While there are many family businesses, most are run by a husband-wife duo or siblings. But, at Ava’s Cupcakes the entire family is involved! Most fans of Ava’s Cupcakes probably know a little about the owner, Michelle Spell, especially after seeing our Meet Michelle posts on social media. However, we thought you might not realize there are five other important members of the Spell family that are also crucial to Ava’s Cupcakes.
In today’s blog, we share more about Michelle’s family. Get to know them, from their role at Ava’s Cupcakes to their favorite part about working in a family-run business.
Meet the Spell Family
Michelle’s other half, a.k.a. Steve, is known as the jack of all trades at Ava’s. He does a little bit of everything for the business. His biggest roles in the business include handling all payroll-related items, banking, and store maintenance. Being with his entire family is his favorite part about working at Ava’s. He feels the biggest benefits of working in a family-run business is the ability to make it fun and work around each other’s schedules.
He shares, “Fun times that are memorable for me are when we decide to take a break in the middle of the day and head out for lunch together as a family. We always manage to have a great time!”
The oldest child, Isaiah, is currently the businesses supply runner and gets the supplies for the Clemmons store. He feels appreciated by the fact and loves that Ava’s pays well. His favorite part about working in a family business is that it allows for a lot of freedom and flexibility. Plus, he loves being around his family.
“We have loads of fun on every shift and there’s never a dull moment,” he shares.
You know all those delicious butter creams you love on their cupcakes? Well, you can thank Aidan for those as he is in charge of making all the butter creams. He prides himself on making sure all the frostings are made on time and perfectly. His favorite part about working at Ava’s Cupcakes is working with others. Not only does he love working with his family, but also being a part of the Ava’s family.
He shares, “My brothers and sister have fun (maybe a little too much!) taking funny pictures of each when we least expect it.”
While Isaiah is the supply runner for Clemmons, Hunter holds that role for the Winston-Salem store. Every Monday, he goes out to Greensboro and other stores to purchase all the ingredients needed for that week’s delicious desserts. Getting freshly baked cupcakes straight out of the oven is his favorite part about working at Ava’s Cupcakes. He loves the flexibility a family-owned business offers as well as working with his family.
“When we built the Winston store, and the other stores, we always have the best time. The store is empty and we literally build it day by day until its done. There were late nights and tons of Cook Out milkshakes. Looking forward to building another store,” he shares.
Last, but certainly, not least is the businesses namesake and Michelle’s only daughter Ava. You probably recognize Ava from her photos and videos with her mom on Ava’s Cupcakes’ Facebook and Instagram. She currently as serving as an apprentice to learn the business, from baking cupcakes & cookies to learning to frost.Her favorite part about working at Ava’s is working with the team. They are like her family and she loves being around them. She also loves working with her family.
She shares, “During the holidays, when it’s really cold, my mom and I go to work super early before the sun rises. We get fun coffee drinks, then blast the music and dance before the staff arrives!”
Want to Know More About Ava’s Cupcakes & The Spell Family?
It might seem to us like cupcakes have been around forever, but as with any food recipe it has its own unique creation story. As cupcakes is our namesake at Ava’s Cupcakes, we thought it fitting to share this sweet piece of history. Therefore, our latest blog dives into the history of cupcakes!
History of Cupcakes – When Did This Sweet Treat Begin?
What is now known as a cupcake all began with the first ever cupcake recipe called “A Light Cake to Bake in Small Cups” by Amelia Simmons. It appeared in the first American cookbook written by Simmons called American Cookery.
This original cupcake recipe includes much of the common ingredients today, such as:
However, it also includes an assortment of less common ingredients we would find in today’s cupcakes. Those include:
- Rose Water
- Emptins (basically hops)
After this original cupcake recipe, it took a couple decades for the term cupcake to actually appear. The first documented use of the term cupcake was used in 1828. It appeared in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook, Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats.
Important Dates in the History of Cupcakes
Below are some quick dates to know in the history of cupcakes.
- 1871: Second ever cupcake recipe published with more ‘familiar’ cupcake ingredients.
- 1919: Hostess introduces ‘The Cupcake’, it’s first snack cake.
- 1920’s: Cupcakes are iced for the first time (in only vanilla or chocolate icing).
- 1940’s: Malted icing is available for cupcakes.
- 1947: D.R. “Doc” Rice is assigned with redesigning cupcakes and creates a look similar to today’s cupcakes.
From Then to Now: Cupcakes Today
Today cupcakes are so popular there is even a show dedicated to bakers fighting to see who makes the best. What show are we talking about? Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, of course! The delectable contest show currently boasts 1.6 million viewers. Cupcake Wars is important in the history of Ava’s Cupcakes as well since our owner, Michelle Spell, won on that very show! You can thank that show for birthing our cupcake flavors of Banana Guava, Apple Pie, and Chocolate Truffle.
Ava’s Signature Flavors History
If you’ve visited our stores or website, then you probably have noticed we have 12 signature flavors. Since this is a history of cupcakes blog, we wanted to share a little history on our signature flavors and how they came to be.
The Signature flavors became the Signature 12 after our doors were open for 12 months. While there was no connection between the 12 months and the 12 flavors, it just happened to be the 12 most sought-after flavors. Additionally, people would always ask, which flavors do you recommend? It became obvious very quickly that most people love variety. Plus, they seemed to love the idea of a sampler pack filled with our best sellers. Since 2012, those 12 flavors have made up our Signature Sampler!
History Lesson Is Done & It’s Time to Pick Up Ava’s Cupcakes Today!
Now that your mouth is watering from reading all about cupcakes, are you ready to actual enjoy some of the best? Then, stop in at our Clemmons or Winston-Salem locations and pick up your favorites today!
You can find or contact our stores at:
- Address: 1483 River Ridge Dr, Clemmons, NC 27012
- Phone: (336) 283-9021
- Address: 1539 Hanes Mall Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
- Phone: (336) 999-7178
For those not living or visiting the Piedmont Triad in North Carolina, we ship our one-of-a-kind cakecups anywhere in the continental U.S. Visit our e-store to view and order those as well as some other shippable sweet treats.
Meet Michelle – the owner of Ava’s Cupcakes and past winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. In our latest blog she discusses all things Ava’s and even talks about being on Cupcake Wars. Read on to learn a little more.
Meet Michelle – Q&A with Owner of Ava’s Cupcakes
Why did you decide to open Ava’s Cupcakes?
There were many varying factors in making the decision to open Ava’s Cupcakes; however, the ultimate decision was made from the overwhelming response from the community. Orders just could not be fulfilled from home any longer because a strong and viable business had clearly been born.
What is your favorite part about owning Ava’s?
I am not sure I can say that there is one favorite part but currently, my favorite part is watching my children take an active role.
Which is your favorite cupcake at Ava’s?
I love the Salted Caramel Mocha, Banana Guava, and the Lime & Basil. How can I choose just one?!
What is your most memorable baking moment?
I’ll never forget baking for days when our episode on Cupcakes Wars aired. We pumped out 1000’s of cupcakes and cookies to the hundreds of guests lined up for hours outside our tiny kitchen in NJ.
What was it like to be on, and win, Cupcake Wars?
Cupcake Wars was a dream for us. We worked very hard to compete and winning made all the difference. It changed the trajectory of Ava’s forever and we will never forget where we started.
Learn More About This Amazing Business Owner
Want to learn more about Michelle and what it’s like to own Ava’s Cupcakes? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tune in for our monthly Meet Michelle posts! In our January one, Michelle shared about family traditions to start the new year, such as making bread.