The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Restaurant Review: Cupcakin’ Around

Chocolate-covered strawberries, cake-pops, and sugar cookies are some of the other goods available at Cupcakin’ Around. Contributed by Taylor Ruhnke.

This past Tuesday, April 26, I had the opportunity to meet with local businesswoman Taylor Ruhnke. Ruhnke is the owner of Cupcakin’ Around, a bakery — a rather unique bakery, in fact.

What differentiates Cupcakin’ Around from most other bakeries is that it is run from Ruhnke’s own home kitchen. However, this does not mean that Ruhnke is simply a home cook — she is quite an experienced baker. Ruhnke went to culinary school and has 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 her experience on creating her own business, Cupcakin’ Around.

People can buy cupcakes and other baked goods, like cookies and cake pops, by dropping by Ruhnke’s stall at the Grinnell farmer’s market, placing orders through the bakery’s Facebook page, calling (641) 990-4465, or emailing Ruhnke said that an average-sized order takes approximately two days for her 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 expecting 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 businesses) called food cottage laws to ensure consumer safety. The regulations vary on the type of home bakery, home food operations and licensed home bakeries, like Cupcakin’ Around.

Cupcakin’ Around is available for purchase by calling 641-990-4465. Contributed by Taylor Ruhnke.

The distinguishing factor between the type of regulations that a business is subjected to is the type of food being prepared. Licensed home bakeries use foods that are considered temperature control for safety (TCS) foods 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 is not simply taste, it is more abstract than that, it is a feeling; a feeling of excitement.When eating good food, one should be excited to eat the food in the first place, may that be from the way the food looks or how it smells, or something more personal to the individual.

This feeling should be present throughout the entire experience and last longer than the aftertaste of the food; it should be present years after, you should be able to look back at the moment and say “that was a good meal” even if you cannot remember what it tasted like or even what you had to eat.

It is the obligation of the person making the food to facilitate this feeling by producing something worthwhile.

It was evident to me that Ruhnke understands this since the moment I received the cupcakes, I was able to smell the cupcake while it was still in the packaging and the taste and texture did not disappoint; I felt good food.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jandry Perez Garcia
Jandry Perez Garcia, News Editor
Jandry is a fourth-year economics student. He loves to cook, especially crepes, which he can be found making in Younker kitchen.
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *