Monday, August 1, 2011

Cake or Death?

(Psst.  Have you all seen Eddie Izzard?  Dressed to Kill?  If yes, please continue.  If no, kindly pardon the morbid-sounding post title above, and go rent Dressed to Kill IMMEDIATELY).

That lovely girl smiling out at you, Reader, is Jess Pryles, owner of a cupcake shop called Sugadeaux in Melbourne, Australia.  I met her by phone a few weeks ago, while interviewing her for a CultureMap story.  

As I held the phone up to my ear, Jess's laughter, confession of her obsession with Austin, and delectable cupcake recipes came spilling out, all in her adorable Australian lilt.  Our conversation had an official purpose, but after half an hour of chatting, I kind of wanted to be her buddy.

Jess met Oliva O'Neal, owner of Sugar Mama's Bakeshop here in Austin, a few years back.  The two were starting up brand new bakeries, and their friendship was kindled over Twitter.

Before Jess was a cupcake purveyor, she had a long, colorful work resume.  She used to be a radio DJ back in Australia.  Then a home entertainment installer.  Finally, she decided to take the hobby she loved most -- baking for other people -- and see if she could turn it into a business.  So Jess got a website, and started taking orders.

She was able to quit her day job in a month.  Now, she's full-time Sugadeaux.

I swung by Sugar Mama's yesterday, where Jess was doing an all-day guest baking stint with Olivia.  There, she handed me samples of her two new Texas flavors, Sweet Tea and Texas Pink Grapefruit: A tart, creamy confection with sweet grapefruit curd hiding in the center.  You bite into it, and it's like a wonderful little surprise: "Why hello there, dollop I wasn't expecting!  Fancy meeting you here, in the middle of dessert!"

I love this Origami-esque light fixture.  Doesn't it look like a giant puff pastry itself, suspending from the ceiling?

happy monday!

(PS: Today is the last day to enter the Brandi Strickland art giveaway!  Get your entry in before I choose a winner tomorrow!)

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