Bel Air's Shelley Stannard and Jason Hisley, the respective owner and baker at Flavor Cupcakery, were the big winners of "Cupcake Wars" on the Food Network as the reality show launched into a new season Sunday.
The pair get $10,000 for their store, off of Tollgate Road, and Stannard said she is considering opening a second location in Baltimore County.
Stannard and Hisley hosted a viewing party with about 200 people at The Dark Horse Saloon on Main Street Sunday night, with attendees cheering on the duo as they watched "Cupcake Wars" on the restaurant's multiple TV screens.
"It was insane," Hisley, a 2006 Bel Air High graduate, said afterward about being on the show, which pits four cupcake bakers against each other in three elimination challenges until one remains.
The challenge on the episode was to bake cupcakes inspired by the New York City Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker."
Hisley won in the final round, where the challenge was to bake 1,000 cupcakes for the opening night of "The Nutcracker."
Hisley helped design the display arrangement, which featured cutouts of a ballerina and toy soldier.
As the winners, Hisley and Stannard got to unveil the cupcake display at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during the ballet's opening night.
Although his fellow contestants had multiple baking and technical difficulties during the taping, Hisley said he was confident but not necessarily expecting to win.
"The thing is, you never know what's going to happen," he said.
Hisley also wasn't sure what to make of his apparent new fame, noting he was still in Bel Air.
"It's a small town, but I feel like I have met 1,000 people," he said of the celebratory evening.
Stannard, a stay-at-home mom with a background in advertising and marketing, launched Flavor Cupcakery a year ago.
"I was not a baker," she said, explaining she has been in Bel Air for 15 years and just liked the many different shops in town.
"I wanted to do something that was part of it," she said. "When I saw that cupcakes were becoming popular, I thought it would be a way for me to have a creative outlet and to bring something that was needed in our community, because we don't have a high quality bakery."
Stannard said she got a call a year ago from the Food Network to audition, but had just opened the shop and was too busy to think about it.
Eventually, "the reason I decided to go for it is all our customers asked for it," she said. "Everybody was so excited for us to be part of it that I wanted to do it for our customers."
Going into the viewing of the "Cupcake Wars" episode, Stannard said she was not nervous.
"It's just fun. I think it's fun," she said.
Stannard, who has since found four bakers for her shop, said the popularity of cupcakes makes sense.
"People just want that one, little thing, but they want to have it in their flavor," she said, explaining the goal of Flavor Cupcakery is to give people an escape and a place to get away.
"It's just like the five minutes out of your regular routine that makes you happy," she said.