Mark Stambler Interview

by David Stamps


I recently started graduate school, majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. It has been an interesting experience being back in a classroom setting, and the presentations, papers, and numerous reading assignments have felt like Christmas morning; excitement and fun all wrapped in a bow (that's my sarcasm, coated in tears). However, my latest assignment in one of my classes really intrigued me, as a class we became citizen journalist covering the topic of food. And even better, universities in the U.K. and India were also joining in on the fun. Food across the globe! This was not the name of the assignment, but that sounds pretty good, right?

Since we were covering food my initial thought was to have coverage of me eating cupcakes...cause that is news worthy coverage, but it lacks that academic flare, so it was a no-go. Since cupcakes lost out, I decided to talk about the California Cottage Food Act. If you are unfamiliar, let me give you a little background. Prior to 2012 it was illegal to cook food in your home and sale it anywhere, including farmer's markets, fairs, expos, conventions, etc. I'm sure it was being done, but technically it was illegal. Mark Stambler, a bread baker, who has won awards and participated in many fairs including the L.A. County Fair and California State Fair, learned first hand how illegal it was to bake at home and sale those goods.

photo from lattimes.com

photo from lattimes.com

Stambler was visited by a health inspector in 2011 and told to suspend operations after years spent competing and making a living at baking. Well Stambler took action and partnered with his Assemblymen to draft a new bill called the California Homemade Food Act. The bill was passed in 2012 and today there are over 1,200 entrepreneurs working out of their home and sharing their goods at farmer's markets, expos, and fairs all over the state. There are also over 30 additional states that have similar laws that allow them to do the same. Mark became the first person in California to legally sale homemade food. Now bakers, jam makers, coffee and tea enthusiast, etc. can work out of their home, saving thousands in small business expenses. I was able to talk to Mark via e-mail to hear his story, it was great for my class project, but as a baking addict and cupcake consumer, it is even better learning about trailblazers in our deliciously sweet community. Check out our conversation below:

 

Hi Mr. Stambler. I'm a journalism student at CSUN and 
I'm covering the Food Cottage Law as apart of my student 
research project. ***Im also a cupcake baker who blogs aboutmy adventures at www.cupcakeseverywhere.com

If possible I would love to hear about the journey to get 
Food Cottage passed and what you would love to see in the future 
with passionate home owners using their talents at home to grow 
small businesses.

 

Hi David -- Passing the California Homemade Food Act -- the state's Cottage Food Law -- was definitely a team effort. While it was the LA County Health Department's 2011 ban on the sale of my homemade bread that sparked the drive to write and pass the legislation, it would not have been possible to do so without the help of the staff of my Assemblyman, Mike Gatto, and the staff of the Sustainable Economies Law Center. It was part of a nationwide move towards legalizing the sale of homemade food: when we started the effort, the sale of homemade food was legal in, I believe, 18 states. By the time Gov. Brown signed the bill into law in September 2012, something like 32 states had cottage food laws on the books. I know that thousands of people across California have now taken advantage of California's Cottage Food Law, and I only hope that the California Department of Public Health lengthens the list of not-potentially-hazardous foods that are permitted to be sold when made in private homes.
- Mark

 


Cupcakes in Simi Valley, CA!

by David Stamps


I'm so excited and I have no idea how to contain my energy! If you have ever read this blog, follow us on social media or simply have spent 5 seconds with me you know how much I love cupcakes. After Crumbs closed its doors I felt an emptiness inside that I assumed would always exist (plus I have $35 dollars left on a Crumbs gift card that I can no longer use). But I found a glimmer of hope in what I thought would be a rough, cupcake-less season. A new cupcake store has opened less than a mile from my house! Holy crap, cupcakes within jogging distance...I could do cartwheels!

Cupcake lovers, meet Chocolate Savvy in Simi Valley, CA!

Located inside of the Simi Town Center, which is under complete renovation, this cupcake gem will hopefully be here to stay! That little guy peeking out the window is my son, he loves the camera...and cupcakes!

Located inside of the Simi Town Center, which is under complete renovation, this cupcake gem will hopefully be here to stay! That little guy peeking out the window is my son, he loves the camera...and cupcakes!

And the inside is super adorable! Really neat cupcake quotes and signs, clean display, free coffee and seating area(s) inside and out!

And the inside is super adorable! Really neat cupcake quotes and signs, clean display, free coffee and seating area(s) inside and out!

Vanilla Fudge and Halloween Spice Cupcakes!

Vanilla Fudge and Halloween Spice Cupcakes!

