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Case Study>Sugar Whipped Bakery

Sugar Whipped Bakery

front of The First Baptist Church, where Sugar Whipped is located

Beginnings

Kitchen

Importance of Family

Sustainable Efforts

Ingredients

Allergy Friendly

Products and Flavors

Where Products Are Sold

Community

Advertising

Future

With fresh and local ingredients, Sugar Whipped Bakery strives to make delicious baked goods for everyone, including those with food allergies, from the insides of a church kitchen.
Starting a bakery was not on Stephanie Samuel’s to-do list when she graduated from The Maryland Institute College of Art, but being from a family of bakers and in need of some extra-income, Stephanie started Sugar Whipped Bakery in 2010 after baking cupcakes for a friend.

Stephanie Samuel and Sally Perry working in Sugar Whipped Bakery

Beginnings


Stephanie graduated with a degree in ceramics and then decided to go back to school in Florida for interior design. After working for an interior design company as a merchandise consultant—bargaining and purchasing products for events—Stephanie became pregnant with her first child and decided to slow down. After the birth of her second child, Stephanie and her husband, Mat, decided to move back to Pennsylvania to be closer to her family and in a better area to raise children. In October 2010, after baking for family, friends, and parties, Stephanie decided to relocate from her home kitchen-turned-bakery to an actual bakery.

Kitchen


Location
After months of looking, the First Baptist Church, located on Duke Street in Lancaster, heard about Stephanie’s search and offered up their kitchen as her baking headquarters. She was able to get the kitchen inspected and approved for a bakery and has been located there since October 2011. With a lack of a storefront, patrons have called Sugar Whipped Bakery the “Underground Bakery”, because it is located in the church’s basement.
Equipment
Sugar Whipped Bakery is equipped with four mixers, a refrigerator, a freezer, two ovens, a stovetop, and ample counter space.
It is also filled with “kitchen gadgets” like bendable bowls, silicon oven mitts, and a spatula that can reach into the wicks of a mixer to get all of the batter.

silicon oven mit two spatulas and a spatula that can go into a mixer and get the batter off of the wires


Schedule
Without a storefront, the Sugar Whipped Bakery schedule is determined by how many orders are in. Stephanie doesn’t come in to the kitchen on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday but still manages the business from home. She’s usually in every day at 9:30, except Wednesday and Friday because she has some local deliveries that need to be made by 11 o’clock. Stephanie usually leaves by 2:00 p.m. to pick her children up from school, unless it’s Friday. Fridays Stephanie sometimes stays later while her mother, Sally Perry, picks them up.

Importance of Family


Stephanie comes from a family of bakers. Both her mother and grandmother prided themselves on being able to bake and cook things from scratch. Stephanie and her mother, Sally Perry, work together in Sugar Whipped Bakery. Stephanie credits her mother and grandmother for instilling a love of baking and charitable living into her. Stephanie’s grandmother would make cinnamon buns that people would always encourage her to sell, but instead, she would always give them away. Stephanie hasn’t perfected her grandmother’s recipe, but she has concocted a cinnamon roll flavor profile to honor all that she has done.
Mat Samuel, Stephanie’s husband, is a professor of Digital Communications at Lebanon Valley College. He is credited with creating and maintaining the Sugar Whipped Bakery website.
Stephanie and Matt have three children: Sanjay, Raya, and Nahla. All three frequent Sugar Whipped Bakery when they are off from school and usually stay in the recreation area that shares kitchen space in the church’s basement. They are, however, allowed in the kitchen to help their mother wash dishes.
Stephanie loves to be a baker because she is able to provide joy to her family, friends, and the people who eat her products through food. Though it can sometimes be difficult, a supportive family keeps Sugar Whipped Bakery grounded.

Egg shells in a white composting binA single chocolate peanut butter cupcake in the packaging used for Lemon Street Market

 


Sustainable Efforts

Sugar Whipped Bakery is conscious of the environment and strives to be mindful of their impact.
Everyday Stephanie and her mother, Sally Perry, collect food debris like eggshells in a compost pile. Stephanie is mindful of the packaging materials she buys and uses, while trying to limit the amount of plastic used. Tiny plastic containers are the only way Stephanie is able to sell individual cupcakes at places like The Lemon Street Market.

Ingredients

Stephanie uses ingredients from local farms and vendors in all of her baked goods.


