I am always in awe and inspired by people who follow their dream, especially when it’s along such an unpredictable path or is a complete about-face from their current career choice. I have a long-standing dream in the back of my mind. Something I would love to bring to fruition. Something that has been seemingly planned down to the tiniest detail. Something that I know is completely in my wheelhouse and energizes me when I think about it. But something that, for now, is very back-burnered. Hearing stories of others jumping the train tracks for an alternate path and succeeding really fuel me, and keeps that dream on the stove.
The story of Warren Brown is one such tale. I first discovered Warren when his show, Sugar Rush, appeared on the Food Network. Warren used to be a practicing lawyer. And he left it all, following his heart, to pursue a career in baking in 2000. Now some seven retail locations and a cookbook later, his decision to follow his dream certainly paid off.
I actually had a very unplanned visit to one of his bakeries while we were in DC last month. I had a punch list of a few must-visits while we were in the area, and Georgetown Cupcake was part of the original plan. Until we circled the neighborhood and saw the length of the line. Several blocks long. And then some. Surveying the tired kids in the backseat and the 90 degree temps, it was a quick unanimous decision to skip that stop. Then Chris mentioned CakeLove. But of course!
When I visit a cupcake shop, I steer clear from the usual suspects of vanilla and chocolate. I think that for a good bakery, vanilla and chocolate is a no-brainer. And I definitely don’t want anything with a standard buttercream. Now that I have my own go-to recipe, buying a standard buttercream frosted cupcake just isn’t the best use of my money. So then what? I look for the unusual flavors. Something a little off the beaten path. The unexpected. Or different. Or even just different for me.
The day we visited CakeLove, the “special” happened to be their Coconut Cream Pie cupcake. I have only been drawn to cream pies but once. I went through a period when I was pregnant with Nick and regularly made the rounds of the local diners to order their cream pies. Luckily for my waistline that was a very short-lived phase.
The kids each chose their own cupcake, and I took a chance and ordered a few of the Coconut Cream Pie cupcakes. Oh.my.word. To.die.for. We had them back at my friend Chris’ apartment, and that night I was already petitioning to make one more visit to CakeLove for more before we left town the next day. We didn’t make it back that night, but we did stop the next morning on our way home.
There is a small seating area in the bakery, if you’d like to savor your sweet treats there, and the staff is very friendly. The associate that helped me the first day actually remembered me the next day when I returned. Hopefully that’s a good thing.
If you happen to be near any of the seven CakeLove locations, do pay them a visit. And if you ARE in the area, I’m totally jealous that you can participate in Warren’s weekly free Cake Open House – how lucky are you?
11951U Fair Oaks
Fairfax, VA 22033
September 20, 2011 – Bonus Photo
This weekend, I had the chance to turn Joanne on to Cambozola cheese. I got Sarah hooked on it last year, and hope Joanne loves it as much as we do. Perfect for snacking, with crackers or melted on a sandwich or grilled pizza, it is a Camembert cheese with a ribbon of Gorgonzola running through it. I hate to pick favorites, but it’s definitely in my top five, and appeared on a grilled naan pizza with sauteed mushrooms for lunch yesterday (recipe coming soon). Amaze-balls. Pure amaze-balls.