By Sue Moore
Indulgences are easily forgiven during the holidays. The new Salted Cupcake shop, 224 N. Grand St., in Schoolcraft had any number of choices for the sweet tooth for its grand opening during the Christmas Walk and the three weeks afterwards.
Owner, baker, and saleslady, Korina Thompson, has a solution for the holiday indulgences. For the January special, she will offer the “Biggest Loser” cupcake, a low fat and low sugar pineapple angel food cake.
You need not worry that it will taste like cardboard as the many customers walking into her shop keep marveling at the freshness, the taste, and the quality of the cupcakes.
“You can make a cupcake with most anything, bacon, herbs, cheese frosting; they are all delicious,” Thompson says.
One of her most popular creations is her bacon chocolate chip cupcake. It is a maple cake with candied bacon, cinnamon sugar walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Her January menu also offers a browned butter cupcake filled with spiced pears and a goat cheese frosting as an example of her creativity and love of flavor combinations.
Her other January special is called a Champagne Manhattan that isn’t for the dieter but will get rave reviews from those who can afford the calories. It’s made of champagne vanilla cake and cherry sweet vermouth buttercream.
Thompson perfected the signature cupcake for which the store was named. It is a salted caramel, dark chocolate, and peanut butter confection that gets its unique flavor from the combination of the salt and sugar. It sells out every day with eight dozen the usual allotment, in addition to the monthly menu specials. Everythingis made fresh daily by Thompson.
Guests dining in have the option of washing down their sweets with whole, two percent or vanilla soy milk in a tall glass rimmed with sprinkles, or they can enjoy a cup of fresh coffee. It is roasted especially for The Salted Cupcake weekly, ground daily, and made to order in 51 oz. French presses.
Thompson’s cupcakes have been getting rave reviews.
“Best cupcake I have ever had,” says Melissa Bosma, returning with her cousin to purchase another round of delicacies.
Maddy Ring, Schoolcraft High School senior says, “It is a very unique store with the best frosting I have ever tasted. The specialty salted cupcake is to die for.”
Thompson is new to Schoolcraft, having found the vacant storefront at 224 Grand St. while searching for the perfect location. Until then she paid the bills with her job as a waitress at Bonefish in Grand Rapids.
She has always had a passion for baking according to her mother, Sharon Amsterburg, who helped out in the store over the holidays.
“I never even cooked a meal at home, but Korina loved to cook and experiment,” she says. “My friends would remark that they couldn’t believe she was my daughter.”
After graduation from Grand Valley State University’s hospitality school, Thompson decided to start her own beverage catering and bartending business in Manistee. Although she loved bartending, her passion was food and baking.
She spent several years in Grand Rapids waitressing and attending The Secchia Culinary Institute at GRCC, refining her recipes while baking for friends and colleagues at work.
Now she gets up each morning at 3:30 a.m. to start making cupcakes for the store opening at 11 a.m. She stays open until about 6 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until the last crumb is sold, she says.
Specials are posted on The Salted Cupcake’s Facebook page, along with the monthly menu including the vegan and wheat free choices on Wednesdays. The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Sunday so Thompson can rest up and do her planning for the week ahead.
The opening during the Christmas Walk had its moments of terror when both ovens she was using broke down and her supplier had to hurry to Schoolcraft with a quick substitute. She sold over 20 dozen cupcakes on the opening day after all the repairs were made.
Thompson is a one person shop owner who hopes to expand the business into wedding orders, savory appetizer cupcakes, birthday parties, and other sweet endeavors.