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What's the reality of "D.C. Cupcakes"? Latest Washington foodie show gets premiere party


Sophie LaMontagne(left) and Katherine Kallinis at Georgetown Cupcake (Marvin Joseph/TWP)

Sick of cupcakes yet? Well, brace yourself -- Washington's sugar rush kicked into high gear Tuesday night with a preview party for "D.C. Cupcakes," the latest reality show based in the nation's capital.

While the debate over the best cupcake in Washington goes on, the contest for the cutest bakery owners was decided earlier this year when sisters Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, the photogenic co-owners of Georgetown Cupcake, were picked to star in TLC's six-part summer series. Filmed earlier this year, it debuts Friday at 10 p.m.

"You can get cupcakes anywhere -- even in a grocery store or bake them at home. I think people come here because it is an experience and something special," Sophie said.

The sisters, originally from Toronto, had the perfect back story for TV: Sophie, 33, and Katherine, 31, quit their corporate jobs (Sophie worked in finance, Katherine was an event planner for Gucci) to start a family cupcake business on Valentine's Day 2008. With savvy marketing and word of mouth, the tiny Georgetown business boomed and customers lined up outside to buy 5,000 of the $2.75 cupcakes every day.

TLC jumped on the bandwagon. The hook, said Howard Lee, veep of production and development for TLC, was "how these two women could leave their day jobs and pursue their passion. I think that's a dream that many of us have."

The shop has a devoted following, and its Chocolate Ganache cupcake won The Washington Post's Cupcake War in 2008. But not everyone is a fan. "I've been to their store three times and I think their cupcakes are good, but I didn't feel like they're fantastic," said Linda Martin, author of the local 52 Cupcakes blog. "But they definitely created some sort of mystique."

Martin's favorites come from Baked & Wired, a bakery just blocks away from Georgetown Cupcake. Co-owner Teresa Velazquez, who opened her place in 2001, said she's never met the sisters but doesn't consider them rivals. "Our product is different than their product," she said. "Everyone has a different idea of what a cupcake should taste like."

Velazquez, who plans to watch the premiere, wasn't approached to be part of this or any other reality show. "You have to have a certain personality for that," she told us.

By The Reliable Source  |  July 13, 2010; 9:40 PM ET
Categories:  Parties  
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Comments

Great photo, yummy cupcakes and fantastic t-shirts!

Posted by: Efrumnash | July 14, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

15 minutes of fame up in 3...2...1...who?

Posted by: fluxgirl | July 14, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Yes, not so much sick of cupcakes as of the stories about them and the poseurs. I don't get the almost religious devotional aspect of cupcakes and I absolutely don't get "red velvet"; it's cake with food coloring folks, you can do this too with things bought at the supermarket. There is absolutely nothing in Georgetown that makes it worth lining up and dealing with the traffic in that part of the city.

Posted by: blankspace | July 14, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Stop it with the cupcakes. $3.00 and up, please, they are not that great. I hope all of these cupcake shops are saving their pennies. The good thing is this too will pass.

Posted by: cooper8 | July 14, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Their cupcakes are awesome...there is a line around the block some days. Anyone who doesn't like them is just being a hater.

Posted by: dbunkr | July 14, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I am a big fan of Georgetown Cupcakes. In fact, we have even had a dozen shipped across the country once I moved from D.C. However, they have over-marketed the TLC premier by a long stretch. I am so sick of hearing about it, I am planning on skipping the show on Friday. Careful, ladies, or before you know it, you could completely burn people out on your concept.

Posted by: sjagirl05 | July 14, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I have had both - my preference by a mile is "Baked & Wired".

They go the show based on looks and for the VP to say because they quit their jobs and started their dream is bull. Most people who have their own business started the same way. This is not a new story. They fit TLC's image.

Posted by: jlr6111 | July 14, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

We order from Georgetown Cupcake every few months (from the Georgetown location; I think there's another). While I'm not a fanatic devotee, we do enjoy the wide range of options they have, and the ingredients seem to be fairly high quality. If memory serves, their delivery menu is set up in 3 categories: basic cupcakes available every day, weekly ones available every week on a particular day, and then a grab bag of random experimental/seasonal ones that pop up from time to time.

Two other things I like about them: the convenience of delivery inside the beltway (for $10 extra I think), and the fact that their cupcakes actually stay edible for some time. A purist might cringe, but we often get a box or two and then leave them on the table for a few days (in the boxes). They are still entirely edible and tasty even a few days later, which I consider a must for cupcakes. This makes the delivery fee manageable, since you can order a few dozen and not worry that they'll all be stale in 12 hours.

Posted by: zippyspeed | July 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Their cupcakes are OK. Maybe I went on a bad day but the were too dry for my liking. Homemade, I believe, are the best. And a whole lot cheaper!

Posted by: jjpbd324 | July 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I passed by their truck yesterday in front of FAA. They were doing very good business, but @$3 I decided it wasn't for me. However, good luck to them and for all of the others trying something different (and legal).

