On April 7 Smallcakes: A Cupcakery opened its debut Illinois franchise at the bustling North Town Plaza at 115 E. Ogden Ave. in Naperville.
Franchise owners Robert and Jill Watsons fell in love with the cupcakes when they first tasted them. “We were customers before we became owners,” remembers Robert. Already looking to find a suitable business after their time overseas, Smallcakes hit the sweet spot, literally.
The Watsons chose Naperville to open their first business venture for its community feel, and “because it’s like home,” says the Oswego native, and veteran, Jill.
Smallcakes was founded in 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri, now has over 60 locations, mostly in southern states, and was listed as one of the top 10 cupcake places to try in the country by USA Today. Founder Jeff Martin is excited to open the first Illinois location.
“Chicago has such a rich culture with excellent food and desserts, and we’re excited to be a part of it with our decadent cupcakes,” says Martin whose cupcakes have received national recognition following three appearances on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” a feature in the morning television show “The View,” and various star-studded catering gigs such as “MTV Video Music Awards.”
The Naperville location will feature 13 signature flavors and rotate daily and weekly specials from another 140 specialty flavors, such as maple bacon and strawberry cheesecake.
“All of them are so good,” promises Jill of the moist desserts.
All cupcakes are made fresh daily. “Nothing is ever frozen,” says Jill.
Regular cupcakes are $3.25, and another three sizes are available. “The minis are very popular for parties,” says Robert. Punchcards and discounts for purchasing cupcakes by the dozen make for more savings.
The store, in the signature colors of pink and brown, offers some limited seating. Catering is available with at least 24 to 48 hours lead time.
Visit Smallcake’s ribbon cutting event on May 9 for free tastings.
After only a few months at its Washington St. location, Ann Taylor is about ready to move its new concept store to its final location at the newly developed Main Street Promenade, 55 S. Main St. by April 28.
The Ann Taylor concept store will fuse a boutique style atmosphere with the look of a stylish home for a more intimate shopping experience. Chandeliers accent modern tufted furniture, giving the feel of being in an oversized walk-in-closet with plush carpeting.
“Spring 2014 is about redefining the modern closet for our clients. We have our ‘A-List’ pieces, perfect for any occasion, throughout the store,” states creative director and Council of Fashion Designers of America member, Lisa Axelson. “We’ve updated the look of our stores to feel light, modern and airy and showcase the full breadth and versatility of the spring collection.”
The temporary Washington St. location will be closing its doors.
Coming up to its first year anniversary, Sharko’s BBQ, 4931 S Rt. 59, is adding some seasonal diversion to its rustic menu formed around “everything barbecued and smoked.”
“We are always looking to improve the experience,” says owner Brian Sharko, introducing some seasonal specials like bone-in ham and turkey in time for Easter.
Sharko’s BBQ, winner of best sauce at Naperville’s Ribfest, promises rubbed meats slowly smoked for up to 17 hours, and is now also adding fish to their menu.
“We will have fire roasted Atlantic salmon every Friday,” adds Sharko, also looking to bring live entertainment to the patio once temperatures allow.
Know of a business coming to or leaving Naperville? Contact Daina Saleh at firstname.lastname@example.org.