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When you want a cupcake in Sydney, you head to the iconic Sparkle Cupcakery.
But little do many people know, the hip Surry Hills bakery and cafe is a haven for dog owners, with their signature ‘Pupcakes’ range sold in store. You can even find their secret recipes for dog biscuits and treats in their very own ‘Sparkle Cupcakes: Little Black Book‘ of recipes.
Pretty Fluffy caught up with founder and owner, Kathryn Sutton – and her pups, Tiga and Bubbles – to find out how one sweet idea became a successful business brand. Cupcakes and pupcakes were consumed…
Name: Kathryn Sutton
Title & Company: Founder, Sparkle Cupcakery
Location: Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia
You were living in New York when you caught the “cupcake bug”. What inspired you to create your own cupcake brand here in Sydney?
A love of cake is really at the heart of it all; lusting to open a business in Sydney and drawing on those experiences of living in NYC, the cupcake capital, seeing cupcakes become part of the way we celebrate.
What was your business experience prior to Sparkle? How did the brand go from being an idea to reality?
I trained in Hospitality Management straight out of school and then did a degree in Business at UTS, here in Sydney. I spent about 15 years working with major hotel groups, about 10 of those years with ITT Sheraton which became Starwood Hotels & Resorts. With Starwood, I had some amazing experiences working in Australia, Singapore and then New York in many aspects of the world of hotels from technology development to marketing and brand development.
You’ve been called the ‘Coco Chanel of Confection’ – how is this style and elegance reflected in your store and products?
Wow! I’ll take that title! Interestingly, Chanel was one of the images that formed part of the mood board, when creating Sparkle. The simplicity of Coco Chanel, the timelessness of their design is very much an inspiration
You’re known for including adventurous and decadent flavours in your range. What are some of your favourites?
It does depend upon the day! I am partial to a Coconut Ice, but then I’ll go for a Morning Glory, dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
Dog owners who visit can get their pooch their very own cupcake. Why did you decide to include Pupcakes in your collection?
I’m a big dog lover, and so are many on our team. Surry Hills is a big dog community and we are across the road from a park, which is frequented by many locals with their pooches. I guess the idea grew from there!
What are some of the dog friendly ingredients you use for your Pupcakes?
Wholemeal flour, chicken stock, carrot, egg and some meatie doggie treats on top. It’s all very dog friendly and dogs just go nuts for them!
Your flagship store in Sydney’s Surry Hills is iconic. How do you welcome furry visitors?
We would love for them to come right into our store and take a seat! Sadly, it’s again council restrictions! They are most often just outside our door (at our outdoor seating) and keep an eye on what their owner is up to.
No doubt your pupcake range was inspired by your own dogs…
My dog, Tiga, is now 7 years old, but still thinks he’s a puppy. He’s a champagne colored Spoodle with a big food obsession and firmly believes that every day is the most exciting day that’s ever happened! Now he’s a little older, he’s quite classy and sophisticated, likes the finer things in life.
My partner has a 3 year old Spoodle, Bubbles, so Tiga now has a step-brother! Bubbles is white and obsessed with toys. He’s a bit of a bubble, in personality!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in running a business and developing a brand?
My experience of running a business…it’s one of those things in life, that if I knew what it was going to entail when I set out, I would never have begun…but it’s also one of the most rewarding undertakings of my life so far!
What does the future hold for Sparkle Cupcakery?
That’s the exciting part…not knowing!
Describe your personal style in three words… Uncomplicated, minimalist, unique.
If you weren’t in your current job, you’d be a… Nomad traveller.
Describe your dogs in one word… Love.
Your dog’s favourite snack… Literally anything.
If your dogs were celebrities, they’d be… Tiga – Sean Connery and Bubbles – Luke from Modern Family.