ORLANDO, Fla. – For the past five years, Sandra Shorter has been taking her truck named Trixie around Central Florida feeding cupcakes to hungry customers, but now her business, The Naked Cupcake, is settling into a brick-and-mortar home in Orlando’s Lake Nona neighborhood.
The businesswoman is planning to open her first brick-and-mortar location at 14009 Narcoosee Road, Suite 110.
“Eating cake has always been a passion of mine and then the quest for making like the best cake became the passion,” Shorter said.
That’s how she got started on her path toward opening her business.
Shorter started out working in education, but as she brought cupcakes into her school and coworkers began making orders, she knew it was time for a change.
“I 100% felt God moving me away from that career and letting me open up the next chapter of my life with this passion that I had,” she said.
After talking it over with her husband, the couple decided to start a food truck. That’s when Trixie joined their family.
“I always called her ‘a she.’ I got a really — I don’t say a relationship — but I got attached right at the beginning, you know? It was like ‘Wow this is mine,’” Shorter said. “When I first drove her after she got wrapped (in vinyl decals) I literally cried. I was on the highway and I was crying.”
The Naked Cupcake name came from Shorter’s own eating habits. She admits that she kind of a picky eater and felt that if she kept the cupcakes unfrosted, or naked, and decorate them to order then people could get their own version of the sweet treat. However, she also believes the cake stands on its own.
“One of the things that I love about our cupcakes is you can just eat them by themselves. They’re amazing,” Shorter said.
The business owner plans to have the appeal of her stand-alone cakes baked into her brick-and-mortar storefront. Shorter wants to have a sign that lights up when warm cupcakes are available for consumption.
“(When they’re warm) you don’t need frosting. They’re so delicious. And then we’ll have ice cream too so you can even pair it with ice cream,” she said. “I could eat warm cupcakes all day long.”
Shorter said she had always planned to open a permanent storefront and had always wanted it to be in the Lake Nona area. Her and her husband had originally hoped to open up in 2020, but the pandemic put a hold on those plans.
Even though she lost business from various events canceled because of COVID-19, The Naked Cupcake saw a boon in new clients.
“It turns out that the blessing came in people wanting to still celebrate at home — their birthdays and special days — and they couldn’t spend the money, for example, to go out at Monkey Joe’s or Disney so they indulge a little bit in the luxury of a nice cake.”
Those people ended up becoming repeat customers, according to Shorter, signaling to her that it was definitely time to open a shop in Lake Nona. She said that location makes The Naked Cupcake the only bakery in a 15-mile radius.
In addition to offering up cupcakes and cakes, Shorter said she plans to have space for birthday parties in the new location, but she wants people to know it won’t be available for reservations until August.
She hopes to have her grand opening sometime in September or October.