The road to success is often paved with mishaps, mistakes and sometimes losses. But it can also lead one to surpass goals they once thought were perhaps unachievable. The ultimate destination can be the sweetest victory.
Five years ago, Mandy Potter began her first steps in reaching her dream of owning a successful business. She opened the doors to MAB Cupcakes in the small Maple Valley shop.
Fast forward to 2019, she has expanded her business to a nearby larger location and has added many new products.
Although overwhelming at times with the workload and very long hours, Potter persevered. She didn’t lose sight of her ultimate goal – owning her own successful business.
MAB Cupcakes – which stands for Potter’s children, twins Madeline and Alex, and Benjamin – was a fun project she began with the twins soon after Ben was born. They did a new flavor of cupcakes each week and shared them with friends. One thing led to another, and soon they were taking orders and meeting people. The cupcake orders kept expanding so much that it had to be moved out of the house.
That’s when MAB Cupcakes opened up its storefront in May 2014.
Now five years later, the business is an all-hands-on-board family business. The twins work after school, and Potter’s husband works whenever she needs him. Ben, the youngest, is the manager.
“He tells us what to do,” said Potter.
The simple family business of making cupcakes has expanded to a full line of delicious treats. They added house-made ice cream about a year ago, followed by their line of sweet drinks including slushies, ice cream slushies, Italian cream sodas and coffees. Their latest addition is lunch, which includes freshly made sandwiches on house-baked sweet bread and salads.
There are numerous cupcakes, cups and shots flavors including birthday cake, vanilla, sugar cookie, cookie dough, strawberry, cheesecake, gooey butter, s’mores, chocolate, salted caramel, turtle, buckeye, lemon, cookies and cream, German chocolate, carrot and red velvet. The special MAB flavor is chocolate cake with caramel buttercream and gooey butter.
There are unfilled and mini cupcakes, themed cupcakes, muffins, and holiday cupcakes and cookies. Regular cookie flavors include chocolate chip, gooey butter, red velvet and peanut butter. There are also iced sugar cookies and MAB cookie bars sold by the slice.
Potter even makes candy ranging in flavors from Oreo to cherry to sugar-free cheesecake. She also sells fudge in regular, sugar-free and keto options as well as chocolate-dipped strawberries and sugar-free options.
These items can be purchased individually, in pre-made assorted packs while supplies last, or can be purchased in multiples.
Special $5 MAB treat boxes are a customer favorite because they offer a variety with one cupcake, one shot, two candies and two cookies.
In addition, whole cheesecakes and cookie cakes are available for purchase.
She even makes special dog treat cookies.
Customers can also find a favorite drink with the long list from which to choose: Italian cream soda, flavored milk and tea, fresh-squeezed lemonade, regular and ice cream slushies, hot cocoa, cold brew and hot coffees, and Frappes.
For a special cold treat, vanilla and chocolate ice cream is available in cups, pints, milkshakes and ice cream pies. There are 11 different specialty flavors including unicorn, strawberry, gooey butter and turtle. Ice cream bars, popsicles, and apple and banana pops are other frozen options.
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For customers who want to stop for a quick carry-out lunch, freshly made sandwiches on homemade sweet bread are available on a weekly rotating schedule. Customers can purchase a sandwich and drink or choose the MAB Meal to include a cupcake cup.
Sweet bread with honey butter is always available for purchase. Loaves of bread and honey butter can also be purchased individually.
“Everything is homemade in our store,” said Potter. “Most of the time, we come up with something because someone in our family wants it.”
As for Potter’s personal favorite treat, she says she can’t really pick only one thing. “I enjoy them all or I honestly wouldn’t make them.”
She continued, “If you don’t love what you do as an entrepreneur, you won’t do it successfully. The same goes with baking.”
One of Potter’s favorite things she makes is the ice cream. But she also enjoys the sweet bread sandwiches and salads. Daughter Madeline also loves the sandwiches, while Alex enjoys slushies and Ben prefers chocolate chip cookies.
As for her customers, Potter said they often prefer gooey butter cupcakes and cookies.
“We have so many awesome customers,” said Potter. “We have lots who come in or use our drive-thru. I know exactly what they want, and I love this!
She also likes it when her regular customers surprise her by requesting something different.
Potter said she loves owning MAB Cupcakes. “It’s fantastic. The support that the community gives me makes me humble.”
One thing she did not want to give up as a mom was pick-up time for her kids from school and school-related events. So she hangs a sign on her door and hurries to grab them after school or the event. She has never once had a customer complain about her being gone from her business to pick up her kids.
“Instead, I get praise from people and most importantly, support,” she said. “It’s such an amazing act of kindness this community gives allowing me to be a mom and business owner.”
Potter works with groups for unique fundraisers, but she said they have limited availability so check with her as early as possible.
As for future plans at MAB Cupcakes, Potter said she has lots of ideas. She is also always wanting to adapt to what the community needs and wants.
“Change is definitely a way of life for business and thinking about the future,” she said. “That’s all you can do is see what’s trending and what is needed and adapt to it. That keeps us in business and allows us to have fun and be creative.”
Potter said she appreciates the opportunity to share her family’s story with the readers of the Daily Journal.
Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
MAB Cupcakes is located at 725 Maple Valley Drive, Farmington. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates, events and specials. Customers can even text MABTREATS to 77948 for sweet treats information to be sent to their phones.