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Cupcake competition offers distraction during coronavirus quarantine

The Cake Girl owners hope to bring happiness to kitchens during COVID-19 shutdowns

CARROLLWOOD, Fla. — Kristina Lavallee grew up watching her mother’s career. The professional chef skills rubbed off on the daughter who eventually would fall in love with baking.

After meeting her husband, Kirby, Kristina bought a dessert truck and traveled the state making sweet treats.

“The demand just grew like wildfire,” said Kirby.

After a decade in business, The Cake Girl opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Carrollwood in June 2019. A second shop is planned for Wesley Chapel this summer.

But today, their doors are closed.

“People started into the panic. We started to see it coming,” said Kirby via Zoom chat Thursday morning. “Every day is a new day.

“We never really know if we’re going to have sales.”

Coronavirus forced the shut down of The Cake Girl shop but it didn’t stop the confections completely. The Lavallee’s had toyed around with the idea of handing out kits before but launched a new contest with their cupcakes this week. The shop invited customers to come by and grab a kit with cupcakes and decorating supplies.

“The overall mission of this project is just really bringing happiness, bringing awareness and letting people know there really are still good people out there,” Kirby said.  

After finishing the decorating, customers sent photos of their work to the shop on social media. The Lavallee’s will judge a winner after Easter.

“Winner receives a one hour behind the scenes session in our bakery with our owner Kristina Lavallee “The Cake Girl” to learn and create even more amazing cupcakes side by side with the pros! (After social distancing is over of course 😉) And a $25 gift card to use in our store!” Kristina wrote on Facebook.

The contest is designed to uplift a community stuck indoors.

“I was like, 'You know, everybody’s doing things for kids but nobody’s doing a competition to make it a fun family activity’. So, I kind of told her, ‘You know what, why don’t we just give this a try?’,” said Kirby.

The Cake Girl is part of the Carrollwood Area Business Association. You can still participate in the contest by picking up and cupcake decorating kit at the shop located at 13713 North Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618.

“It can really spread some smiles and some fun around the bay area.”

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