And I had to highlight the best part of my experience at Chocolate Savvy...the cupcakes! I had already eaten dinner and my wife would not allow me to get crazy, but I had my son in tow and he needed a cupcake too. So, I was able to purchase two cupcakes! We tried the Vanilla Fudge, vanilla cake with a rich, thick fudge in the center and vanilla buttercream icing (pictured above, on the right) and the Halloween Spice Cupcake, delicious spice cake, vanilla cream in the center, vanilla buttercream on top and lots and lots of Halloween sprinkles and adorned with a yummy pumpkin candy (pictured lower left side). I also had the shop sneak in a peanut butter cookie dipped in milk chocolate. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD. Everything was amazing and I can not wait to go back again....go thing they are so close!


CupcakesEverywhere.com supports Cupcake Clubs!!!

by David Stamps


Cupcake Club Raises Money For Harbour View Elementary

I love when I hear amazing news about cupcakes and raising awareness and support for communities around the US! These wonderful cupcake kids and their big hearts were brought to my attention a few weeks ago and I am so excited to share their story with you. Check out their journey and tell someone you know! We can all bake a difference one sweet at a time! Also, check back for how to reach out to them, how to learn more and how to start a Cupcake Club at your school! For now, have a question...click on our CONTACT US page and let me know!

Calling themselves The Cupcake Club, three 3rd grade girls raised $530 selling cupcakes at the Harbour View Elementary School Picnic held June 4, 2014.  Inspired by Sheryl and Carrie Berks' series of cupcake books (the first one titled The Cupcake Club), Katie, Holly, and Abbie created a club of their own.  The early stages of planning took place during recess on the school playground in Huntington Beach, California. Then, unbeknownst to her mom, Katie distributed flyers with scheduled meeting dates to be held at her house.  When Annette called Stacy to chat about Katie's flyer, the moms shared a good laugh.  Impressed with the girls' desire to donate all proceeds to the school, the parents gave the green light on The Cupcake Club.

The girls held bi-weekly meetings. Cupcake taste tests were conducted. (The school requires food to be commercially prepared, so home baking was out.) Product evaluation was weighed based on taste and price.  Theme colors of pink and black were carefully selected.  A logo was created. The talk was of advertising and marketing: Holly created a flyer that was emailed to over 700 families. The girls were serious and highly organized.  Ultimately, they decided on cupcakes from Bubba Sweets in Huntington Beach. Not only did the girls prefer the taste of Bubba Sweets' cupcakes to several other cupcake stores in Southern California, they were delighted knowing their large order would support a small neighborhood store. (It was also nice to learn two of the store's employees were Harbour View alumni.) The Cupcake Club was a huge success with support from friends and family; even brothers and sisters offered help: Isabelle (kindergarten) delivered cupcakes to customers on picnic blankets, and Roman (5th grade) worked as the cashier when it was busy.  Their inventory sold out within the first hour; the girls raised $530.  Katie, Holly, and Abbie proudly donated the money to Harbour View Elementary as a gift from The Cupcake Club.


CE.com's Spring Cupcake Collection

by David Stamps


It's time to celebrate all things cupcake and I'm super excited to share with you all of my Spring collection cupcakes! It's always super exciting to get requests for cupcakes and I'm always honored to be thought of, but when 2am hits and I'm a nervous wreck because the icing is not as silky or cake as moist...it's always rough. BUT in the end I get these wonderful little beauties and I am always snapping pictures, so you can enjoy the cupcake cuteness with me!

And I could not forget these favorites from a friend's graduation party! Yummy Lemon Cupcakes packed with lemon juice in the cake, sweet and sour lemon frosting and glass sprinkles on top! I love making cupcakes and I'm super excited for Summer...lots of baking to compliment all of the backyard grillin!

These beauties were created to celebrate my wife's baby shower (red, white and blue All-American cupcakes with chocolate cake and vanilla frosting) and our twin boy's 1 month birthday (Vanilla cupcakes and frosting....shhh, my favorite, with red sprinkles and adorned with red licorice)! Cooking for my family makes my heart happy, especially my twin boys! They can't eat them yet...but the introduction has been made! :-)

Lemon Cupcakes.JPG

And great family and friend events always call for desserts! Huge, delicious, made from scratch carrot cupcakes were perfect for our family that came to visit. And these chocolate, raspberry filled cupcakes were the perfect treat for a friend's get together!I love how the raspberry is on display...mouth watering!


Let's Bake A Difference Teaser...

by David Stamps


So much fun...so many desserts and CupcakesEverywhere.com got to be in on the action! I was a part of an awesome judging team, was treated to the VIP Room and tasted some of the best treats in the Valley and Ventura! Full post and pics coming soon...but for now, check out the judging table. Whoa!

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