Our newest addition to our magazine is the Prairie Hive Travels section. For the most recent issue we headed out to Oklahoma City. If you haven’t yet, make sure and read our other blog posts on the yummy food and all of the great shopping we had on that day.
Here I am going to showcase probably the most important thing that we did while on our day trip. It took a lot of sacrifice on our parts, but you know what? We did what we had to do in the name of Prairie Hive. We promise not to fail you.
We had all heard rumors about some pretty great cupcakes in OKC. Two places kept coming up…Sara Sara Cupcakes and Cuppies & Joe. We also noticed that people were very particular as to which one they thought had the *best* cupcakes. At that point we knew we had to suck it up and try both places to see who would win out.
Let me introduce you to the two contestants….
Sara Sara Cupcakes actually has two locations (one in Edmond, one in OKC). We visited the one in OKC where they are located in this adorable little house.
The inside is all white with very modern furniture that is a nice contrast to the more traditional architecture of the house.
With accents of pink, the white palette allows the cupcakes to become little pieces of art that you just want to gobble up. Try picking a flavor when they are all so pretty!
We decided to go out on a limb and try something a little different. We went with the Apricot Ricotta Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
It was a good choice!
And the other unique thing about Sara Sara Cupcakes is their milk bar which is complete with its own mustache!
We were very happy with our experience at Sara Sara Cupcakes and would suggest it to anyone with a sweet tooth!
The second contestant in this cupcake testing is Cuppies & Joe. They are located on the north side of NW 23rd St. just east of Shartel in one of the bungalow houses.
The inside of Cuppies & Joe is a very comfortable, laid back atmosphere. Something that you might find at your grandma’s house. A place where you just want to hang out, eat great sweets, and drink great coffee. They have a fabulous selection of cupcakes that have very unique flavors and names (my favorite is the Boom Boom Pow!).
If you are a coffee lover, then you will certainly need to grab yourself a cup of joe because this is the real deal!
We sampled three of the cupcakes and they were all fabulous….not to mention just pretty!
And don’t worry, if you need to pick some up for your next party they are happy to do that and you will come away with some pretty cute packaging.
I am excited to say Elizabeth, one of the partners, was nice enough to answer some questions for me about Cuppies & Joe!
PH: Briefly describe how Cuppies & Joe came about…
CJ: My mom has always wanted to open a dessert shop and about 6 years ago my sisters and I caught the vision when we visited a little dessert place in Chicago. We wanted to merge desserts with a coffee shop atmosphere so that we could hopefully encourage people to slow down their lives a little. We love the community that happens around the table and hoped to foster that kind of environment with a high quality product!
PH: Prairie Hive loved the relaxed, comfortable, and creative feel of your place…was this something that just came together or was it part of the original Cuppies & Joe vision?
CJ: I’m so glad you felt that way! It was definitely a part of the original Cuppies & Joe vision! Our atmosphere and ambiance is just as important as the quality of what we make. Our family loves all things cozy and wanted to find an old home with individual rooms where customers could get lost in a book or catch up with old friends. We also have artists in the family and wanted to bring that aspect to the space as well.
PH: What do you think makes a great cupcake? Some are into “pretty” while others are into homemade flavor.
CJ: Well I think the quality of ingredients is a huge factor to making a great cupcake. We use very good ingredients and make everything from scratch, which is a rare thing these days unfortunately. I also think the proportion of cupcake to icing is important. Our cupcakes are not super fancy but are definitely made with love!
PH: What inspires your fabulous flavors and creative names?
CJ: Most of our flavors are combinations we grew up making/eating in cake form, not necessarily cupcakes. The names we have fun with~ some come from childhood memories, random words/phrases we use, and old movies we used to watch. For instance, my parents’ first date was to Fiddler on the Roof and “Sunrise, Sunset” was in their wedding. That obviously has significance to our family and is one of the names of our cupcakes. My twin sister, who is a full time art teacher, is the best at naming the cupcakes. She would tell you it’s a gift! Anytime we come up with a new flavor she is the one I go to for the perfect name…we like for them to not be too obvious, where you have to work a little to figure out the meaning!
PH: What made you decide to sell “real” coffeehouse coffee? (It was wonderful!)
CJ: Thank you so much! Well we knew that we wanted the coffee side to be just as excellent as the dessert side. That was the part I was most nervous about because really good coffee is not only a science but also an art form and it is constantly changing and growing. We have learned so much since we opened the shop in this department and are continuing to try to improve always. We were honestly surprised that that aspect of the shop has been just as big a part of the shop as the dessert side.
PH: What has been your biggest surprise since starting Cuppies & Joe?
CJ: I knew that it would be hard work and wasn’t afraid to work hard but it is not just a sweet little job all of the time. We are on our feet all day and it can definitely be exhausting but it’s totally worth it! I’ve loved all of the people I’ve met and things I’ve learned the past three years!
PH: Prairie Hive loves that you showcase local artists and musicians, are there other ways that you utilize local resources? If so, how?
CJ: Well our coffee is from a local roaster, Elemental Coffee Roasters, and they provide phenomenal coffee beans. We are so proud to serve their product. We also like making fresh pies, it’s actually what my mom is known for, so we try to hit up farmers’ markets when we can for fresh fruit for the pies! We do love highlighting Samantha Lamb’s beautiful photography all throughout our shop because she encompasses our style so well. Jerrod Smith, a local artist, designed one of our shirts and a local printer, The Scriptorium, does all of our retail printing. We do love showcasing local musicians as well! We are huge fans of supporting local businesses and are a part of a local community card, the Keep It Local OK card.
PH: If you had to suggest one cupcake to a new customer, which one would you choose?
CJ: Definitely the Boom Boom Pow, it’s our #1 seller! It’s a vanilla bean cake with a ring of chocolate buttercream, caramel in the center and sea salt sprinkled on top!
Thank you so much Elizabeth for taking the time to answer some of our questions!
So, to sum up our cupcake taste testing………you really can’t go wrong with either one. They were both very unique spaces with very unique cupcakes. Really, we would just suggest that you do as we did and hit up each one.
I promise you won’t be sorry (just make sure you are wearing your comfy pants)!