When ATLRetro heard that The Sugar Dolls were throwing their 2nd Annual Day of the Cupcake party on Saturday Oct. 8, we couldn’t think of a more delicious way to officially kick off our latest weekly feature, the Wednesday Happy Hour & Supper Club. While a holiday just for this Retro sweet sounds scrumptious enough, this quintet of beautiful bakers (Alexis Gorsuch, Lena Kotler, Crystal Chambers-Goggin, Jessika Cutts and Kelli Graham) has cooked up an entire day of activities, starting from noon to 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Tattoo in Little Five Points and then continuing late into the night at Java Lords ($5 cover; proceeds to Atlanta Bully Rescue). They’ve tempted you with everything from boobalicious chocolate confections to flaming strawberries at Blast-Off Burlesque shows, Mon Cherie spectaculars, Rockabilly Luau, but Saturday will be all about celebrating the cupcake through activities, art and music. You’ll lick your lips for cupcake-inspired games, a Sugar Skull decorating room so you’ll be all set for the Day of the Dead, tasty tattoos, live bands (including Six Shot Revival, The Sneaky Hand and The Claymores), karaoke, burlesque, pin-up hair-styling with Cherry Dame, a pin-up contest and, of course, cupcakes!
In fact, the idea of spending a day celebrating this timeless treat made us so hungry that we asked the Sugar Dolls if they’d be so sweet as to add ATLRetro to the menu as a sponsor. We’re thrilled to say that we passed their taste test, especially since we’ll be serving up a tasty new look at the end of this week, courtesy of Derek Art, too. That it’s Anya99’s birthday two days later is just icing on the cake, and she really loves icing, so while you’re dropping by for cupcakes, be sure to say hi. We’ll also be selling our first batch of ATLRetro T-shirts, so if you dig what we’re doing, consider buying one and supporting our humble efforts to keep Retro Atlanta alive.
With an all-day event, it’s sometimes hard to know when’s the best time to show up, so we asked Alexis to clue us in on all that’s cooking on Saturday. Of course, we couldn’t resist a few questions about the perennial appeal of the cupcake and the secret recipe behind the Sugar Dolls’ secret origin and success.
For a while, cupcakes seemed to have a bad reputation as being cheap alternatives instead of a real cake and mostly just for kids, but lately this quintessentially Retro treat is not just back in style, but as The Sugar Dolls have shown, can come in all sorts of creative flavors, even in adult versions such flaming with a drop of liqueur. What do you think accounts for their comeback?
Trends in fashion loop around so many years and I have been told on numerous occasion, it is due to nostalgia. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” By Coco Chanel. So what is more nostalgia than food, needless to say sweets? You nailed it on the head with the fact that cupcakes are Retro, but aside from that they have given us a sweet and simple way to step back to the past yet enjoy where we are and look forward to the future! I love how some of our sweets take me back to being a little girl, but the same cupcakes are the most elegant wedding display or engaging party favor. So much diversity in these simply amazing treats and people are really starting to recognize the possibilities and fun at reasonable budget. So honestly it is a nice handful of things that has really allowed these sweet cuppies to bloom into their own world.
Thank you, we are pretty fond of the name too! Well, baking is such a sweet family tradition for so many folks, and all of the Dolls have some great memories and continue to make them together and with our families. We all met at different walks in our life but seem to have come together to make something bigger than ourselves. We want to share our love and experiences with you, and baking is the sweetest outlet to share those things and give in the many ways we would like.
How did you get the idea for Day of the Cupcake?
Well, all of The Sugar Dolls are very involved in one artistic outlet or another, and tattoos are something we all agree on! There are always these promotional days for things like Friday the 13th, or Valentines Day and we just didn’t see why there couldn’t be a day dedicated to the one thing we love most – CUPCAKES! Mister [Loki] Shane [Defriece] over at Sacred Heart has been a near and dear friend to many of us, and was sweet enough to indulge us ladies. What started out as something simple has folded out into just plain Sugar Doll fun, and Sacred Heart is our perfect match! Shane and I have had such a blast getting all of this put together, with some of the best people you will ever meet in town!
Flavors… we all have seasonal things we like to enjoy at different parts of the year, and I know that is what got us started. An example is this summer I found myself enjoying the mocha coconut Frappuccino over at Starbucks a little too much and NEEDED to share the goodness, so we developed a cupcake that dare I say tastes even better than the drink and even has the caffeine to boot.
Going back to the nostalgia of our treats, we like to bring to you the perfect culmination for the time and day. Right place at the right time kind of thing, like who doesn’t want to celebrate the late and great king of rock-n-roll by having a sweet and savory Elvis Cupcake on his birthday! The Elvis: a sweet butter cake filled with a banana mousse, topped with our peanut butter butter-cream and some savory BACON!
Saturday, we will, in fact, have complimentary cupcakes at Sacred Heart & Java Lords, but we will also be selling a few of our specialty cupcakes to help earn a few extra bucks for Atlanta Bully Rescue. We may even bring out the late & great king on Saturday but you will just have to wait and see!
You’ve come up with a whole day’s worth of cupcake-themed games and other activities that fit the Retro spirit of cupcakes. Can you first tell us about what’s happening during the afternoon (noon-7 p.m.?) at Sacred Heart Tattoo?
The artists at Little Five will be doing anything from beautiful to fun to grotesque $50 Cupcake Tattoos throughout the day until 7:00 p.m. and possibly a little later per volume from the day. There will also be many other activities going on at the shop, like a cupcake toss, deal pool, and the Sugar Dolls Sugar Skull decorating room where you can design your own Sugar Skull and enter to win a prize for the best decorated sugar skull. A CUPCAKE CANNON will be run at 3 p.m. & 5 p.m., and the best of the best will be entered into the The Sons of The Confectionarcy cupcake shooting guild that evening at Java Lords for a GRAND prize!
