Instead of requirements to meet hard-hitting deadlines, she was now required to employ her softer side by baking moist-centered cupcakes to perfection and finessing the aesthetics and flavor factor of the delectable desserts.
“Preparing for my move to San Diego from the Cayman Islands with my husband and two children in July 2010, I decided to take a new path and start my own business,” Harrison said. “We had previously visited San Diego and fell in love with Seaport Village. Recognizing the continuing market demand for cupcake cafes and the fact that there wasn’t such an offering at Seaport Village, opening Frosted Robin Cupcakes there was a perfect match.”
She said the quaint, family-focused atmosphere of Seaport Village provides a perfect setting for a nostalgic treat like cupcakes.
“I think that cupcakes are so popular because we associate them with celebrations and special family gatherings in our childhood,” she said.
The homey atmosphere of the café is reminiscent of a French country kitchen and often transports customers back in time to a treasured memory of time spent with family or friends in the kitchen.
On the café’s website, Harrison cites fond childhood memories of gathering in the kitchen while her mother cooked as the inspiration for the feel and atmosphere of Frosted Robin Cupcakes.
“The concept for our café’s design was born from the fact that my family’s favorite gathering spot was always our kitchen,” the website states. “My mom would cook and my brother, three sisters and I would sit on the floor or on the counters and talk about anything and everything. Some of the best times of my life happened in that little kitchen.”
The best compliment Harrison received about her store came from a child telling her friend who was about to walk into the café, “You can’t go in there, that’s someone’s house!”
Though the shop itself is a treat, it’s what’s inside that activates the salivary glands.
“Our more than 40 flavors of gourmet cupcakes are the crown jewel,” she said. “At Frosted Robin Cupcakes we’ve taken things up a notch by transforming a simple cupcake into a gourmet delight that is as much a visual treat as it is a delicious dessert.”
Best-selling flavors include red velvet, German chocolate and chocolate fudge, but flavors change each moth to reflect the season, so there are always new favorites for customers to discover.
Harrison even adds her own Caribbean flair to the menu with flavors such as Cayman spice, Caribbean carrot and mango.
Other popular treats include the cupcakery’s famed “Robin Egg,” an egg-shaped chocolate with a cake and frosting filling, and the bakery’s new exotic, gourmet spice, flower, coffee and tea-infused chocolates — perfect bites to satisfy any sweet tooth.
And what would a sweet dessert be without a nice hot drink to accompany it?
Harrison, to get a leg up on the competition, also serves more than 20 flavors of artisan loose-leaf teas and certified organic coffees. Supplied by California-based companies, all of the shop’s coffees and most of its teas are organic and fair trade products.
“We pride ourselves in being much more than just another cupcake shop,” she said.
Harrison said she and her husband, Guy, are excited to launch the cupcake café as a franchise, allowing entre- preneurs to open Frosted Robin Cupcake Cafes across the country and possibly across the world.
For more information or to set up a tea party or special event, visit www.frostedrobincupcakes.com or call (619) 702-7188.