Latoya Enquist, owner of Silver Creek’s Bake-up Artist, has been baking for as long as she can remember. What started as a family tradition has turned into something much more exciting.
“I just had a little bit of baking in my blood. My mom always baked and my sisters got into cupcakes,” Enquist said.
Before getting into cupcakes, Enquist was a freelance makeup artist, which helped hone her creative skills. Using that creative inspiration, she said, she decided to try making cupcakes and found she enjoyed it.
“I took some on a family vacation and thought ‘this is fun!’ so I was making more and more different flavors and designs and stuff,” Enquist said. “Things kind of took off from there.
Since then, she’s made and tested over 200 cupcake flavors, she said, from basics like chocolate and vanilla to s’mores, churros, piña coladas and even a jalapeño popper. Sometimes he tests new flavors on customers and sometimes on family. Her husband especially liked the jalapeño popper, she said.
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She bakes and decorates the cupcakes from her kitchen at home, she said, then loads them into a trailer where she can keep them refrigerated and properly stored for delivery or on-site sales much like a food truck. On May 16, for example, she went to Arbor Care Center in Fullerton.
“I’ve always done it outside the kitchen. My trailer has tables and a fridge. I decided to get a trailer specifically for the farmers market,” Enquist said. “It can get really hot in the middle of summer and I had to bring bags, ice packs, the frosting would melt, so I had to come up with a different scenario. Some different events want food trucks and things like that.”
Since the mobile food business has only been experimenting for a few months, she said, she’s still establishing a foothold around town, setting up where it’s requested or at events like the downtown farmers market or Wednesday burger nights at the club Eagles.
One of her biggest supporters and one of her harshest critics, she said, was her sister Shayla Sharman, who was a guinea pig and compatriot on her way to starting a business.
“I’ve been there since the beginning. She would try different flavors, I would try to give my opinion, I would watch her business continue to grow, I would give her some advice,” Sharman said. “I’m just trying to help her and give her help where she needed it.
Sharman, who has also been working with her husband for several months to open the business, said doing it at the same time as each other was a great experience because they are going through similar stages of experience.
“I think it’s awesome, we just support each other. We have two completely different businesses, but we’re always there for each other when we need it or we need to bounce ideas off each other,” Sharman said.
What makes Enquist’s cupcakes special, Sharman said, is the variety. Sharman said that with 200 flavors, some with surprising fillings, there is sure to be a taste that will appeal to everyone. Her favorite so far is white chocolate raspberry.
“It’s a number of different flavors that she’s made or can make, from classic to funky and anywhere in between,” Sharman said. “He sets the main flavors, he has 22 main flavors that he tries to stick to and he adds something different.”
Enquist said she has received some requests to deliver with her trailer, which she can now do in some areas. She also received requests to bring a trailer to locations and park as a food truck. What makes her cupcakes so special, she said, is not just the taste, but what’s inside the cake part of the cupcake.
“I have fillings in about 90% of my baskets. People get excited when they get something extra in their cupcakes,” Enquist said.