You can also enter into the Pin-Up Contest, as well as get your Betty hair on by none other than Cherry Dame herself, who will have a booth ready during the day. Entries for the pin-up contest and Cupcake Eating Contest must be in no later than 7 p.m. that day, since those will be held at the after-party, aka Java Lords, but there will be many prizes to be had through out the entire day thanks to our sponsors!
We will also have a performance in the shop that day by Aileen Loy and friends at 5:30 p.m. featuring Sam McPherson and Michael A. from the L5P All-Stars, and The Chameleon Queen, Gesche Anneliesa and Brigitte Warren. Ms. Aileen is essentially the female version of Tom Waits, and these guys are just brilliant! You will NOT want to miss these guys! They will be doing Tom Waits covers, as well as originals.
With some of us actually being mothers, we understand and really want the kids to be able to get involved, and hopefully next year we will be able to make that happen. Unfortunately this year we do not have the space accommodation for the kid-o’s. In all honesty it just isn’t safe for the rad rug-rats to be in a tattoo shop, but we have some BIG plans for next year’s Day of the Cupcake that will be an all-day event that small and tall can enjoy to the max! It is important to us to share the cupcake magic with everyone, especially our biggest fans ( the wee ones), and we are building our way to that dream event, which will still involve our great friends at Sacred Heart.
In the evening, the fun moves to Java Lords with karaoke, bands, a cupcake-eating contest and a pin-up contest? Can you give us a sneak peek into the after-dark fun?
We have three GREAT bands lined up that we know will move your tail feather – Six Shot Revival, The Sneaky Hand and The Claymores. They all have fantastic individual sounds, which is essentially what we wanted the day to be about, bringing together lots of different elements for something beautiful, just like cupcakes and ink. Shane and I were so excited when we got the go-ahead from Java Lords, not only do they have the best coffee in town but the best bartenders who will fix you right up! They even offered to do a special jello shot for the event! We are pretty ecstatic about those!
It is an art-filled night between the tattoos, the bands, the select artists who will be selling some of their fancies…. there may even be body-painting. Plain ol’ Sugar Doll fun, I tell ya. The evening isn’t just about fun though; it is also to help raise funds and awareness for a group called Atlanta Bully Rescue who are doing some great things. They work regular jobs like you and me but are heroes for furry friends and humans alike. Their love and devotion for a greater cause really struck all of us, and we want to be able to help in any way we can, so what better way to help than have a good time?
Why do a pin-up contest at a cupcake event, and do pin-up contestants need to know anything in advance?
The Sugar Dolls take to heart yet again the nostalgia of cupcakes and baked treats, and we have always felt the retro lady is what comes to mind when you think of true taste full of true love. The base of everything that we do has a very earnest Southern sweet style that only a 1950s pin-up could really exude. It is an era we all love and has touched our lives in so many ways. With The Sugar Dolls, you not only get a sweet and/or savory cupcake, you get an attitude, a look, and a good time, and the Contest is just our way of celebrating that. I would be lying if I said we didn’t have ulterior motives though… Who doesn’t wanna look at a pretty girl? We may also be scouting for the next addition for our Sugar Doll team…. who knows? 😉
There really has been so many just in the past year, but my favorite still to date…. Last year the fabulous Blair Crimmins ( did I mention we like music?) was having his pre-4th of July show and invited us to come out to his fancy shindig with a fight to the Death, and we of course said YES. It was the first night for one of our girls and really one of our first events…. really she just needs to tell the story….
Our Cupcake love story by Lena: “So here’s the rough sketch of the big Meet/Cute (film slang for when the lead lovers meet): Me: busty redhead in a pin-up dress selling miniature banana split cupcakes to drunken hipsters armed with sparklers and talking to anyone and everyone still sober enough to hold a conversation (which, let’s face it, it was 1 a.m. and an Atlanta bar. That really narrows it down). The Beard: cute guy in a suit that comes across in that Rabbi/Amish BUT sexy kind of way whose [band] just played a kick-ass show to a sold out room full of said drunken hipsters.
It being the night before the 4th of July, there were, of course, decorations. As the night wore down I found myself holding a twine of sparkly stars with nothing to do with them. They’d done their duty as sparkly hat for the evening, but now it was time to retire them with dignity. So I did what any self-respecting cupcake girl would do with such a proudly patriotic item: I plopped it on the head of the person nearest me. Who just so happened to be The Beard himself. Of course, if you’re going to adorn a complete stranger with what is admittedly a very embarrassing headpiece, the least you can do is strike up a conversation and introduce yourself.
What followed was a mix of talk, drunken antics and, of course, cupcakes. What story is complete without cupcakes? And as the house lights were thrown on and the drunken crowd was wrangled out of the space, The Beard made his big move: He asked how to find me on Facebook. That’s right folks! Because in 2010 phone numbers are passe, and if you want to pick a girl up you go straight for the Facebook.
The moral of this story? The way to any man’s hearts is a complex combination of three very important things: Boobs. Cupcakes. And Facebook.”
You see, the even cooler thing about the cupcake love story, is it has happened more than once! We can’t wait to do the cupcakes for the wedding, and if you want to keep track of their love story you can check it out at: http://vintagediybride.wordpress.com/ because they are getting married! Awww love & cake…. I am not sure what can top that, but with something that sweet happening in our first year, I can only imagine!
Want the Sugar Dolls to bake some cupcakes for your beach party or other Retro-fantastic special event? You can reach ‘em through their Website or Facebook page. To read more about how the Sugar Dolls come up with their irresistible recipes, click here for a feature they cooked up for us about Blast Off Burlesque’s BEACH PARTY Taboo La-La.