Whether you’re assisting an orthopedic surgeon or frosting a cupcake, precision is key. Jayne Benton left her career as a Physician’s Assistant when her family moved to the East Coast. With two young children, she focused on motherhood rather than going back to her career in the OR.
“I always loved baking, especially cupcakes,” said Benton. When one of Jayne’s girlfriends asked for a silent auction item for a charity event, Jayne thought, “I don’t have a vacation home to offer up but I could provide a kids’ party with decorated cupcakes.”
With more than 90 items up for auction, Jayne’s ‘cupcake party’ got the most bids. Then, the moms who didn’t win her party asked her if they could pay her to put on a cupcake party for their children.
“I didn’t really have a structure, it was just something I loved to do,” said Jayne, who wasn’t sure she could create a business around teaching kids how to make cupcakes. Some skeptics even asked, “who will pay for you for that?” But, every time she brought her creations in for the school snack, people asked: “Where did you get those cupcakes?!!!”
Jayne’s cupcakes are so amazing because a lot goes into the presentation. For example, for Halloween, Jayne used shredded wheat on a small tray to simulate hay. Then, she set owl, ghost and witch cupcakes on top of the ‘hay.’ For one party, she served the cupcakes in ice cream dishes and for another one, she served the cupcakes in French fry baskets.
The next challenge was how to create a cupcake decorating class?
Using her own kids and neighbor’s kids as a test, Jayne developed a model class.
“Many people ask how I can fill a whole hour and a half party with cupcake decorating,” said Jayne. She starts by teaching the basics about baking the perfect cupcake even though she bakes the cupcakes in advance. Next, she teaches which tools to use for various decorating projects. Explaining the various kinds of frostings that can be used and how to color the frostings takes a lot of time.
“There is so much to do from coloring the frosting, to cutting candy, to staging the cake,” she explained. When the children arrive, the table is set with decorating kits for each child and samples for inspiration.
The local Park and Rec department asked her to teach a class as an after school. It turned out to be a great way to grow her party business. Best of all, her classes aren’t just for kids. My Cupcake Party can be for ‘tweens, holiday workshops, mom’s night out, mother- daughter events, Girl Scouts, women’s groups, neighborhood get-togethers, baby showers or just for fun!
Jayne handles everything from the invites to the ‘goodie’ bags.
“We can customize the cupcakes and the party theme to fit any specific interest,” she said. “If you can imagine it, we can create a cupcake party for it.”
She’s so busy, she had to hire three additional people to help her manage all the parties on the schedule – and her helpers are moms, of course.
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