Posted by: familynet | July 14, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

STUPID

Posted by: doughless | July 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with this picture?

I can do simple math.

Number of cupcakes times price.

Subtract:

Square footage of commercial real estate in Georgetown.

And, labor and food costs.

Therefore,

You are operating at loss or are subsidized.

Why the smiles?

Posted by: quiet1 | July 14, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Do all reality shows have to focus on 26-33 year-olds whose every sentence is pronounced like a question?

Posted by: ChrisDC | July 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

And this is reason #2,546 that I am glad I no longer have cable. What a waste of time.

Posted by: heathergrace3 | July 14, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This so typical of D.C. The young women in the photo are "average" at best (in the looks department) but are considered "foxes" in D.C.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | July 14, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I would like to be in the middle of that picture. Ladies are looking pretty.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | July 14, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I've never had these cupcakes but I imagine they're pretty good. I'd never go out of my way to Georgetown for overpriced cupcakes. There are a bunch of theses cupcake stores all over town now, and they're all probably pretty good. I'd rather go to a place where there's parking and the cupcakes are cheaper. All these cupcake and tart frozen yogurt places will flame out in the next 5-8 years, anyway. Even earlier than that if they start believing their own press.

Posted by: tbantug | July 14, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I am a big fan of Georgetown Cupcakes. In fact, we have even had a dozen shipped across the country once I moved from D.C. However, they have over-marketed the TLC premier by a long stretch. I am so sick of hearing about it, I am planning on skipping the show on Friday. Careful, ladies, or before you know it, you could completely burn people out on your concept.

Posted by: sjagirl05 | July 14, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious just to see who the dummies are who line up to buy $3 cupcakes. These two ladies must have both taken "P.T. Barnum Was Right!" in college. Best wishes to them and their success.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | July 14, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Everyone here can be a hater, and I agree the "cupcake" trend is overdone, but their cupcakes are delicious!!

Posted by: Lea2 | July 14, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

2.75 for a cupcake. The fact that they're still in business, along with other cupcake boutiques, is proof that the recession has not touched DC. I've had a few myself just to check out the hoopla. Not worth it IMO.

Posted by: forgetthis | July 14, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I love their cupcakes!! While I've never had Baked and Wired (although now I feel I need to), I think they are the best cupcake place in town. Better than these shops that have popped up on every corner. (Old Town alone has like 3! none of which are that great). I must admit my mother thinks insane to spend $3 on a cupcake but then again she also thinks its insane to spend over $30 on shoes. So what does she know.

Posted by: lucl74 | July 14, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I love their cupcakes. But will not wait 20 minutes for one. I love the red velvet and have never been able to make a decent red velvet on my own.

The one downside is they only taste fresh and soft the first day. The next day they aren't so good - at least not to me. But this works to my benefit it keeps me from being greedy and ordering 5 or 6 of them at a time. Because I would be the one downing all of them.

Posted by: TG10 | July 14, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I have had Georgetown Cupcake (and waited 30 minutes at least), Baked and Wired, Cake Love and Hello Cupcake, and liked Baked and Wired best, then Hello Cupcake. After trying them all, I can't believe I waited in line for GC and it was the worst of the bunch by far! Cake Love was OK but needed to come to room temperature to fully enjoy.

Posted by: Laura118 | July 14, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

You know, I never understood the whole cupcake thing, until my wife explained it to me (People too cheap to buy cakes anymore). However, this craze won't last, either. If the sisters want to stay in business, they're going to have to branch out into other baked goods. Relying on tourists curious about a fad, some who "saw them on TV," will only take them so far. One well-publicized article about how much a "cupcake-a-day" habit costs you each year and it's bye-bye.

Posted by: akitadog | July 14, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Love their nipple cakes! Good luck with the show.

Posted by: CBT2 | July 14, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with this picture?

I can do simple math.

Number of cupcakes times price.

Subtract:

Square footage of commercial real estate in Georgetown.

And, labor and food costs.

Therefore,

You are operating at loss or are subsidized.

Posted by: quiet1 | July 14, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse


Run your math again. Sales of cupcakes alone is $3.5 million. Rent + labor + materials is certainly less than $3 million.

Posted by: CBT2 | July 14, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

All the people complaining about price, traffic etc. obviously haven't yet been to Baked and Wired.

Posted by: cookleslie | July 14, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Who is the woman in the video clip?? Is that the same person as in the photo at the top of the page?? Holy crap!! How many cupcakes has she been sneeking at work???

Posted by: csh1 | July 14, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Baked & Wired beats GC on all counts - taste, money, and SIZE! Been in Gtwn for seven years and have always enjoyed Baked. Fabulous baked goods and great coffee. All of her stuff is fresh, made in small batches and alway comes out MOIST!

GC's cupcakes are tiny and really DRY. How'd they get a show??

Posted by: Cindygirl | July 15, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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