Michelle Sladick, manager of Simply Cupcakes, shows off some of her custom creations. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Michelle Sladick, manager of Simply Cupcakes, shows off some of her custom creations. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Interested in a sweet treat? Then follow your nose to Keizer Florist.

No, it’s not chocolate roses, but cupcakes that the longtime Keizer business has added to its offerings.

“We make everything from scratch,” said Michelle Sladick, manager of Simply Cupcakes, the new business-in-a-business at 631 Chemawa Road N.E. “We tried using some mixes, but we found recipes we liked better putting them together ourselves.”

Simply Cupcakes offers a regular baker’s dozen of cupcake options in addition to occasional specialties. Current selections include the Almond Joy, a coconut-filled cupcake with coconut cream frosting, sweet chocolate and accents of slivered almonds; the orange creamsicle, which emulates the vintage ice cream bars; and the cinnnamon churro, a sweet cinnamon cupcake with cinnamon frosting and cinnamon-sugar on top.

Sladick said she had more experience cooking cinnamon rolls for family before taking on the cupcake duties, but she’s enjoyed the transition.

“Business has been pretty good, people have either seen the sign in the window or bought some cupcakes when they are in to buy flowers,” Sladick said.

Owner Lisa Vasquez said the creamsicle is her current favorite of the bunch, but the recent addition of a banana split cupcake, which includes a pineapple filling with a cream icing, chocolate shell and a cherry on top, is running a close second.

“Michelle makes a wicked cupcake,” Vasquez said.

Opening up the cupcake shop inside Keizer Florist represents a change of heart for Vasquez, who swore off the food business when she took ownership of the store and its then-cafe in February 2015.

In the end, the cafe made it easier to open the cupcake shop

“There was already a license for it in existence, so it was mostly a matter of transferring the ownership,” Vasquez said.

After earning a perfect score on Simply Cupcake’s first health inspection, Vasquez said that is the goal every time now.

While it may strike some as an odd pairing, Simply Cupcakes is meeting a dual need for Vasquez’s business.

“We are lucky to have extremely loyal customers and staff, but the flower business takes a deep dive in the summer months. The cupcake business gives us a bit of extra revenue and it creates extra hours to keep employees on through the summer,” Vasquez said.

Simply cupcakes offers a selection in the store, but advance orders and wedding cupcakes are also available. For more information, drop by Keizer Florist, call 503-390-9035 or visit www.simplycupcakesoregon.com.