What if you had the flavors of New Orleans readily available in Dallas? You know the flavors - Bananas Foster from Brennan’s Restaurant, Bread Pudding with Vanilla Rum Sauce, Pralines and Cream, Southern Sweet Potato, and Cafe Au Lait from Café Du Monde. What if? Well you do have it thanks to Antoinette Lafayette, and Chef David Carter, New Orleans natives that are supplying the city of Coppell with those wonderful flavors of The Big Easy. In June of 2012 Pink Frosting Cupcakes opened its doors to treat seekers looking for flavors not commonly found.
This is a long time coming for Antoinette. She’s been baking since she was a child. She was inspired by her late grandmother who was an executive chef for the Federal Reserve Bank for 27 years. There was nothing out of a can or box for this baking duo. Everything was from scratch and at Pink Frosting Cupcakes it still is. There is no canned sweet potato in Pink Frosting Cupcakes; only the real thing.
Apart from being inspired by her grandmother, Antoinette wanted to bring something from her New Orleans heritage to her Dallas community. She discovered plenty of bakeries in her community but found none of the tastes from back home. She was also motivated to avoid being the empty nester with nothing else to do except stalk her children. As she put it, “I wanted to prepare for this time of life. I wanted to let my kids go freely. I didn't want to stalk my children once they’re gone. I figured it would be easier to let go if I had something to do that I loved. Well, I love to bake. I'd always baked for family and friends.”
She never stopped baking even when she ran her own salon for 17 years. But timing was always an issue. For the past couple of years she was afforded the opportunity to spend time perfecting her craft while working part time for others. She would bring in samples for people to taste and then ask for feedback. She heard about texture, sweetness, color and more – she took it all in. She shared, “I was working at a company and doing this like 2 days a week. I always had willing tasters. People would tell me you're in the wrong field. You should really do this.” She added, “When I finally did open the doors they all came to my grand opening.”
In 2010 Antoinette went back to school and completed a degree in business management. At Pink Frosting Cupcakes, she handles the front of the house while chef David handles all of the baking.
Antoinette said, “When I ran my own salon, I managed employees, kept track of inventory, and normal operational stuff but going back to school to get my degree gave me hr experience, the 4 Ps of marketing, so much more.”
She added, “I learned of SCORE through my marketing teacher. He recommended SCORE and was also a board member for the Chamber of Commerce. When I went to SCORE I had a partial business plan.
But, once I spoke to Chuck Rudnick, my counselor, I realized how much more I needed. He was amazing. He helped me walk through the business plan, crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. I had 8 meetings with Chuck. He would give me homework assignments. Then we’d meet 2 weeks later and finish that part of the plan. I even went back before I signed my lease, when I was contemplating the location.”