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Meet Tiffini Soforenko of Yummy Cupcakes in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffini Soforenko.

Tiffini, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I had recently left a high position job with a major theme park and my son was two. I wanted to work but still have time to spend with my son. I had visited a bakery in New York that sold only wholesale to fancy hotels and the things I tried were amazing. It made me realize that there really was no place to get great baked goods in LA. I had also read an article about a cupcake being featured on Sex and The City and how that one brief spot had created a frenzy for cupcakes. I decided to open up a cupcake only bakeshop after really combining those two experiences. The only problem was that I did not bake.

I took about a year to develop all my recipes and really master the art of cupcake making. Learning about what makes a product great. Learning about the differences in the various ingredients. I created every recipe and all my cupcakes are crafted from scratch, by hand in our bakeshops.

We started our business in 2004 and moved int our Burbank location in 2005.

When we first opened we had about 40 flavors total on our full menu. We now have well over 400 and bake vegan, Glutenless, sugar-free, Glutenless vegan, and even dog cupcakes. We even ship many of our products nationwide.

My 16-year-old son now helps out at our Burbank location when he can.

Has it been a smooth road?
When we first opened, we thought we might have a few customers at first and then hopefully it would grow. Our second day in business we were featured on a major blog and had lines out the door and down the street. We had to close almost every day at first for a few hours each day to make more product since we kept selling out.

We expanded very fast and maybe didn’t know all that involved.

I think our biggest mistake has been not always trusting our instincts, second-guessing our choices.

It has been challenging to be a full-time business owner while also being a full-time Mom of three. This is a struggle that is not unique to me or my situation. I continue to try and find the right balance. Some days I am great at it and others… not so much.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We offer gourmet cupcakes that are made from scratch, by hand in our bakeshops. We have a wide variety of flavors and have become known for our unique flavor combinations such as Apple Blue Cheese, Pancakes n’ Bacon, Tomato Soup, and Mango Lime Chili & Salt to name a few.

We also have lots of other great products that are all made from cupcakes. Cupcake in a Jar, Cupcake Truffles, Cupcake Biscotti, Cupcake Truffle Pops, Cupcakie Pies, Cupcake on a Stick, Cupcake Mini Bites, and even our Buttercream Bon Bonsare awesome and creative ways to enjoy all the things people love about cupcakes just presented in a different and fun form.

We have great vegan, sugar-free, and glutenless products too! Truly something for everybody.

I think I am most proud of building a business from a unique concept that literally did not exist before we started. I am proud that 14 years later that business is still growing strong and ever evolving with the times. Keeping things fresh by adding products and improving on the ones we offer. Always looking for better ingredients and better ways to do what we are doing. The end product really is so very important to us. We really do care about our customers, it’s not just something that we say. Our customers drive what we do.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
It great in that it has every type of customer here. There is a market here for everyone. It’s also a very competitive market. Competition for finding the right space, competition for market share, even competition for staff. It can be very tough and own your own food business is not for everybody. You have to really love it, have a clear plan and just push forward.

What can the city do to improve? I would love to see more tax break and incentives for small businesses. The system does feel stacked against you at times.

Pricing:

  • Cupcakes $3.25 – $3.50
  • Cupcake Specialty Products $1.50 – $12.00
  • Cupcake in a Jar 4 Pack with shipping – 39.95 (add $10 for air shipping where applicable

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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