Carrie Olish has transitioned from baking treats for her kids to owning a popular business.
Broadneck business Blue Crab Cupcakes celebrated its one-year anniversary Nov. 7.
Several years ago, Olish, a graduate of Broadneck High School and a former lacrosse player at Virginia Tech, gave up her corporate sales position to be a stay-at-home mom to her three children. As they grew older, she revived her childhood love of baking, creating birthday and holiday treats for them.
This hobby grew, until she was holding an annual Valentine’s Day “bake sale” in her home for over 100 neighbors.
“They told me I either needed a store or we needed a wider road,” Olish joked .
In 2016, she began her business in earnest, baking out of the commercial kitchen at American Legion Post 175 in Manhattan Beach. When the location of the former Caroline’s Cakes at 1580 Whitehall Road became available, Olish took the leap, and Blue Crab Cupcakes found a home.
Olish attributes some of her success to the working environment she created. As a former athlete, she has applied the team philosophy to her company. She has grown from five employees to 16 in one year.
She believes in communication and rewarding her team for success with experiences such as a recent paint night where they could bond, create, and have fun together. Her business is “family friendly” and accommodates minor family emergencies, such as a lack of child care, in stride.
As a former business major, Olish understands the power of branding. Blue Crab is a “boutique” bakery, featuring a “very recognizable” decorating style, and an array of ‘everyday’ cupcake flavors such as Birthday Surprise and Snickerdoodle and monthly flavors such as November’s caramel cinnamon banana.
While Olish originally did everything herself, expansion makes that impossible, however, she oversees all aspects of the business; from developing new recipes and training new decorators to growing their corporate accounts.
Blue Crab is not just cupcakes. They are a full-service bakery; with vegan and gluten-free options, a large cake pop clientele, pies, and a thriving theme and wedding cake division featuring a tasting room, where clients can sample flavors and design their dream dessert experience, as well as an extensive portfolio of events.
Their customer base is expanding. Olish said they are well-known on the Broadneck Peninsula, ”still branching out in Severna Park, and Annapolis.”
She is proud she has clients who drive from Bethesda to purchase her products. They are booking five to seven weddings per week. Expansion to an additional location is something Olish sees on the not-too-distant horizon.
They will be participating in several upcoming local events, Taste and Sip, at Homestead Gardens in Severna Park Wednesday, the Broadneck High School Craft Fair Dec. 1, and the Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival on Dec. 2.
Maureen Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.