Meet Megan Jenny, founder of The Cleveland Cupcake Company
What is The Cleveland Cupcake Company?
The Cleveland Cupcake Company is really blessed to be a part of a city that loves food and seeks out different collaborations. Our company strives to use local, fresh and unique ingredients. We pair savory and sweet along with earthy ingredients such as beets, edible flowers, Mexican chocolate, figs, blue cheese, jalapenos and Greek yogurt. Our company is set up as a choose-your-own ingredient list and we create the custom cupcakes or we have a nice list of staff favorites. We also deliver at any time of the day or night!
How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself and in the creative field. It was always important to me that people receive the very best desserts with the very best ingredients. My love for art and simply being creative really led me to start this company.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business because I wanted to reach more people besides my friends and family to try my cupcakes and pastries. We started six years ago in a tiny kitchen when the need for really creative desserts had begun to grow.
How did you come up with the idea?
I had a crazy run with being a bridesmaid in over 10 weddings in four years and I honestly was not impressed by a lot of the cakes. Some were beautiful, but not that tasty, others were really delicious but lacked style. One day, a family friend needed some cupcakes on the fly because an order fell through and I baked about 50 for her. She raved and from then on our business grew through word of mouth.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
Our biggest surprise was that people were really interested in trying unique flavor combinations. We were also surprised that most of our orders come from across the nation and sometimes around the world and are delivered locally.
What resources/organizations here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Starting a business was incredibly difficult, because there is no one place where you can start and there is no checklist to make sure you have everything you need. The Small Business Association
was awesome as well as Key Bank
. They both answered so many of my questions. Also, working in the food industry throughout college really helped me with customer service and making sure we send out the very best product.
Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customer was from Chicago. She wanted to send cupcakes to Case Western Reserve University for her sister’s birthday. Our most unique deliveries were going backstage for The Producers
at PlayhouseSquare and surprising the cast and crew.
What inspires you?
Art, food, music and exploring the different realms of Cleveland.
What’s next for you and your company?
Our main challenge is continuing to grow at a steady pace. The last few years we have been gaining so much momentum that we had to be careful to not stray from our roots and from the fact that we use ingredients from our gardens and from local farmers and manufacturers. We would love to gain more corporate accounts and have recurring business from them.