OCEAN PINES — One of the things that opening a new business has in common with raising a newborn is that although you think you know what you are getting into, you are wrong.
They tell you that you won’t get much rest and you know you won’t get much rest in both scenarios, but you don’t know that feeling where the ultimate exhaustion meets the ultimate level of accomplishment and satisfaction until you’ve been there for yourself.
Kate Johnson and Julie Cyburt have been there for about a year and, while they could certainly be more tired, they couldn’t be more satisfied.
The sisters opened Yummy a year ago and, as they are getting ready to celebrate their first year in business, they are looking back on a year’s worth of experiences they wouldn’t undergo again if they could help it but also wouldn’t trade for anything.
They had been in the baking and cupcake business for a couple of years, running things on the side and from their home before they decided to make the leap into the sweet shop business. In making the transition, the ladies had the kind of foresight that can often be missing when semi-pros or hobbyists turn their passion into a full time profession — diversification.
Instead of relying on their formidable skills alone and hoping for the best, they looked around at the market to see what service was really underserved. Putting a unique spin on their talents is what made them successful in the first year and what will likely allow their business to continue to grow.
What they discovered is that Ocean Pines and the surrounding area lacked a true boutique sweet shop and Yummy! fills that niche in spades. If you haven’t been, just imagine what a sweet shop should look like and you have an excellent picture.
The shop is crisp and white, which allows the colors of each item — and there are hundreds — to really stand out. Yummy! carries novelty candies you might have thought had gone extinct, such as candy cigarettes, wax lips, and wax soda bottles as well as more recent confectionary innovations such as huge gummy bears on a stick and softball-sized jawbreakers.
But while the retail aspect of the story keeps Johnson and Cyburt busy enough, it is their dedication to their handmade confections that keeps their regulars coming back.
The partners have been making specialty cakes and cupcakes since they first started at home and still do a very brisk business in wedding and other event orders. Providing cupcakes in all shapes, sizes and colors — everything from Hello Kitty cupcakes to Cowboy hats — and fondant cakes, where the photo reproduction quality is only improved upon by the superior product it tops, has been their mainstay throughout. Staying ahead of trends in both quality and invention, though, is what has made Yummy! the go-to place for a quick snack as well as a planned affair.
Two such innovations are the cupcake pop, which is a small, round cupcake on a stick and the cupcake push pop. A push pop is an ice cream novelty. People use a stick to press the soft ice cream up to be consumed. At Yummy!, they fill various tubes with cupcakes of different flavors, toppings and fillings and can barely keep them on the shelves.
This is not to suggest that Yummy! doesn’t have proper ice cream as well. It is one of the most convenient places for Ocean Pines residents to pick up the ice cream locally made Chesapeake Bay Farms Creamery. If you think that can’t be improved upon with cake, though, Johnson believes you are mistaken.
“You get the cupcake sundae [we make] with that ice cream?” she said. “It’s killer.”
As Johnson and Cyburt prepare for their big anniversary celebration, they suggest customers get in touch with them on Facebook as the extensive schedule of events continues to come together.
“It’s kind of all about the customers this first year,” Cyburt said.