Downtown gets sweeter with Icing on the Cake opening

Liz Kovacs won't have to rent a commercial kitchen to make her cupcakes anymore. She now has her own kitchen...

By Ryan Wynne

Icing on the Cake
Owner: Liz Kovacs
Opening date:  June 5
Address: 314 W. Champion St.
Phone: (360) 441-9878
realcupcakes.com

In 2006, Apple and cupcakes gained a commonality. That’s when former Apple employee Liz Kovacs opened Icing on the Cake, a gourmet cupcake business.

Kovacs makes cupcakes that look too perfectly sculpted to be real. There’s white raspberry, tiramisu, carrot and chocolate coconut, to name a few. She started out selling her treats at the Bellingham Farmers Market and wholesale to a few clients, but she always told herself if business went well, she would go brick and mortar.

“The response was phenomenal,” Kovacs said. “It was great.”

Demand was so high, Kovacs said, she felt like she needed to open a storefront to reach all of her customers, and so she did.

On June 5, Kovacs held a grand opening for Icing on the Cake’s new store, located at 314 W. Champion St. near Mount Bakery.

The business is a solo endeavor, but Kovacs is far from going at it alone. In addition to getting help from an assistant baker, Kovacs said her family plays a huge role.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without them,” Kovacs said.

Her daughters, Emily and Ona, help with baking, decorating and cleaning. Emily also operates the business’ booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market, which she will continue to do each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until it ends Dec. 18.

Kovacs’ husband, Steve, has also been instrumental. He helped build her first commercial kitchen, which she used for a small baking business she started in 1998. He was also her guinea pig for the six months she spent refining her recipes.

“He’s a retired taste tester now,” Kovacs said.

Her brother, Steve Sieler, an independent art director in Santa Cruz, does all the marketing for the business. He designed the logo and the new retail space.

Kovacs said business has picked up since she opened the store. She gets customers with large orders and those who stop in for one cupcake. A lot of customers found her cupcakes at the farmers market and now visit the store. The new space has also attracted new customers and she gets more special orders.

The store isn’t just good for business, Kovacs said, it also allows her to spend more time chatting with and getting to know her customers.

In addition to more than 25 kinds of cupcakes, Kovacs also makes three-layer cakes, cake pops, which are cake pieces covered with chocolate on sticks, and whoopee pies, which are cake-like cookies with marshmallow buttercream in the middle.

Icing on the Cake is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. To see the full cupcake menu or place an order, visit realcupcakes.com or call (360) 441-9878.

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