Tune in to Rebekah’s St. Patrick’s Day episode of “Statesboro Cooks” featuring Simply Sweet Cakery now airing daily on local cable Channel 99 at 7:30 p.m., 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. The episode is also available to watch at Some Kinda Good.
Cupcakes have always been near and dear to my heart, never mind my waistline. I’ve never met one I didn’t like.
It all started when I was a child. I would go to the grocery store with my mom, and if I was well behaved while she shopped, I would get to choose a 99-cents cupcake from the grocery store bakery. I would peer through the glass window and size up each one, carefully determining which little delicacy would be mine. Even now, that small treat is my favorite pastime. Clever, Mom.
That’s why recently, when I stepped foot in local cake bakery Simply Sweet, I knew it was just the business to feature in the Local Spotlight this week. I sat down for a Q-&-A with Christina Babb, who owns the cakery with her husband, Adam, to get the scoop on her amazing St. Patrick’s Day-inspired cupcakes and her ties to Statesboro.
Q: Where did the name Simply Sweet come from?
A: My husband came up with the name, back when owning a bakery was just a dream. He says we are a bakery who only does sweets, and we are not trying to be the fanciest bakery. We are just simple and sweet!
Q: What’s it like to work as a married couple at the bakery each day?
A: Adam has a day job but manages most of the cakery’s night and weekend events that we participate in, like the farmers market. Everyone knows him as the “cupcake man.” We work together great — most of the time.
Q: Tell me about your culinary background.
A: Most of my cake-decorating skills came from helping my mom, who decorated cakes when I was growing up. I also watched a lot of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” to learn about fondant. I went to culinary school at Ogeechee Technical College to learn about basic baking skills.
Q: What do you love about baking?
A: I love that baking is so relaxing for me. I can just get in the kitchen, turn my music on and bake and not have a care in the world. It’s pretty amazing to me that you can take simple ingredients like eggs, sugar and flour and turn it into so many delicious things.
Q: Aside from cupcakes, what other bakery services are offered at Simply Sweet?
A: We offer birthday cakes, wedding cakes, sugar cookies, cake pops, and now we have added macaroons to our list. We do dessert bars for parties, too.
Q: What is your best-selling cupcake?
A: Our best seller is Red Velvet. Everyone loves Red Velvet. We usually sell out of it first and have a hard time keeping enough in stock.
Q: I’ve noticed the bakery items and decor change along with the calendar year. Tell me about some of the delicious cupcakes being offered in March.
A: March is all about St. Patrick’s Day. Our Key Lime Cupcake is back to show off green. We will also have Pistachio Raspberry, Chocolate Stout, Irish Coffee, Green Velvet Cheesecake and Irish Car Bomb cupcakes. We also make St. Patrick’s Day-themed sugar cookies, cake pops and macaroon flavors. Our weekly menu is available on our Facebook page.
Q: What makes Simply Sweet stand out among the competition?
A: We bake fresh from scratch daily. We don't offer the same flavors 365 days a year. We change for the holiday and season. We hand-make all of our cake decorations. We don’t use plastic toys. Every cake is a custom creation for each individual customer, not mass produced or chosen from a book. We also offer sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free options.
Q: Do you sell beverages?
A: We do sell Coca-Cola products and coffee.
Q: What would you tell someone who’s never visited Simply Sweet?
A: Give us a try! There are 12 flavors daily, so we always have something for everyone. Also, if you visit on Mini Monday, you can try all of the flavors without the guilt.
Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a customer?
A: The best compliment I have gotten is that our cupcakes are better than D.C. Cupcakes and Cake Boss. That really makes my day.
Q: What’s your favorite cupcake at Simply Sweet?
A: My personal favorite is the Lemon Drop Cupcake, but every few months we have a Toffee Cupcake that I love, too. Sometimes it’s hard to pick just one!
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your cakery?
A: We have just celebrated our second birthday here in Statesboro. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers who continue to support us and allow us to do what we love for a living. We hope to experience many more birthdays in the Boro.
Simply Sweet Cakery has been in business for nearly five years. Originally opened in Augusta, Ga., the husband-and-wife team relocated to Statesboro in 2012 after seeing a demand for a good cake bakery and missing the town where they attended college. With a staff of five, the cakery is located at 609 Brannen St. and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I personally can attest to the taste of their cupcakes, and there’s nothing simple about the flavors — Simply Sweet Cakery is some kinda good!
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's “The Taste,” she blogs at SomeKindaGood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.