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THE DISH: Whimsical Sweets Bake Shop

ON THE MENU

*All flavors change daily.

• Black forest

• Devan’s devil’s food

• Guinness stout

• Lemon cream cheese

• Peppermint patty

• Sweet potato

Map

Whimsical Sweets Bake Shop

Whimsical Sweets Bake Shop

1365 Grayson Highway, Suite 105, Lawrenceville

770-237-8686

www.whimsicalsweetsbakeshop.com

Open since: August 2010

Owner: Charlene Birdsell

Location: Whimsical Sweets is located next to Race Trac at the intersection of Grayson Highway and Webb Gin House Road.

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays and Mondays

Atmosphere: The inside of the bake shop screams sweet and delicious. The aroma of fresh cupcakes floats through the air inviting customers to buy a tasty treat. The pink and brown walls are adorned with cupcake art in black frames and more ceramic cupcakes sit on a shelf behind the register.

At the counter, owner Charlene Birdsell is ready to take your order while you examine all of the handcrafted cakes in her glass display case, which holds a variety of flavors. Children who are too short to look in the case can hop on the wooden stepping stool to find their favorite cupcake.

When you finally choose your sweet, take a seat in one of the three tables in the bakery to indulge yourself.

Menu: Everything on the menu is made from scratch, including the frosting, which is rare, according the Birdsell. She uses the finest ingredients and refuses to use anything with preservatives.

"If I wouldn't eat it or feed it to my family, I won't sell it or feed it to a customer," she said.

Birdsell has been baking since she was 10 years old. She has been experimenting with flavors, colors and designs as long as she can remember.

"There have been so many disasters over the year, but a lot of good has come from it," she said with a laugh. "I can't turn (the creativity) off. I'm always coming up with new flavors and designs -- I see inspiration in everything. It's so much fun."

She has also gotten some of her recipes from family members, like her grandmother Helen. Birdsell makes an apple crisp cupcake named for her.

No matter what, this baker wants to keep her cupcakes exciting, so she never has the same variety of sweets for sale each day. Depending on other orders or what she makes, she changes the display case daily.

"I have different flavors everyday because I want people to be excited," Birdsell said. "I always have chocolate and vanilla selections because that's what some people want, but changing daily keeps it fun, interesting and completely unpredictable -- like me."

The No. 1 selling cupcake is the red velvet, which is almost always in the display case. All of the cupcakes are priced at $2.75, except for the ones with extra ingredients like nuts and fruit. These cakes go up slightly in price.

One thing that Birdsell loves to create are wedding "cakes." She offers brides an assortment of cupcakes in many flavors, designs and themes. The tiny cakes are displayed on a cupcake stand for wedding guests to grab as they want.

Things you might not know: Birdsell was in the real estate business in Cleveland, Ohio before opening Whimsical Sweets.