Baking Essentials
Eggs and milk are bought from local farms and local vendors depending on prices. Stephanie tries to buy pasteurized milk from Oregon Dairy and if she’s really in need for milk Giant currently has PA Preferred milk. Milk is an ingredient that Sugar Whipped Bakery runs out of often.
Hometown Provisions, located in Willow Street, provides Stephanie with flour, sugar, powdered sugar, butter, and cream cheese. Though the provider is local, depending on price fluctuations, products may come from around the country.
Weaver Nut Company, located in Ephrata, provides Stephanie with cocoa powder, sprinkles, and melting chocolate. Sugar Whipped Bakery buys chocolate made from Wilbur Chocolate, a company that is located in Lititz.

Sally Perry, Stephanie Samuel's mother, cracks an egg into one of the four mixers
A half-full carton of eggs

Fruits, Vegetables, and Everything Else
Stephanie tries to buy fruits and vegetables from fresh from farm stands. Apples, peaches, strawberries, cherries, and other fruits that are in season are bought at markets. Sally Perry, Stephanie’s mother, typically preserves some of the fresh fruit so they can make specialty items off-season for people who request them. Stephanie has a hard time finding carrots at local farmer stands.

Sally Perry cuts fresh apples for caramel apple cupcakes


Stephanie goes to The Herb Shop in Lancaster Central Market to pick up lavender, cardamom, and other herbs and spices.
St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company, located in Ephrata, provides Sugar Whipped Bakery with their home-brewed stout for the stout cupcakes.
Stephanie has found that it is best to always buy “specialty” decoration items, like black metallic edible beads, even if she doesn’t have an immediate use for them because people will always end up asking for it. Things like candy hearts are usually sold around Valentine’s Day but people still request those types of decorations throughout the year, so Stephanie likes to have an assortment of specialty things.

Orange candy corn in a black container

Allergy Friendly


Some of the baked goods made at Sugar Whipped Bakery are created for people with allergies or intolerances. Because of this, a lot of ingredients have to be substituted out and products may possibly be made in a different section of the kitchen.

There is a difference between an allergy and intolerance to food. A food allergy refers to the immune response to a protein found in a food while food intolerance is the sensitivity or difficulty of digesting a type of food. Both are troublesome but food allergies could be life threatening. According to Elizabeth Sloan in 2008, 70 million Americans suffer from a digestive ailment with over one-third of consumers very concerned about gastrointestinal issues, which is up 6% from 2006. With this recent rise in digestive problems, Sugar Whipped Bakery does what it can to accommodate.

Gluten-Free- Though Sugar Whipped Bakery isn’t the only bakery to do gluten-free in Lancaster, it may be the only bakery to use completely separate equipment for every step of the way. They use separate mixers, bowls, spoons, and everything in between to make sure cross-contamination is at a bare minimum. The only place contamination has the possibility to happen would be within the oven. Gluten-free cupcakes are available for purchase at some of the places Sugar Whipped Bakery sells their goods.

Equipment used only for gluten-free productsSally Perry working in the gluten-free section of the kitchen

A tub of coconut oil that is used to substitute dairy products A package of flax seed that is used to subsitute eggsSpecial Order
People are able to call in and request special orders for an allergy

Dairy free
Dairy products are replaced by products made from coconuts, like coconut milk and coconut oil

Egg Free
eggs are replaced with flax seed

Vegan
Coconut products and flaxseed are used

The hardest allergy for Sugar Whipped Bakery to accommodate is a peanut allergy. They do not want to risk the possibility of cross-contamination because everything in the kitchen is used. And with a best seller like chocolate peanut butter, it’s difficult for Stephanie to maneuver.

Products and Flavors


Cupcakes-Cupcakes come in two sizes, regular and mini, as well as regular and gluten free. Some notable flavors at Sugar Whipped Bakery are guava and cream cheese, lavender honey; with best sellers chocolate salted caramel and chocolate peanut butter. In fact, the caramel is so popular; patrons have purchased the gooey treat by the pint. The original cupcake recipe has been modified to a less sugary version.

Pumpkin cupcakes that have not been iced yet


Cake pops-Made with cake and frosting, cake pops are a process. After rolling the cake and frosting mixture into balls, they need to be refrigerated and dipped in flavors like chocolate. The dipping is very temperature driven: if the cake pop is too cold, the chocolate will crack, it’s too warm the chocolate won’t stick, and if it’s humid they will crack. Many patrons have told Stephanie that Sugar Whipped Bakery is the only bakery in Lancaster that makes cake pops. Stephanie is able to do designs like turning the pops into baby rattles.

