By Katrice L. Mines
Mariann Simpson’s story rings reminiscent of a recently popular movie script centered on a young woman’s exhaustive pursuit at cooking — recipe by recipe — and becoming a kitchen master of sorts in the meantime. In 2007, when she was expecting her son, she had a sudden urge for cake — not a whole cake, but cake nonetheless. So, she decided to bake cupcakes. “I went online to look for recipes and discovered an online baking community full of people willing to give advice and share information. For months on end, I would experiment with new flavors and have family members and later, church members and co-workers try them out,” Simpson says. Soon enough, word about her cupcakes got out and orders from friends started rolling in. With encouragement from my family, she set up her company’s initial website for $17 and the first order came from Cox Communications. “It wasn’t long before we added more companies to our client list with some ordering as many as two thousand cupcakes in one order.”
As fate would have it, a lay-off in October of 2009 placed her at the intersection of opportunity and faith. It was a leap that Simpson was willing to make. In February, Lenox Cupcakes became one of Chamblee’s sweetest additions, relocating from its temporary retail location at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead where Simpson had been growing her company’s following for a year and a half.
Lenox Cupcakes’ not-so-secret secret to success? “All of our products are baked fresh, from scratch, daily. We don’t compromise on this promise to our customers. We set ourselves apart by using high quality ingredients: Valrhona cocoa powder, Callebaut chocolate, pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla, farm fresh eggs and European butter. We truly love what we do and that comes across in our final product.”
Most popular orders: The Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting and the Big Dip — a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting, dipped in frosting and rolled in chopped, caramelized hazelnuts.
If the Big Dip alone doesn’t woo you in, for the holidays Lenox Cupcakes will offer flavors like Chocolate Covered Cherry, Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Peppermint, Gingerbread Spice, and Snowball cupcakes. What a way to get into the holiday spirit.