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Executive Chef Tiffini Soforenko says she has refined her recipe for franchising and is ready to expand the concept domestically and internationally as she grows her Yummy Cupcakes brand. Actually, her recipe for success involves dozens of other proprietary recipes — more than 400 to be exact — used to bake the gourmet cupcakes that feed both the company’s annual revenues and its increasing number of customers.
Soforenko serves not only as the executive chef of the Original Yummy Cupcakes, but is also founder and chief executive officer of the franchise. With successful operations in Southern California, where it has garnered brand loyalty since opening in 2004, the chain has recently expanded into two additional states, Michigan and Connecticut, as well as international locations in Turkey and Qatar.
The mother of three began the company using more than 15 years of experience as director of operations for Universal Studios Hollywood, where she honed her skills in operations, special events, and guest services. After becoming a mother, however, she set her sights on a new challenge entering the dessert sector with no prior professional culinary or baking experience.
Brand Based on Quality
Though the idea of an all-cupcake bakery has become popular among independent small business owners across the country, Soforenko is recognized for establishing a system to franchise her concept while differentiating it from others such as Sprinkles, which has capitalized on the idea.
“All cupcakes are not created equal,” Soforenko says in explaining Yummy Cupcakes’ differentiators. “Most of the bakeshops used packaged mix, some even purchase from wholesalers.”
Yummy Cupcakes has built its brand on using quality ingredients to make freshly-baked artisanal cupcakes from Soforenko’s perfected recipes (including a few she borrowed from her grandmother). With more than 400 varieties, including about 30 flavors that are available at any given time in one store, Yummy Cupcakes prides itself on offering decadent treats as well as those that are sugar-free, vegan, and gluten-free. They carry names such as Apple Cheddar Pie, Creme Brulee, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, and Nutty Red Velvet.
In addition, Yummy Cupcakes offers a deep pocket of supplementary product lines all made from cupcakes: cupcake truffles, cupcake biscotti, Cupcake in a Jar, Cupcakie Pies, cupcake parfaits, and other concoctions that create additional revenue streams for franchisees.