A moist, soft and fluffy red velvet cupcake with a gold star on top…three stacked oreos topped onto a chocolate sponge cupcake…a chocolate chip cupcake with a cookie on top. All with icing just sweet enough you can eat more than one…maybe eight?
At what started out as a small treat for her daughter, had soon turned into a cupcake frenzy, with friends and friends of friends all wanting to order these special delights.
Baked and decorated by local Islington resident, Quyen Duong, 31, she had no idea she would be changing her career after spending 15 years working in market research.
“I’ve been a project manager for years. So it’s a bit weird having a transition of looking at excel spread sheets all day and then baking. It’s more rewarding when people say your cupcakes are so lovely.”
By starting off with giving her cupcakes to friends and family, Quyen noticed how many cupcakes they grabbed.
“Usually you eat only one cupcake, but for some reason everyone was pigging out on like eight! So I thought (to myself) ‘okay lets call it Pig Out!”
But Pig Out cupcakes are not your ordinary cupcakes, as Quyen’s speciality is to not make the icing out of butter cream as other bakers do. Instead, Pig Out cupcakes are made out of cream cheese, cream and icing sugar.
“I do any flavour and I customise it to whatever people want really. The most popular ones at the moment seem to be the chocolate covered strawberries and the red velvet.”
Keen and determined, Quyen wants people to indulge in her special cupcakes.
“I’m at a stage now where I have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It’s getting quite a bit of a buzz. ”
With four to five orders weekly, Quyen is never ready to turn down an order as she even stays up till 2am or 3am on Friday and Saturday nights to bake her cupcakes fresh on the day.
“I want to have a lasting affect on people. So that they come back to me and say ‘this is nice’. I want people to think ‘wow these are gourmet cupcakes’ rather than the normal cupcakes you would get at a general supermarket or café.”
Quyen’s partner is a regular taster and the ‘biggest critique’ for her cupcakes. Supporting Pig Out Cupcakes he happily exclaimed: “I would tell her when her cupcakes are too sweet with the buttercream, and when she needs to change something. I always have a taste of each batch of cupcakes (she makes) to make sure it tastes just right. Now Quyen’s cupcakes are perfect.”
In the hope to really kick start her business, Quyen has recently visited the Princes Trust.
“We are just at the testing stage. I’ve only just set up a couple of months ago and I am trying to get a space down in Brick Lane. So I’m going to test the product down there, and see how people take to it.”
Laura Jhuboo, 21, a fan of ‘Pig Out Cupcakes’ says “Her cupcakes are delicious! I love the icing, its my favourite. I also love how the way the cupcakes look, it makes it more fun to eat!”
Looking at the future for both Quyen and Pig Out cupcakes, she hopes to have her own shop in the next year or two. Quyen would also love to be able to do some charity work by fundraising and giving back to the community by selling ‘Pig Out Cupcakes.’
“I want to start going to nurseries and schools to teach them how to make cupcakes. They can have fun piping the cake, and then there are the toppings, sweets and chocolates. I feel blessed that I am able to do this and go forward. I really want to give back to the Princes Trust and the community. It is definitely something I want to do.”
Quyen’s delicious cupcakes range from £3 to £4.50 depending on flavour and customisation.
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