Woodbridge, VA: Interview with Confections

Meet Confections, the small cupcake shop with a big heart!

I was introduced to Confections through The Cupcake Social, a breast cancer research fundraiser. Though I’d never been to their shop much less tasted one of the cupcakes, I reached out to see if they would be interested in participating. Confection’s response was overwhelming: a donation of 5 dozen free cupcakes. And we’re not talking plain vanilla! It was a beautiful assortment of fun flavors that were delivered straight to our door in Alexandria. Sometimes being sweet goes beyond powdered sugar.



Months later, during the exhaustive wedding cake search, Mike and I decided to drive out to Woodbridge and give Confections a shot. We had tried all the “typical” shops in Northern VA but something was missing. It goes without saying that we were very impressed with Confections. We hired them to cater our wedding after one tasting! 

Thanks to Confections for making our wedding extra special. We loved our tier of pink champagne cupcakes and wouldn't let just anyone partake in our big day. Special thanks to Laura, the owner, for the interview and Angela, our wedding coordinator, for being so professional, accommodating, and awesome. 

Meet Laura of Confections



A Woodbridge native, Laura has been in the area almost her entire life. She met her husband in a local high school and soon after started their family. Throughout her professional career, Laura baked on the side. The idea for opening a store was always there but it was a matter of timing. For two years, she patiently eyed a vacant shop in her usual grocery plaza with big plans. 

Fun Facts

Color: green, “pitter patter” to be exact
Food: Mexican
Animal: Dog (not a pet-owner)
Kids: proud mom of her son, Tayler!
Book: Joy of Baking
Movie: “The Notebook”—she’s gunning for “Safe Haven”
TV: reality TV is a must, especially on a Sunday night
Peeve: Organization and super meticulous about things being clean
Inspiration: their son inspired her to do all of this, especially as a young mother
Music: everything- she’s the typical “modern mom”

The Start


Confections opened January 7, 2012 and things went crazy. They produced 500,000 cupcakes in their first year! They quickly learned how to convert a recipe for 24 to 500 and jumped from 6 to 19 employees.  Their first big job was for the Redskins. Now they’re selling over 2,000 cupcakes in any given weekend and catering up to 50 weddings a year. It has been a rough transition, but Laura is proud of their growth.

Experience





Baking was part of Laura’s childhood thanks to her Grandmother who loved to bake. She did things the old fashioned way with real ingredients and lots of mixing. Laura quickly became fascinated by the precision of baking and the creative liberty it provided. After years of doing it on the side, Laura knows that is a learning process that can’t be taught from a book.

Where Do the Flavors Come From


Life- inspiration is everywhere and the menu varies by season. Laura is inspired by her reading as well as ideas from other shop workers. For example, Monica, a Confections employee who originates from Puerto Rico, introduced Laura to the delicious dessert of Tres Leches. It is now a cupcake on the menu. There are six (6) go-to, top-selling cupcakes that never leave the Confections menu: (1) peanut butter, (2) salted carmel, (3) red velvet, (4) oreo, (5) vanilla, and (6) triple chocolate. 

What it Takes

There is no glory in starting your own business. There are risks that must be carefully assessed and tons of planning. Laura is still a full-time personal assistant. When she is in the shop, it’s mostly managerial and to make sure legal documentation is up to date- not the sort of thing a true baker wants to be doing while in a cupcake shop. 

Her family has stepped in to help out and her husband is now one of the head bakers. The night shift makes the batter from 11pm to 4am; whatever is remaining is made at home (which has met the county code to be a professional bakery). The morning shift prepares the frosting and then goes to a hands-on assembly line. Laura carefully exams every single cupcake to ensure It meets Confections’ standards 

Other Cupcake Stores


It’s a trend that’s not going anywhere or else Laura never would have opened the store. Everybody has something to celebrate! As long as cakes are around and you can be creative- it will be here! They would love to be on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network as a shout out to VA!

Ingredients


Confections use traditional ingredients like Crisco, whole milk, and butter. It’s all about creaming and keeping things old school! It’s the difference between yogurt and Baskin Robbins.

Location



Woodbridge is a cozy commuter town located in Northern Virginia that is constantly growing. Laura’s vision was gourmet cupcakes for the suburbs. As a Woodbridge local myself, I can tell you this shop is an extremely welcome addition to the scene. 

Supporting the Community



Confections reaches out to the community through a myriad of avenues. There is an internship program for high school and college students to give them real life experience in a professional kitchen (sign me up!). They support charities and fundraisers through donations, host coat drives, and have sponsored a family in need. The one-dollar cupcake special on Sundays revenue is sometimes donated as well. Laura is happy to do anything to help because it’s all about paying forward.

Plus, it just makes you feel good.

Down the Road


In near term, Laura would like to open a 2nd store, preferably in the Wegmans shopping center of Woodbridge, as well as start a food truck. Her goal is to sell the business in 10 years and continue to enjoy what life throws in her direction.

Lessons
 


Owning your business is the school of hard knocks; nothing is easy and you always need to be prepared for more than expected. Just ignore the haters!

Drop a Line of Inspiration

"To always follow your dreams- big and small!"

Confections
12801 Galveston Court 
Manassas, VA 20110
(703) 670-6639
confectionsonline.com