Queen of cupcakes

— It took an Oprah “Favorite Things” Episode for Pamela Vincent to choose a different career path. A segment on cupcakes would cause Vincent to move away from the corporate world and into a world of sprinkles and an overabundance of flavored icing, flour and eggs.

Cupcakes and Smiles was born and found its home among a bustling Camillus plaza along West Genesee Street.

Vincent admitted that the craze was not a passion of hers and experience making these tasty desserts was a learn as you go process. It has been an evolving love, an art that has taken time to craft and mold…into an oversize baking pan.

“It was more of a business idea,” Vincent said. “Cupcakes were the hottest new food trend going and that was five years ago.”

“I started to look at space, budgeting and working on my marketing plan,” she said. “The rest just fell in place.”

This November Vincent will celebrate her five-year anniversary as a business, a “huge” milestone and a feat that is considered a bright spot for entrepreneurs looking to pursue their aspirations.

The predictability of a business making it to five years is very low, according to Vincent. Once you hit five years your chances to making it long term double. The failure rate in your first year is around 79 percent. By your third year the failure rate goes down by 40 percent.

“The first two years were awful,” Vincent said. “Word of mouth eventually got around and by our third year we just took off.”

The sugar high, Vincent found out, was contagious. What was once a shop with five standard flavors has morphed into 65 and range from your standard, Very Vanilla to more exotic kinds like Chocolate Lava Explosion and Black Forest. Seasonal flavors include Apple Spice, Orange Creamsicle and Gingerbread. Ingredients are all natural and can be baked gluten free upon request.

Christina Alexander is the editor of the Eagle Observer. You can reach her at editor@eagle-observer.com.

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