Excerpted from Columbia
Kristin Kuhlke learned to cook at a young age—her parents loved getting her involved in cooking meals. “My did most of the cooking in our family and was a terrific teacher,” she says. He used to make my sister and me these giant birthday cakes that looked like mountains and had all different layers and flavors and fillings.”
“I’ve had a plethora of different jobs throughout my working life, but cooking and baking, thought always just a hobby, was my escape, my release, my relaxation. It allowed me to unleash my creativity and was combined with another favorite activity—eating!”
About four years of cellular phone sales, Kristin decided she needed a new adventure. So she packed her bags, rented out her house, sold her car to a friend and headed for the Big Apple—the best place she could think of to make herself uncomfortable.
“New York City to visit is the greatest city on Earth—New York City to live in is a completely different story,” she says. “For me, though, it has been the greatest experience of my life so far because it taught me where I was meant to be, what I was meant to do and gave me the chutzpah to do it. I lived there for exactly a year, a month, a week and a day. I left with my head full of ideas, a little more life experience under my belt and my heart filled with longing for some sweet tea and good old South Carolina.”
“Soon after returning, the Cupcake idea came to me. My friends and family thought I was nuts, but they supported me. I enlisted my dad’s help—blood, sweat and tears, literally—to renovate an old coffee shop, and Cupcake was born.”
“It has truly been a wild ride. I have learned more than I imagined I could learn. I decided to open the Columbia store, our third location, even though the economy was in the gutter. I’m so thankful I went ahead with the plans because it has been a wonderful experience. Columbia has been a huge blessing to the company—our customers were so welcoming and excited for our arrival. We just passed our one-year anniversary and couldn’t be happier with our staff, our customers and our performance. We have a great team that works very hard.”
“At Cupcake, I try very hard to create a place that serves an old fashioned piece of happiness, a place where it is fun and enjoyable to work and that has an environment of giving back to the communities that support us. I am blessed beyond words, and life is truly sweet.”
Visit the magazine at www.columbiametro.com.