By Jandry Perez Garcia
On Tuesday April 26, I had the opportunity to meet local businesswoman Taylor Ruhnke. Ruhnke is the owner of Cupcakin’ Around, a bakery — a rather unique bakery, in fact.
What sets Cupcakin’ Around apart from most other bakeries is that it’s run from Ruhnke’s own kitchen. However, that doesn’t mean that Ruhnke is just a home cook – she’s quite an experienced baker. Ruhnke went to culinary school and worked as a baker for the Ritz Carlton hotel chain in California and Arizona, Disneyland, Molly’s Cupcakes in Des Moines, and Grinnell’s own Sunrise Bakery.
But two years ago, Ruhnke decided to focus all of his experience on building his own company, Cupcakin’ Around.
People can buy cupcakes and other baked goods, like cookies and cakes, by walking past Ruhnke’s stand at Grinnell Farmer’s Market, placing orders through the bakery’s Facebook page, calling ( 641) 990-4465 or by emailing [email protected] Ruhnke said an average size order takes him about two days to prepare and deliver.
Ruhnke recently put Cupcakin’ Around on the back burner for a few months due to personal circumstances, she said, but is now back in business and expects to be part of the Farmer’s Market again in May.
Cupcakin’ Around is a licensed operation, subject to health regulations, like most other bakeries. The state of Iowa has regulations in place for home bakeries (and other types of home-based businesses) called food lodge laws to keep consumers safe. Regulations vary by type of home bakery, home food operations, and licensed home bakeries, such as Cupcakin’ Around.
The distinguishing factor between the type of regulation a business is subject to is the type of food prepared. Licensed home bakeries use foods that are considered Temperature Controlled Foods for Safety (TCS), such as dairy and eggs.
Licensed home bakeries are required to acquire distribution licenses and have labeling requirements and other regulations, including inspections by the Iowa Department of Inspections.
After we met, Ruhnke was generous enough to let me try some of her cupcakes. This experience reminded me of the difference between food and good food.
At least in my opinion, the difference between food and good food isn’t just taste, it’s more abstract than that, it’s a feeling; a feeling of excitement. When you eat good food, you have to be excited about eating the food in the first place, whether it’s because of how the food looks or smells, or something more personal to you. individual.
This sensation must be present throughout the experience and last longer than the aftertaste of the food; it should be there years later, you should be able to look back and say “it was a great meal” even if you can’t remember how it tasted or even what you must have eaten.
It is the obligation of the person preparing the food to facilitate this feeling by producing something worthwhile.
It was obvious to me that Ruhnke understood this from the moment I received the cupcakes, I could smell the cupcake while it was still in the wrapper and the taste and texture did not disappoint; I felt good food.