Name & Occupation:Candace Nelson, Founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes and Pizzana
How did you get into the cupcake biz?I started in investment banking and then moved on to the internet world. When the burst happened in 2000, I looked inward to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. I always loved to bake, and I loved working with chocolate and flour, so I went to pastry school in San Francisco at Tante Marie.
What inspired you to start Sprinkles Cupcakes?I started making custom cakes just out of my kitchen when I graduated. Cakes were not a great business because people did not order them as much. I was spending days upon days making these beautiful sugar decorations and realized I wanted to make something the people could eat on a daily basis. That turned into cupcakes, but they were still kids fare at the time. You only found them at the super market and they were not great quality, not much decoration. I realized I need to, and wanted to, elevate them and then subsequently became obsessed with making a cupcake only bakery. So, Sprinkles was born.
My great grandmother was a restaurateur back in the depression years and super successful, a single mom, definitely a woman before her time. I feel like her spirit lives a little in me. I really just found a love in food and hospitality. I think you can’t have one without the other. Food is really about caring for people at the end of the day.