Local gourmet cupcake shop prospering at the beach

By Hannah Bleau |

In the midst of a bleak economy, Americans have still turned to gourmet cupcakes as the new, affordable luxury item. Gourmet cupcake shops are prospering.

Small businesses have been struggling the past five years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 200,000 small businesses have gone under between 2008 and 2010. The same cannot be said for the cupcake industry. Market research center NPD found that approximately 669.4 million cupcakes were sold October 2010 to October 2011 – in the midst of the economic crisis.

Dietary advice makes little impact

By Alex Bonus |

Kelly Gray says eating her cupcakes is a guilty pleasure for customers, and new federal dietary guidelines won’t change that fact.

“In this economy, people aren’t paying to go out,” Gray, the manager of Luli’s Cupcakes at 82 San Marco Ave., said. “But for $2.50 they’ll buy a little treat even if it isn’t healthy.”