Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sugar Sugar

Sugar Sugar is a candy and cupcake "boutique" located in downtown Salem, Oregon. Owner Dana Heuberger had a dream to open her own candy store -- and it has become reality! Dana started selling cupcakes after realizing they went well with her vision.

Since I don't know of many candy and cupcake shops in downtown Salem, I walked on over on a Thursday, just past noon. As I walked in, I saw jars of candies lining the walls. Sixlets, Jordan almonds, and other treats, sorted by color. $2.70 per quarter pound.

I'm not a real candy person, but cupcakes are a different story. A display case deep inside this boutique held five or six different cupcakes, with varying colors of buttercream. Purple? Turquoise? Really? If not chocolate, it's probably vanilla with food coloring.

The person at the counter, who I assume was Dana herself, helped a customer as I pondered which cupcake to get. When it came time for me to order, I asked what was the most popular.

"They're all popular."

Ask a stupid question, and you'll likely receive a non-helpful response. Silly panda.

All the while, I zeroed in on Dana's mannerisms. Not much smiling. I felt no heartwarming vibe. It was not a cold stare, but certainly not the same disposition your mother, aunt, grandmother, etc., would have had. I'm sure she's a wonderful person, but it just didn't shine through this time.

I settled on a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting ($2.50). The cupcake had a sinful aura, the buttercream piped on with a wavy tubing and swirly finish. Edible beads (more sugar?) topped this brown masterpiece.

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream
(Sugar Sugar)
The cupcake itself was light and very good. The chocolate essence engulfed my mouth and nostrils. I swear I wasn't doing chocolaty drugs, really....

Unfortunately, the buttercream was a significant turnoff. Despite great flavor, it was extremely heavy and dense. I don't know about other people's tastes, but I'd like my buttercream frosting light and silky. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the delicacies at two Cupcake Wars-winning establishments, but I would have happily accepted any cupcake with airy, whipped frosting.

I'm not expecting owners or employees to enthusiastically greet everyone in an overly caffeinated, peppy manner, like I was some long-lost family member, but the vibe I got was not one to make me return very often. 4.5/10

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