An icon in locales spread across South Carolina, Cupcake DownSouth was founded in the spring of 2006 by Kristin Kuhlke Cobb, who returned to Charleston after a year in NYC to open the scrumptious specialty bakery.
USA Today was one of the first to notice, relating Kristin's story to its universe of readers. "'When I told people I was leaving my job in New York and coming home to open a cupcake store, it was pretty much the same reaction: 'Uh, good luck with that,'" she told the paper. Good for us, she hadn't listened—and neither had her father, who worked side by side with her preparing Cupcake DownSouth's flagship store (then called simply "Cupcake") on Charleston's famous King Street.
Martha Stewart Living Radio followed, interviewing the Cupcake DownSouth team and savoring its cupcakes live on the air. (Kristin relates a snippet of that experience here.) The Ellen Show joined in, lauding Cupcake DownSouth's rocky road concoction of dark chocolate cake, chocolate-marshmallow icing, and chopped almonds on Ellen Across America.
Budget Travel magazine was next, listing Cupcake DownSouth among the 25 reasons it loves Charleston. MTV paid a visit with its camera crews, televising birthday preparations at the bakery for a Super Sweet 16 episode.
Two years after Cupcake DownSouth opened its doors, Budget Travel was back, regaling its readers with the tale of two friends on a mission to find the perfect cupcake. (They found it at Cupcake DownSouth, and it was a toss-up between praline and red velvet.)
Not to be outdone, the venerable Southern Living magazine listed Cupcake DownSouth among its favorite shops in Charleston, and National Geographic Traveler named Cupcake DownSouth one of the top cupcakeries in the nation. "Cupcake [DownSouth] is love in flour and icing," the magazine wrote, spotlighting the cookies 'n cream cupcake.
In 2011, Fox Business profiled Cupcake DownSouth's downtown Columbia store, as impressed with its cinnamon swirl, lemon blueberry, and chocolate raspberry cupcakes as it was with its sales success. Later in the year, Kristin was profiled in the book Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., where Cupcake DownSouth's story caught the attention of the New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal joined in, highlighting Cupcake DownSouth's French toast and peppermint cupcakes. "Cupcake [DownSouth] doesn't skimp on the frosting—or the flavors," the paper reported. Skip to the end of its slideshow online and you'll see a Cupcake DownSouth baking expert in action: clad in one of Cupcake DownSouth's signature aprons, she drizzles molten chocolate across a tray laden with dark chocolate coconut cupcakes. Red velvet cupcakes await their frosting at her elbow.
The love affair continues between Cupcake DownSouth and its fans, whether they belong to the media's ranks or to a neighboring college. Thousands of Cupcake DownSouth connoisseurs across the country follow the bakery on Facebook and Twitter, and hundreds receive birthday cards from Cupcake DownSouth each month, inviting them to come on by for a free cupcake. Brides dazzle guests with tiers of mouth-watering wedding cupcakes, and the Cupcake Mobile roams the streets, delighting partygoers and office workers alike with hand-delivered pink boxes of fresh cupcakes. Scores of non-profits have benefitted from Yesterday's Cupcake, Cupcake DownSouth's thriving program created to give back to the communities where the heavenly scents of its freshly baked cupcakes fill the air.
Life is sweet!