Adventures in cupcakes

Fort Lewis wife’s baking blog takes off

By Melissa Renahan on December 14, 2009

When Betsy Eves started her blog she had no idea that she was on the verge of becoming a virtual sensation. Java Cupcake, which debuted in February 2009, was just supposed to be a way for Eves to discuss her two favorite things: coffee and cupcakes. But, she explains with a laugh, she didn't know enough about coffee.

To kick-start the blog, she went on a "cupcake crawl" to become familiar with local bakeries, introduce herself and, of course, sample their wares. Then she started to post recipes, reviews and even some "cupcakes gone wrong" anecdotes. Before long the blog had hundreds of followers.

"It was good, but things really exploded once I got on Twitter," she said. The trend of online word-of-mouth is quickly turning into the best way to advertise. For example, during a family vacation in Las Vegas, Eves went to a bakery she'd read about and blogged about her experience. The bakery then twittered about her blog, and the cycle began.

Eves, who became a military spouse two years ago, does not create many recipes herself - though she admits to tweaking a number of them. The soldiers in her husband's battalion can attest to her flair since they often wind up with dozens of experimental cupcakes at work.

In addition to the baked variety, Eves also promotes more avant-garde takes on the treat - such as an artist who paints them and a company that makes cupcake-shaped soap. Eves is strict about endorsing only quality products, and any free swag is typically used as a contest prize for her devoted readers.

The popular blog has even been nominated for a Love! this site award; yet, it remains surprisingly ad and sponsor free. The site has generated a few small catering jobs, but for the most part it remains a profitless venture.

"The desire is there, but right now the tools are lacking in my small kitchen," explained Eves when asked if she would ever make Java Cupcake into a full-fledged baking business. Luckily, in the Army there's always a chance to move and have a larger kitchen right around the corner.

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