There is nothing quite like the giddy joy I feel when I arrive at one of Orlando’s outdoor events and see The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck parked in the distance. Who knows why cupcakes delight us so, but watch anyone slowly devour this handheld treat and you’ll see the special smile of satisfaction that only a cupcake can produce.
Started in 2011 by friends Alex Marin and Joey Conicella, Yum Yum’s retro-styled bakery on wheels brings its creatively crafted cakes with buzz worthy crowdsourced flavors to dozens of events across the city every month. Besides the eclectic concoctions (like the Maple Bacon cupcake they created for Father’s Day) Yum Yum’s success is due, at least in part, to Alex and Joey’s incredible social media savvy. Their nearly 10,000 Facebook fans and over 4,000 Twitter followers jump at the chance to regularly weigh in on upcoming flavors and vote on each month’s featured cupcake. I caught up with co-owner Joey Conicella this month to ask him to dish on his world of cupcakes.
Edible Orlando: How did the idea for Yum Yum come about?
Joey Conicella: It was a truly organic process. My partner Alex and I have always enjoyed baking and cooking together. When we finally decided to make a go for it and start our own business, the cupcake truck was the end result of many ideas.
EO: What do you do that takes you beyond being just a typical cupcake truck?
JC: First and foremost, our product plays a big part in what makes us special. Small batch, scratch baking isn’t an easy process, but that’s how we bake each and every cupcake. There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into each batch.
I think the whole Yum Yum experience is another thing that set us apart. There’s been this incredible response to the story that Alex and I have told with Yum Yum. What we thought was just a direct reflection of our lives (the poodles figurines, the bow ties), has become a brand that people have identified with. Our customers—a very loyal bunch—also take us beyond the typical cupcakery. They have made us a part of the community. They support us in the pouring rain and in the blazing heat. They are the reason Alex and I get to live out our dream. Without our customers, there would be no Yum Yum.
EO: Honestly, how do you come up with all of your crazy flavors?
JC: That credit goes to our Facebook followers. Each month, they suggest flavor combinations. The three most popular suggestions go up for a vote. Our Facebook and Twitter followers choose the winner and then Alex has only a few days to perfect a recipe. It’s a crazy process, but I think it makes the flavors really special.
EO: What has been your biggest flavor hit to date?
JC: We’ve had some pretty popular flavors over the last two years. The tried and true flavor is the Peanut Butter Choco-Rama; it’s still our number one. Our chocolate cake is super moist, and it’s topped with an incredibly decadent (but not too sweet) peanut butter frosting. The Ballad of El Churro (our take on the classic churro dessert, topped with a mascarpone buttercream), and the Dom Berrignon (real champagne frosting on top of a fluffy strawberry cake) have been some other popular flavors.
EO: You also do weddings, right? Why do you think that’s been such a hit?
JC: Yes we do! We offer all kinds of catering services. We do small orders, large orders, custom orders, mini versions of our cupcakes, cakes, cake pops… you name it! We have a non-retail bakery that you can pick up your orders from. We even offer delivery and full catering services too. Some people have rented the actual truck to come and serve wedding or party guests.
EO: Where can people find you each week?
JC: The best way to find the truck’s schedule (as well as our current menu and our online order form) is to go to www.theyumyumcupcaketruck.com. Facebook (Facebook.com/theyumyumtruck), Twitter (@yumyumtruck_fl) and Instagram (yumyumtruck) are other great ways to follow us.