Sweet Retreat: Behind the Scenes at Yummy! Sweet Shop in Ocean City
We took a very sweet trip into Ocean City earlier today to explore the latest addition to the mid-town business scene, Yummy Sweet Shop! The adorable, almost-too-cute-for-words, wonderland of sweets and treats was a breath of fresh air on an overcast work day (the samplings of farm fresh ice cream and handcrafted cake pops didn’t hurt either!). We eagerly sat down for a chat with co-owner Julie Cyburt to learn more about the local sweet shop, their latest move to the Ocean City location, and the ins and outs of the family-run business.
“Fun” and “fresh” were two words that Julie used to describe Yummy and we couldn’t agree more. The new space is adorned with splashes of fun colors, an eclectic mix of candy and toys, and a fresh selection of cupcakes, cake pops, ice cream, cookies and brownies. Simply stated, our mouths were watering from the get-go. Julie and her sister, Kara Johnson, opened Yummy five years ago at their original Ocean Pines location, and have been dishing out creative confections ever since. More recently, the dynamic duo moved their shop to Ocean City. While the move included a bittersweet (pun not intended) farewell to some loyal Ocean Pines neighbors and customers, it was quickly overshadowed by the genuine excitement over the new location, which opened last week. “That was probably the hardest part about moving,” Julie said of bidding adieu to familiar faces, “but it’s been really great so far. We’re seeing a lot of familiar faces still and we’ve been able to meet a lot of new local people.”
The year-round operation offers both in-store service and on-site dessert catering. The full-service sweet shop offers a little bit of everything, including cupcakes, cake pops, cake pushpops, brownies, cookies, cannolis, cakes, candy…the list goes on and on. All made in store by Julie and Kara. There are a few outsourced items as well, including the ice cream, which hails from local dairy farm, Chesapeake Bay Farms, and the additional candy, toys, macaroons, and stuffed animals that are available in the retail section of the shop.
We’ll start with the cupcakes, as the display case quickly caught our roving eye. Cupcake flavors are inventive and unique, with a rotating collection of offerings. Flavors run the gambit from Lucious Lemon to Cookies and Cream…Peanut Butter and Jelly to Minatlicious. Choc-A-Lot, S’Mores, Auntie Anne’s Apple, Heath Bar Crunch, Nutella…oh my! The cupcakes are made even sweeter with their artful designs. They’re almost (optimal word being almost) too pretty to eat.
Up next, and equally as tantalizing, are the cake pops. Cake pops hit the dessert scene a few years ago and we are happy to report they have proven to be more than a passing culinary fad. It’s the perfect amount of dessert, served conveniently on a stick. And like their cupcakes, Kara and Julie infuse an extra helping of style and artful design to each creation. Their website and Facebook pages reveal a gallery of some of their impressive creations from the past five years.
The cupcakes and cake pops are representative one of the underlying tenets of the Yummy brand…customization. “We customize everything. We collaborate with the customer and brainstorm with them,” explained Julie, who noted that each dessert, whether for a small birthday celebration or a large wedding, is completely customized and tailored to the events and the customers’ wishes. Even when customers bring in a photo of what they are looking for, Julie and Kara tweak and adjust the concept so that it is a Yummy original.
Every dessert that is crafted for an event is guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind, added Julie. Events vary from weddings to birthdays to holiday parties. Candy bars, dessert buffets, tiered cupcakes and tiered cake pops are just a few of the options for event catering. With five years under their belt, Julie noted that they have had the honor of being a part of weddings days, followed by baby showers, followed by baby’s first birthday, and so on and so on.
“We try to stay really current and creative, but while still sticking with some of the classics,” said Julie, pointing out some of their more inventive concoctions like the pushpops, cupshakes, and cupcake sundaes. “The pushpop is our cupcake deconstructed,” explained Julie of the portable treats. As for the cupshake…”you can take any of the ice cream flavors, pick a cupcake, and then have it blended into the ice cream of placed on top.” Ummmm. Yes. Please.
With a job entrenched in sweets and creativity, it’s safe to say Kara and Julie love what they do, but when asked what her favorite part of the job was, Julie paid homage to their customers. “Our customers are really great and really cool. It’s such a fun place for them to come…everyone is in a good mood when they come in! It’s nice to see how excited they are when they come in to pick up their orders or even just to treat themselves.” Another perk is that the whole family plays a part in the operations, including their parents, brother, spouses and kids.
We reluctantly tore ourselves away from the sweets shop, with visions of confections dancing in our heads. So until next time, here are a few visions for you all to enjoy…
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