and will absolutely succeed.

2. Monthly overhead. Rent. Electricity. Heat. Employees. Ingredients. Pink sprinkles – honestly, depending on what you want to accomplish, the list could be endless. People with their own businesses take on monthly expenses on top of their already long list of personal ones. As someone who can’t even balance her checkbook, this would definitely be a con.

2. High failure rate. In the city of New York, the failure rate for new establishments is as high as 60% in the first two years – yikes. This also goes back to the start up cash. How is one supposed to convince investors that they’re going to succeed with such statistics? I’ll tell you how: sprinkles. Pink ones, blue ones, green ones, heart shaped ones…

OK, maybe not, but it’s a lovely thought that owning a cupcake shop could be achieved so easily. Maybe it’s time to rethink that ocean diver gig.

You can reach this post's author, Amanda Chatel, on twitter.
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