Cupcakes, Frosted with Rage

Much like cheesesteakery, the cupcake business is more fraught with more drama than it really has any right to be. Aren’t sweets supposed to make everyone happy? The latest cupcake-related dirty laundry is aired on the Buttercream Cupcake Truck’s blog, where owner (and lawyer) Kate Carrara posts hostile emails, allegedly from Philly Cupcake, questioning the legality of her cupcake truck.

Many of you have heard about the time I got “pinched”, but what you don’t know is that Cupcake Lady gets threats. Mean calls. Letters. People chasing me. It doesn’t happen every day but it is enough that I normally have my guard up. For the longest time, I would just stand my ground and say “I have a right to be here”…sometimes I would move to avoid the fight, but other times, I would dig in my heels.

I have decided that from now on, if someone threatens me, I am going to speak out against it. I have been *mostly* holding it all in, but it is the hardest part of what I do. I have decided to speak about it, because perhaps it will help other people in business.

An email I received from last night (the second in a few months from the same source):

Do u have permits to be at all these stops. You are not allowed to sell anywhere in the city. I will be on the phone with the mayors office and L@I to stop your law breaking. Merchants pay to be in the city to sell their cupcakes and get a location if you want to sell!

Our legal counsel Clifford Cohn,Esq. Will be drafting a letter with our concerns and will be sending them to you, the mayor and L&I in a few days!
Philly Cupcake

My response:

Hi again,

I have what is known as a “roaming” license, similar to an ice cream truck, which allows me to go in any location in the city that is “not prohibited” by law. I have a special permit for my center city location at Love Park on Wednesdays, and all other locations where the truck goes are legal. I also pay rent at a bakery in West Philadelphia, where we also sell our products.

As a lawyer myself, I have been doing this for almost 2 years and I am both well aware of the laws and am in constant contact with the city. In fact, it was the city who orchestrated my permit for Love Park, and are working with me on additional locations throughout the city. While I understand that you have a fixed location in center city, there are both Taco Bells and Taco Trucks in the city of Philadelphia, and customers simply choose based on the product that they like. With more than 6,000 followers on Twitter, I have spent over 2 years building up interest in my product, and that allows customers to find me wherever I am.

Have a good Sunday and the best of luck with your business. I know there is room for more than one Cupcake Baker here in Philadelphia!


I don’t like hurting people but I love this city and I love what I do, and I *believe* I am doing it within the law, to the best of my abilities. I want to make this city better! I want fellow business owners to reach out and help each other, not threaten trips to the mayor and lawsuits. We can be better than this, Philly. Put your effort, time and concerns into making your business better, not trying to take mine down!

Buttercream Blog [Official Site]