Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Town Talk: ‘Interactive cupcake bar’ coming to downtown; Lawrence bathtub couches getting national publicity; rare Shelby sells for nearly $80k; egg hunts set

April 12, 2011


News and notes from around town:

• It appears downtown cupcake junkies are in luck. As we previously reported, the Pink Box Bakery at 727 Mass. has closed, but its owner had told us she had received quite a bit of interest from other bakers about taking over the location. Now, word comes that a Kansas University graduate and former Lawrence catering and restaurant executive is set to open the Cupcake Construction Company at the site.

Michael and Megan Kricsfeld plan to open the store next month, and they are touting it as more than just your standard cupcake shop. Instead, they are calling it an “interactive cupcake bar.” Here’s how it will work: Each day the store will offer a variety of cake flavors, multiple filling options, and several icings. Customers will be able to choose their cake flavor, their filling flavor and their icing flavor. The result will be that there are thousands of possible combinations, kind of like what you are faced with when you go to one of those build your own sundae shops.

One other twist is that the store will try to break the trend of cupcake shops being all frilly and girlie. The store will have a construction-based theme. When “building” their cupcakes, customers will be told the cake is the “foundation,” the filling is the “interior,” and the icing is the “roof.”

The idea for the store came about in 2009, when Megan was laid off from her job. Michael already was in the food business — he once worked for Maceli’s in Lawrence and also was part of opening downtown’s Buffalo Wild Wings location — so the idea took hold. The company already is in business in the Kansas City area as a cupcake caterer, a service it will continue to offer in Lawrence.

• It is a little bit bathtub and it is a little bit couch, and of course, something that unique also is a little bit Lawrence. A Lawrence-based company called Ruff House Art is gaining some national recognition for making couches out of old cast iron, claw foot bathtubs. The company is in a national “Green is Universal Contest” being sponsored by the online retail site Etsy and the Green is Universal web site.

The idea for a bathtub couch is the brainchild of Jill Morrison, who owns the company with her husband, Jared. Morrison had a career in the marketing industry as a designer, but then found herself out of a job as the economy soured. So, she decided to start her own business (we’re two for two in that category today). The business originally focused on custom-designed wedding invitations, but then she got the idea of bringing new life to old cast iron tubs that she says often times get tossed aside. (Well, not really tossed. I would hate to meet the guy who actually tosses a cast iron tub.) She notes that Audrey Hepburn lounged around in a bathtub couch in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and that got her to thinking about how her business could make the product. She says all the couches are made from tubs of the late 1800s or early 1900s, and are a very green product because they reuse something that otherwise would take up space in a landfill, or even worse, in a ditch or a hedge row somewhere.

You can vote for the product in the national competition here. (Note, it appears you have to log in and register on the web site to vote.)

• An article we did last week about a ‘66 Shelby 350GT unexpectedly found in a Lawrence apartment complex storage shed, has gotten quite a bit of attention. In addition to being picked up by the Associated Press, the story and other iterations of it found its way onto and similar sites. It appears the car also attracted a little bit of attention from bidders. Tulsa-based Leake Auction Co. sold the car at an event in San Antonio last week. The folks at the auction company told me the Shelby sold for $74,500. Certainly no record for a Shelby, but not bad for a day’s work of cleaning out a garage.

• Mark your calendars for some egg-hunting opportunities this Easter season. The city has announced it will have two Easter egg hunts on April 23. The city’s Underwater Eggstravaganza will begin at noon at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Drive. The event features an underwater egg hunt in the city pool. It also has several craft opportunities for kids. The cost is $5 per child. The event is open to kids 2 to 12 years old. You can pre-register for the event at any Lawrence Parks and Recreation facility.

The second event will be the traditional Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza at South Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to children 3 to 12 years old. Children may collect up to five eggs at the event.

There you go. I’ve written a news item about egg hunts and didn’t once resort to saying how “eggslent” they will be. Oh, son-of-a . . .


snoops 7 years ago

I like new local businesses and cupcakes, but the Cupcake Construction Company seems like a gimmick that is complicating a simple process. Just give me a cupcake

Bob Forer 7 years ago

I am not against going green, but I am sick and tired of all the shysters falsely touting their product as "green."

"She says all the couches are made from tubs of the late 1800s or early 1900s, and are a very green product because they reuse something that otherwise would take up space in a landfill, or even worse, in a ditch or a hedge row somewhere."

Sorry sweetie, but most bathtubs from that era were made of cast iron, and were usually free standing with legs. Accordingly, they are sought after and very popular in both new and remodeled bathrooms. A junk one will typically bring at least 75 dollars, and sometimes more, if it is usual or in top condition And any tubs that aren't recycled typically end up at the scrap metal dealer, as they are very heavy and bring a nice dollar as scrap iron, which is recylced. Hate to destroy your sales pitch, but there is nothing green abut your business, so please find another marketing angle.

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