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A sweet treat helps people swallow tough economic times

March 12, 2010
  • The register is constantly busy at Bubblecake in South Roanoke. Customers line up to get a taste of what lies behind the glass, perfectly crafted cupcakes.
The register is constantly busy at Bubblecake in South Roanoke. Customers line up to get a taste of what lies behind the glass, perfectly crafted cupcakes.

Mary Poppins says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. It looks like people are listening to her, washing down a sour economy with something sweet.

The register is constantly busy at Bubblecake in South Roanoke. Customers line up to get a taste of what lies behind the glass, perfectly crafted cupcakes.

"My favorite is the chocolate mousse because, we'll my favorite candy is chocolate and I love their icing," says customer Martha Chen.

But it's more than the idea of celebrating, it's also a form of retail therapy.

"It's a treat, a small way to spoil themselves when its not a good time to buy a new ipod or a new car," says owner Lisa Lusk.

Cupcake shops are frosting cities across the country. Even the White House is getting in on the trend, making Washington's Georgetown Cupcake a must visit stop.

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Bubblecake sells about 5,000 cupcakes a week. It's owners never dreamed it would be so popular.

"I thought I'd be here alone, one part-time assistant," says Lusk, "From the minute we opened my husband came on full staff and we're constantly playing catch up."

There are three cupcake shops in Roanoke. Bubblecake recently expanded to a second location downtown and Viva La Cupcake opened up its store in Grandin Village in October.

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