Little bites of heaven

Carolyn B. Fertig

Heavenly Cupcakes not only offers cupcakes, but also a comfortable place where customers can drink tea and eat. Dana Beveridge | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The walls are covered in pink and lime green stripes. The air smells of cake right out of the oven, just before being iced. A Victorian couch nods at customers on their way in, and many small tables, already prepared for afternoon tea are set.

Approaching the bakery case, a woman wearing festive clothing and a small smile greets guests, showing her daily creations of fresh goodness. The case though, is not filled with donuts, pies and cinnamon rolls, but rather only one thing. They are created many different ways, but they are all cupcakes: This is Heavenly Cupcakes.

Opened in June, Heavenly Cupcakes offers a variety of cupcakes, made from scratch, that can be paired with tea, coffee or juice.

“We offer a fun, friendly atmosphere for students,” co-owner Carol Ford said.

The store also offers Wi-Fi if students decide they want to take a break from their everyday lives and do their homework with a cup of tea and a cupcake, Ford said.

Ron Burbick, financier and founder of the Phoenix Project, said many new businesses are opening around Kent. These stores, located in Acorn Alley and along Main Street, are not large corporate-chain businesses, like Wal-Mart or Starbucks, but small businesses owned by local owners.

“There is a reason why businesses can stay open in a ‘college town,'” said Burbick, who just opened Acorn Alley in Kent.

“Kent is immune to the recession because we have a micro-economy,” he said. “College students need to eat, shop and have fun, so businesses in Kent thrive.”

While Heavenly Cupcakes isn’t located in Acorn Alley, but rather in the semi-defunct University Plaza on Cherry Street in Kent, it was able to open because of discounts from their rental spaces, said co-owner Diane Cueni.

“It was still hard to open,” she said, “but we took careful consideration and research on where we should open, and Kent was the place. Everyone has been so nice and has helped us out, discounts on rent and everything.”

The economy is rough, but Kent will continue to bring in new businesses that offer a local touch that many people will enjoy, Burbick said.

“We have done our research and know that Kent is far enough away and isolated that we can have our own-based economy.”

Because of this, Heavenly Cupcakes can sell cupcakes for the community to enjoy. Heavenly Cupcakes is a place that is a universal place that college students, to local population would love, Cueni said.

“We are very fortunate on what we have so far,” she said, “and can’t wait until students start coming in.”

Contact features correspondent Carolyn B. Fertig at [email protected].