Adnan Hamidi Follows His Dream Into Cupcake Heaven

We actually established the company, Alexandria Cupcake, in 2009, and in January of 2010 we opened our doors. Since then it has been a great ride.

BIM: It turned out it was a good decision. You had a great idea and picked the right spot.

Adnan: I think that location is important, and now we’ve become an institution in Old Town.

BIM: Old Town really has the sense of history and yet everything’s brand new and vibrant and energetic. It’s just a really cool place to be and I congratulate you for having a successful business in Old Town, because it is such a competitive environment.

People who visit Old Town or live in Old Town or work in Old Town, they’ve got a lot of choices. I read that there are over 400 different food service establishments: restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. It’s an extremely competitive environment. With all that having been said, why is it that so many people come through the doors of Alexandria Cupcake every day?

Adnan: Let me answer your question with two words; Quality and Service. If you have a good product, if you use the highest quality ingredients, and along with that you provide the highest level of service, you will have a successful business. As simple as it sounds, it works.

We offer the best cupcakes on the market. We use organic and/or natural ingredients in all of our products. We use the best butter you can buy, the best cocoa you can get, the freshest organic berries to use in our cupcakes or on our cupcakes, and we bake in small batches to control the quality of it. I think that that combination yields a great product, and then there’s the smile that you get when you walk through our doors.

One of the highest compliments that I am paid is when people say our service is just first class. And of course I have to tip my hat to my employees who just take amazingly good care of all of our clientele. Once you come in and taste the product and receive this amazing service, why wouldn’t you come back?

BIM: That’s a great question. Why wouldn’t you come back? Why would I ask you such a question?

Adnan: Exactly.

BIM: I’ve been there. I come back.

Adnan: You’ve been there quite a few times.

BIM: I didn’t realize the care that goes into your cupcakes Adnan. I could taste that it’s a fantastic product, but I didn’t know about the care you put into selecting your ingredients.

Adnan: Cooking is an art form. Baking is an exact science, so you have to be very careful as far as the humidity levels as they change and the temperature changes. There’s a lot of care that goes into it and you have to control the environment quite a bit, so it’s a little extra work but it’s definitely worth it so we can have the smiles on our customers’ faces.

BIM: Alexandria Cupcake has truly established itself as an Old Town institution. Didn’t you tell me that somebody actually wrote your company into a novel?

Adnan: I can’t tell you how surprised I was to learn about this. Threaded Destiny is a light sci-fi novel from Beth Brown, an author who lives down in Florida. She comes up to Alexandria quite a bit and used Alexandria Cupcake as a setting in this novel.

BIM: That is awesome.

Adnan: I was flabbergasted. What a wonderful surprise. We will definitely be reaching out to Beth and thanking her and of course you know she’s going to get cupcakes.

BIM: I’m sure she will! Okay, so let’s go the opposite direction now.

Adnan: Yes sir.

BIM: Alexandria Cupcake is an institution in Old Town and being written about by people. If everybody knows so much about Alexandria Cupcake, tell me something that people who’ve been coming there for years don’t know about your bakery Adnan.

Adnan: I think there’s one main thing that people are still surprised to hear, and that is that we deliver. We deliver on a daily basis, in the Old Town area and outside of Old Town. We have delivered as far as an hour and a half in each direction. Delivery is not a problem.

BIM: So if a local trade association in Old Town or a corporation needs a couple of dozen cupcakes tomorrow morning, delivered, you can do that.

Adnan: Absolutely, and there’s no minimum. If somebody wants two cupcakes delivered, we will deliver them. That is not an issue. Keep in mind, there are so many events that we’re involved in, by the virtue of that, we do deliver anyway. We get out there and we deliver.

BIM: I’m sure you’ve seen just about everything since January of 2010. Tell me two or three or more creative ways that you’ve seen people use your cupcakes.

Adnan: I would say that the most intriguing way that we have found people are using cupcakes are in a sex reveal party for a baby.

For example, one of the friends of the parents-to-be will find out the sex of the baby, and they will hold a little party or a shower for the parents. In the cupcakes, we will inject either blue or pink frosting to reveal the sex of the baby. When the guests are present, of course nobody knows, the parents and their parents and friends, but when they bite into the cupcake, it is revealed what the baby is going to be.

Frank Felker

Frank Felker is host of the Radio Free Enterprise podcast. He covers startups, marketing and entrepreneurial success stories.