The families who trekked across our country 175 years ago to come to Oregon displayed a pioneering spirit that lives on in entrepreneurs to this day. It takes an adventurous side to pour one's heart and soul into a business, watch it grow and know that people depend on that business for their own livelihood, not to mention your own. It takes guts, passion and a little daring. And in some cases, a bit of sugar.
Anjelica Hayes opened Fat Cupcake in Oregon City a little more than three years ago. In that time sales have exploded and her business has grown to a second location. She's now selling around 1,500 cupcakes a day to a hungry clientele who crave her sweet and savory creations. And as someone who has personally enjoyed them I can tell you, her cupcakes are delicious.
"Fatricia" walks the bakery's pet fish.
What amazes me even more than the flavor is the seemingly endless supply of ideas Anjelica has. She is always coming out with new flavors and combinations, creating new cupcakes that are as tasty as they are beautiful. Her experimental side is nothing new, as she has loved dessert, and coming up with new sweet eats, since she was young. "I've always loved dessert and experimenting with it. Even if there was a dessert I didn't like I would figure out a way to enjoy it. Maybe adding a cookie to something that was already super-sweet," she said.
Like any true creator, Anjelica draws inspiration everywhere. The ideas aren't always hers either, she loves taking suggestions from her staff and even customers. Some of her favorite creations have started out as ideas from customers that she's then combined with other ideas to create something new and amazing.
"We have our sinful cinnamon roll and one time a customer said we should add some bacon to it. So we did and it was great!" she said.
In addition to her creative spirit, Anjelica says her family has been a huge part of her success. You will frequently see images of her with family on the bakery's social media accounts. And even when you can't see them, their influence is never far away. Anjelica's sister actually runs the social media for Fat Cupcake, and all of her family is pitching in. They'll play along with the antics of "Fatricia," who is Anjelica's cupcake-clad alter ego.
Angelica credits her family's support as part of her inspiration. Here she shares a moment with her father.
In a lot of ways, Anjelica's staff are like another family. Watching them interact, it seems more like friends hanging out than a business owner and boss overseeing her employees. Either in the shops or in fun photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram, it seems like a dream work environment. Angelica and staff joke around, they sing and dance. And sometimes, the employees seem to be the ones in charge.
"I want it to be a fun place to work, and I think it's all a reflection of who I am. I love dancing, I always want to be dancing. Sometimes the manager of one of the locations has to tell me to stop dancing and get to work."
Fat Cupcake's Oregon City location is easy to find on Molalla Avenue across from the Post Office. They're open Monday through Saturday from 8 to 6. So bring your appetite and sense of sweet adventure. Your taste buds will thank you.