Cupcakes are like teacup poodles—they're smaller, daintier versions of something else and are frequently slathered in pink frosting. Consume adorability with today's Groupon: for $8, you get a half dozen cupcakes at Cupcakes by Heather and Lori on Denman Street (a $16 value).
Founded by shop namesakes and longtime friends Heather White and Lori Joyce, Cupcakes by Heather and Lori crafts its colourful, creative confections from basic, whole ingredients and a playful, fun-loving outlook. Baked fresh daily, each of the shop's pastel-hued pastries contains only natural, old-fashioned constituent parts such as real butter and real happiness. Delectable offerings include the signature Sweet 16, a well-made classic vanilla cake topped with pink buttercream frosting and pastel sprinkles, and the more decadent carmalla, a chocolate and caramel affair sporting praline sprinkles amid caramel icing. The red velvet cupcake combines the forces of red cocoa cake and cream cheese frosting, and the koo koo presents coconut cake festooned with cream cheese icing and shredded coconut as a topper. Cupcakes by Heather and Lori also maintains a rotating crop of seasonal flavours that changes every few weeks. With an awning and interior colour scheme of pink, vanilla, and chocolaty brown, even the shop itself calls to mind its palate-pleasing wares.
There are two ways to watch Heather White and Lori Joyce bake their preservative-free cupcakes from scratch. Guests can pop into one of their bakeries on the days the duo is in the shop or they can watch from the family room as the ladies craft desserts from basic ingredients on their TV show The Cupcake Girls.
It took time to build up the Cupcakes empire. What started as a teenage dream for the two friends seemed remote after they went their separate ways, one pursuing a degree in animal biology, the other working in the fashion industry. When the two reconnected later in New York City by a simple twist of fate, they realized they still pined for the possibility of owning a company together. They drew up the plans, packed their bags, charted a course back to Vancouver in a cupcake-shaped hot air balloon, and started their first store.
Today, inside their retro-style locations, bakers craft cupcakes made with real butter or design specialty cakes for all manner of noteworthy occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and parties thrown in honour of winning a national cupcake-eating contest.