A Charleston original, Cupcake DownSouth was founded in the spring of 2006 by Kristin Kuhlke Cobb, setting up shop on Charleston's famous King Street, one of the most renowned dining, shopping, and entertainment boulevards in the Southeast.
With an operating philosophy centered on cupcakes baked fresh daily, innovative flavors and ingredients, and true Southern hospitality, business quickly took off, and soon Cupcake DownSouth would receive national acclaim on many fronts.
USA Today was one of the first to notice, relating Kristin's story to its universe of readers. Martha Stewart Living Radio followed, interviewing our team and savoring our cupcakes live on the air. Then The Ellen Show joined in, lauding our Rocky Road cupcake, a concoction of rich dark chocolate cake, chocolate-marshmallow icing, and chopped almonds on its Ellen Across America site.
Budget Travel magazine was next, listing Cupcake DownSouth among the 25 reasons it loves Charleston. (Two years after we opened our 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 Southern Red Velvet.)
Then MTV paid a visit with its camera crews, televising birthday preparations at our King Street bakery for a Super Sweet 16 episode.
With the success of our King Street bakery, we added additional cupcake shops in Mount Pleasant, SC and Columbia, SC, satisfying the sweet dessert cravings of an even broader base of South Carolinians and visitors from around the world. At this time, too, Jen George joined Cupcake DownSouth as director of operations, providing leadership and support to the shops during this expansion.
Southern Living joins in
Not to be outdone, the venerable Southern Living magazine listed Cupcake DownSouth among its favorite shops in Charleston, and National Geographic Traveler named us one of the top cupcakeries in the nation. “Cupcake [DownSouth] is love in flour and icing,” the magazine wrote, spotlighting our Cookies & Cream cupcake.
Fox Business was next. In 2011, the news network profiled our downtown Columbia shop, as impressed with its Cinnamon Swirl, Lemon Blueberry, and Chocolate Raspberry cupcakes as it was with its sales success.
The Wall Street Journal followed, highlighting our French Toast and Peppermint cupcakes. “Cupcake [DownSouth] doesn’t skimp on the frosting—or the flavors,” the paper reported.
But you're the one we love
The love affair continues! Thousands of Cupcake DownSouth connoisseurs across the country follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and hundreds receive birthday emails from us each month, offering up a free cupcake to celebrate. Brides dazzle their rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, and wedding guests with tiers of mouthwatering wedding cupcakes, and UberEats roams the streets, delighting surprised gift recipients and office workers alike with hand-delivered pink boxes of fresh cupcakes. In addition, nearly a hundred nonprofits have benefited from Yesterday’s Cupcakes, the thriving program Kristin created to give back to our communities, where the heavenly scents of our bakeries' freshly baked cupcakes fill the air.
In early 2019, Cupcake DownSouth proved too delicious to pass up by Southern Bake, a small, privately held company led by 30-year hospitality industry veteran Michael Pitstick and his wife Beverly, and Cupcake DownSouth passed from one set of capable hands to another. Longtime customers of Cupcake DownSouth, Michael and Beverly reside in Charleston.
Michael's experience includes senior level positions with Hilton Hotels Corporation and Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and he has been a shareholder and principal in full-service hotel ownership groups and "Top 50" hotel management companies, opening and operating hotels and restaurants across the USA, Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Michael and Beverly met in the hospitality industry, where Beverly was a successful and well-regarded hotel executive leading sales and catering initiatives over a multi-unit portfolio.
And our thanks to our founder
The concept of Cupcake DownSouth was the vision of our founder, Kristin Kuhlke Cobb, whose passion for setting the highest standards in quality and service still inspires us today. Starting with her first cupcake shop on historic King Street in downtown Charleston, she and her close friend Jen George developed Cupcake DownSouth into a successful, multi-store enterprise. Jen is still charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of all our bakeries, and while Kristin has moved on to her next business venture, her heart and soul is still felt in every cupcake that leaves our bakeries.
Life is sweet!