My aunt Buffy is a firm believer in the philosophy of “Eat cake for breakfast.” It’s not uncommon to see her finding an occasion to have dessert first or celebrate with something sweet. Every December she hosts a Gingerbread Party for my cousin, Emily, and goes to town on holiday baking and even Red Velvet Cake. One of my favorite memories with her is when we baked mini cupcakes for Emily’s graduation party and felt like professional bakers.
Buffy always loved my cooking and baking adventures, especially when cake was involved. In my early teens I began to teach myself how to use fondant and make custom cakes. Eventually baking them for fun turned into my first business called Cake Girl. Instead of birthday gifts, I delivered custom fondant cakes to my friends detailed to fit their personality. (You can browse through old photos here!) My mom, one of Buffy’s sisters, was so supportive in my Cake Girl ventures. She would start baking the cakes for me while I was at school so I could come home to finish them at night or grocery shop while I was at dance so I could get right to baking on the weekends. I treasure our memories in the kitchen together so much now! She was such an advocate for my early entrepreneurship and it has played an important role in me now living out my Gourmet Gab dreams.
In January I got a notification that Buffy tagged me in a Facebook post on Gigi’s Cupcakes page. She entered us into their Customer Appreciation giveaway to win a year of free Gigi’s items. The post asked, “We want YOU to share a story of someone special you appreciate in your life and why you appreciate them. We will select three of the most compelling stories and award both you and the person you appreciate “Free Gigi’s” items monthly for a year!” Here’s what Buffy wrote:
About 10 years ago my sister Betsy and her daughter Gabriela started making a decorating cupcakes with hopes of turning it into a business. Even though Gabriela was only 15 she had a knack for everything that included cooking and baking and her cupcakes were no exception. Betsy always encouraged Gabs to make a huge mess in the kitchen with her creations. About 9 years ago, while making cupcakes, Betsy had a brain aneurysm and died. Gabriela continued to cook and bake and has her own cooking blog and is sometimes featured on Food Networks Snap Story with great recipes. We both love Gigi’s Cupcakes and I truly believe an adorable, amazing cupcake shop like Gigi’s is exactly what Betsy envisioned when she started making cupcakes with her small daughter. I very much appreciate that my niece Gabs has continued following her dream of cooking and baking despite the tragic loss of her Mom
Shortly after, I got a Facebook message from Gigi’s saying they had selected us as one of the three pairs of winners! I was completely shocked because there were more than 530 comments. Buffy and I were so excited and both couldn’t believe we were picked! Buffy then told me that she was not so thrilled about the writing of her entry because she did it quickly at work one day before we would miss the deadline. It makes me laugh thinking about Buffy hurrying to type this because she is a elementary school teacher who loves a good, well-written story! Either way, it caught the attention of the judges and we now get to enjoy Gigi’s for a whole YEAR.
The prize is kind of like a punch card where we get to go into our local Gigi’s to redeem a new combination of cupcakes or desserts each month. I will definitely be posting along the way throughout the year as I try new flavors and varieties. The first round of cupcakes I got were chocolate chip cookie dough, Fireball (like the whiskey!), Champagne, and chocolate chocolate chip with white chocolate frosting. The cookie dough one was amazing, but I think I would go back for the Champagne next time, preferably served with a chilled glass of bubbly!
Thank you Gigi’s for picking Buffy and I as your winners! Now we can definitely have cake for breakfast at least once a month.
Love food. Love self. Love life.