Vanessa Reyes and Veronica Feltrin are bona fide chocolate-chip cookie-dough fans. So, during a recent visit to the Flavor Cupcakery, while they were tempted on their first visit by the double-chocolate and the cookies-and -cream cupcakes, the Towson roommates went for their traditional favorite.
The shop's chocolate-chip cookie-dough cupcakes did not disappoint.
"It's delicious," Feltrin said, sitting outside the bakery in Cockeysville. "The cake part of the cupcake is so moist."
"I love how they put the chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle," Reyes added.
Only open since April 24, the new Flavor Cupcakery had a steady stream of customers on a recent Friday afternoon. It's the second Flavor Cupcakery for owner Shelley Stannard, who opened her first shop in Bel Air a little over a year ago. She decided to open another store in Baltimore County after hearing numerous requests from her customers.
"I found what I believe is the perfect spot," Stannard said, looking over her small shop on York Road. "It's been awesome. It's almost like (the customers) are thanking us, they needed us. It's just amazing."
With a daily menu of 10 "classic" flavors, along with two day-specific flavors, two seasonal flavors and one surprise flavor, the display cases at Flavor are stocked with tempting treats. The Cockeysville store also has room to display the decorated cakes it has to offer, including several that are available daily.
"It's a pretty place, and it smells beautiful," Stannard said of her shop. "People are hit with the aroma and then see all the beautiful cupcakes ... it's a little escape from life."
All of Stannard's creations are made fresh daily with quality ingredients, she said.
"We pride ourselves on our variety," Stannard said. "There are no preservatives. No premade frostings."
As head pastry chef, Jason Hisley does continuous research for the latest designs and flavors. Stannard oversees everything, bringing the "consumer" aspect, she said, to the new ideas.
"It has to pass my visual, my taste and what I believe customers respond to," said Stannard of new recipes and designs. "My voice is still always heard. Jason and I work really well together."
"You can't go to work and make cupcakes and cakes all day and not be happy," Hisley said smiling.
"It is a hard job," he said. "A real high-quality product has to be kept up to standards. There's a lot involved."
Both Stannard and Hisley worked together to become the winning team on the fourth season of "Cupcake Wars," a nationwide show on the Food Network.
"It was an awesome time, an amazing experience," Hisley said of the competition. "We showed them we had what it takes."
Stannard hopes to continue her success with the new Cockeysville location.
For a woman who admits to being more of a cook than a baker, Stanford's success is the result of a lot of work, from baking dozens of cupcakes in a rented kitchen alone, to finding a staff and building a customer base.
"I needed an outlet for my passion ... my creativity," Stannard said, of her shop's start.
"Americans will always celebrate with baked goods," she said. "To me, I'm creating a medium and a feeling ... and a little escape."