It was their first day in Patchogue and SmallCakes founder and CEO, Jeff Martin — who was on hand to help — tried to temper the new franchise owners’ enthusiasm a bit.
After the first customer that day purchased a dozen cupcakes, Martin said people don’t typically sell many cupcakes during a soft opening.
He didn’t want them to be disappointed.
“Then it started to really pick up,” said Kimberly Burkart. “By around 4 or 5 p.m. this place was packed, with a line. We sold over 600 cupcakes and we could have kept going all night. We basically sold out. ”
Burkart, of Ronkonkoma, and Nicole Ramirez of Manorville — both recent Stony Brook graduates who became fast friends playing intramural soccer — opened their SmallCakes on Saturday.
And word travels fast in Patchogue.
Smallcakes has great opening day photos on its Facebook page.
SmallCakes specializes in cupcakes baked daily, as well as small-batch, cupcake-infused ice cream. There are over 100 franchise locations in the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Martin started the company in Overland, Kan., in 2008.
The local women, both 23, decided soon after Ramirez’s graduation in May that they wanted to go into business together. Ramirez was working at the Apple store at Smith Haven Mall and Burkart worked for a pharmaceutical company.
It didn’t take long before discovering SmallCakes. They later tried the cupcakes and ice cream during a Burkart family trip to Walt Disney World.
“We just fell in love and we were like, we have to bring this product up to Long Island,” said Burkart, noting the Patchogue location is the first SmallCakes in Suffolk or Nassau.
They both said customers have been complimenting the cake for its moisture. The cupcakes are baked daily, and by trained bakers.
SmallCakes also makes its own ice cream inside the shop.
The location also has the backing of Ramirez’s parents, longtime distributors of Martin’s Potato Bread and other food products; they had urged the ambitious young women to find their own place to run.
After settling on SmallCakes it wasn’t long before they found New Village and signed a lease. New Village made the announcement of SmallCakes’ 2017 arrival in November.
“We knew right away, as soon as we saw the place, that we wanted it,” Ramirez said. “We all said, wow that’s perfect. It was the perfect size, perfect location.”
“We knew right away,” added Burkart. “Plus we already love and frequent Patchogue.”
The women say the company’s most popular cupcakes are the red velvet (pictured below) or the ice cream sundae, but they have a SmallCakes cookbook with over 200 recipes to choose from.
“We have a lot of flexibility, as long as we don’t veer from the recipes,” Ramirez said, adding that unlike with most traditional bakeries, there’s a place to sit and nosh at SmallCakes.
“We weren’t sure but right away people were sitting and eating,” she said.
“That made us happy.”
Top: Kimberly Burkart and Nicole Ramirez at Smallcakes Monday.
(Credit: Michael White/patchogue.greaterlongisland.com.)