Local cupcake business featured in children’s bookWritten by Michelle Zepeda | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local cupcake shop is once again being thrust into the national spotlight. In 2011, Lori Jacobs and Dana Iliev, co-owners of Cake in a Cup in Sylvania Township, were featured on “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network and won their episode. Now the duo and their treats are the subject of a children’s book with a positive message.
“I love it because cupcakes are so happy, so if they can go beyond making someone happy and give them a message of feeling great just the way you are, it’s a bonus,” Jacobs said.
She said a random call to the shop by authors Nick Rokicki and Joseph Kelley has turned into an amazing partnership.
“We knew we wanted to team up with a local business because it is a way for businesses to get involved with literacy and get their own name out in schools,” Rokicki said.
Rokicki, a Toledo native, and Kelley, who is from Detroit, knew their next children’s book would be set in a cupcake shop. So they searched bakeries and cupcake shops in their hometowns and landed on Cake in a Cup.
“We researched a lot of cupcake shops and found out that Cake in a Cup do a lot for the community and are heavily involved,” Kelley said. “We knew we wanted to have a cupcake shop in my hometown or his hometown.”
“Casey and Callie Cupcake” — a frosted fable about being fantastic just the way you are — is completely centered in Cake in a Cup.
“Our flavors, our storefront, the inside of our store and our exact cupcakes are featured. They gave them cute little names,” Jacobs said.
“We are super lucky to be asked to join up with them. The book captures the business and us,” Iliev added.
The book, set to be released on Amazon on March 15, sports illustrations of the shop, its logo and even Jacobs and Iliev.
“I asked them to make me thinner and they did, which I love, and Dana asked to be taller,” Jacobs joked.
“Casey and Callie Cupcake” touches on the topic of being the best you can be.
“It’s a story about two cupcakes trying to be better than the other one,” Kelley said. “Kids sometimes do that too much and that does lead to bullying.”
The main characters in the book, Casey and Callie, break down that lesson in a fun way.
“It’s Letting kids know they are fine the way they are and you don’t have to be better than anyone, you just have to be the best you can be,” Kelley said. That is a message Jacobs and Iliev are eager to spread.
“It should be fun going around to the schools and being involved in their reading programs,” Iliev said.
Jacobs added, “I love that we are part of promoting reading.”
For the authors, promoting reading is just as important as writing a children’s book with a message.
“A lot of kids we have noticed are not up to par on reading,” Rokicki said. The pair travels to schools in our area for free, sharing their books and getting kids excited about reading.
Rokicki and Kelley are best known for their first children’s book, “Pete The Popcorn.” They then teamed up on another children’s read, “Clipper Comet,” as well as a book that is part biography, “P.E.T.E — Pursuing Excellence Through Encouragement.” All of their books have a message.
“The easiest way to write is to find your message first and write around it,” Rokicki said.
A book signing will take place from 4-7 p.m. March 28 at Cake in a Cup, 6801 W Central Ave.
“Nick and Joe will be here signing books and we will be selling cupcakes,” Jacobs said.
“And we will be featuring Casey and Callie cupcakes on the book signing day,” Iliev added.
The book will also be available for purchase at Cake in a Cup.
If you are interested in having the authors or the girls from Cake in a Cup stop by your school for a visit and read to your students, visit www.PeteThePopcorn.com to send a request.