All in the name of sugar: Long-term goals turn into reality for Coastal Cupcakes owner

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WILMINGTON – While a decade-long bubble surrounding the rise of cupcakes as the premiere sweet treat may have burst, Wilmington resident Kristen Beckmeyer Spetrino has not only turned her specialty shop into a well-known local business, but into three different ventures — all in the name of sugar.

The trend for bakeries that specialize in cupcakes gained publicity in their appearances on popular television shows, like HBO’s “Sex and the City.” Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson is often touted for giving a jolt to the country’s cupcake craze with the opening of her first shop in Beverly Hills, Calif., followed by her television show “Cupcake Wars” and the introduction of the so-called Cupcake ATM.

Peanut Butter Brittle Cupcake. Photo courtesy- Coastal Cupcakes.
Peanut Butter Brittle Cupcake from Coastal Cupcake in Wilmington. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Cupcakes)

As long-term goals have grown into reality, Beckmeyer Spetrino still remains dedicated to giving her customers the same sweet satisfaction through her downtown store, Coastal Cupcakes; all while she continues her push to get her popular frosting sold in grocery stores in all 50 states.

“It’s pretty crazy to think we opened eight-and-a-half years ago,” Beckmeyer Spetrino said. “I originally got into this as a way to jump into the business. I knew cupcakes was going to be a fad and was always thinking about the bigger picture.”

Beckmeyer Spetrino opened her original Wilmington cupcakery,  in 2008, about five months after well-known Georgetown Cupcakes opened in Washington, D.C.

With a goal of getting other ventures off the ground, Beckmeyer Spetrino then turned her focus to her fledgling frosting business, Topsee Tulip. As a result, Coastal Cupcakes closed for a few months in early 2014. But, popular demand and love for her craft persuaded the creator to reopen the shop at its Princess Street location.

“When we closed, I missed it and people missed it. And we figured out the frosting side of things was going to take a little longer to get going initially. I decided to open Coastal Cupcakes back up. I’m glad I did,” Beckmeyer Spetrino said. “It is a lot of work, the hours haven’t changed and they’ve even got longer because I’ve added more things.”

Kristen Beckmeye Spetrino. Photo courtesy- Topsee Tulip Facebook
Kristen Beckmeye Spetrino. (Photo courtesy of Topsee Tulip Facebook)

Whether it’s to the many tourists who find the corner spot while visiting downtown, or the loyal, returning customers who call Port City home, Coastal Cupcakes still delivers cupcakes at their finest.  In the meantime, Topsee Tulip has become a multi-city product, landing the Wilmington brand across 10 different states. Beckmeyer Spetrino even traveled this week, with plans to extend her sales into the Lone Star State.

And if you’re good at something, why not stick with it and continue to grow the canopy? Beckmeyer Spetrino’s third business endeavor has her dealing ice cream, vast amounts of it in fact, as a wholesaler to numerous restaurants and even American Multi-National Food Distributor, Sysco.

To see a blueprint, turn it into a foundation and to now have a complete assault on the dessert industry taking shape, Beckmeyer Spetrino is at a place where she can say the dream has turned reality. But, the drive for growth continues.

Coastal Cupcakes has released its new flavors through March at its downtown location. Whether it is Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla or Callebaut Chocolate, Coastal Cupcakes looks to keep its cupcake reign in Wilmington while growing Topsee Tulip nationwide domination.