Cake pops that just finished being rolled out



Whoopie Pies- Stephanie didn’t want to do whoopie pies in the beginning, but being in Lancaster County, she felt like she had to. Fortunately enough, she was able to experiment with flavors and can provide costumers with more than just chocolate/chocolate or chocolate/peanut butter. One of the Sugar Whipped Bakery’s specialties is the s’mores whoopie pies, consisting of a homemade gourmet marshmallow center, graham cracker cake, chocolate ganache, with toasted marshmallow edges. Other unique flavors are banana peanut butter chocolate chip, lemon, and orange cardamom.

Gourmet Marshmallows-Using a base of sugar, corn syrup, water and unflavored gelatin, Sugar Whipped Bakery has a line of gourmet marshmallows. The process is simple: cook the sugar, corn syrup, and a little bit of water then add the unflavored gelatin into the mixer, whipping at a very high rate creating fluffy and gooey mass. After creating the base, Stephanie does not use any artificial flavoring but instead melts down jellies for flavors, as well as cocoa powder for chocolate marshmallows. One of the specialties is a Bailey’s Irish Cream marshmallow with a dip into chocolate for a hard shell. Maple Bacon marshmallows are also a big hit within the community.

Seasonal- Most flavors are available year round but strawberry is usually only found in the summer. Seasonally decorated goods are available upon special order. This includes cupcake ‘chicks’ for Easter or ‘turkey’ cupcakes or cakepops for Thanksgiving.
Sugar Whipped Bakery also dabbles in cookies, muffins, brownies, and cakes.

Stephanie decorating turkey cupcakesThe finished product. Turkey cupcakes that people are able to order for Thanksgiving

Where They’re Sold


Without a store front, Sugar Whipped Bakery outsource their products to local businesses, at farmers markets, and for special occasions

The Fridge- The Fridge is a craft beer bottle shop that specializes in flatbread pizzas, sells Sugar Whipped Bakery’s regular minis and gluten-free minis. The Fridge is located off of Mulberry Street in Lancaster, and offers a variety of ten beers on tap and 400 in the bottle.

Lemon Street Market- Boasting foods and flavors from all over the world, local and exotic, Lemon Street Market has cupcakes, in gluten-free and regular, in regular size for sale.

Naturally Grounded- Located in Stevens, PA, Naturally Grounded is a coffee shop that specializes in coffees from around the world. They sell brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and muffins.

Olde Lincoln House- Olde Lincoln House sells Sugar Whipped Bakery cakes. They now have a honey lavender cake on permanent rotation due to almost selling an entire cake, by the slice, in one night. It’s a casual and fine dining restaurant in Ephrata.

Litiz Farmer’s Market and Millersville Farmer’s Market-Open during the spring and summer season, Stephanie is able to sell her baked goods at her own stand.

Special Orders- People order cakes, cupcakes, and everything inbetween for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. Sugar Whipped Bakery can also ship orders out in you’re not in the Lancaster community.

Chocolate cupcakes being iced with peanut butter icing

Community


Stephanie did a demonstration for Lancaster’s Food Day. She made pumpkin muffins that are popular with her own children and are a way to make sure that they get the nutrition they need because they’re picky eaters. The muffins are made with coconut oil, raw sugar, pumpkin and eggs.

Lancaster General Hospital is on the same street as the First Baptist Church, and they have used Sugar Whipped Bakery’s mini cupcakes to help entice people to come to Lancaster area to work at the hospital by showcasing local businesses.

At the Litiz Chocolate Walk, Stephanie gave out marshmallow samples. She and her mother made at least 15 full sheet pans of marshmallow, and even with 2,000 samples, they still ran out.

Stephanie periodically teaches classes at The Good Cooking Store and Essen. She has done a class on how to make cake pops, with a surprising emphasis on how to get the pop to stay on the stick because it’s harder than it looks. She also does cupcake-decorating classes for children.

Stephanie scouping cupcakes

Advertising


Sugar Whipped Bakery largely depends on word-of-mouth and the Internet for advertising. By using Facebook and Super Pages, Stephanie is able to spend a minimal amount of money for advertising without harming the environment.

Future


Stephanie hopes to maybe some day have a storefront. She also would like to start blogging again about local food, learning how to use what’s in the area, and what is available to people in the community without having to go to the grocery store and be exposed to preservatives and chemicals. She wants to be able to educate people on how to do things at home, even if it takes away from the bakery. But overall, Stephanie just wants to have fun and be happy.



 

 


This site was created by Alea Walker at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

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