ANNETTE STARBUCK IS THE ULTIMATE ‘GOODIE GIRL’!
THE L.A.-BASED BAKER AND ENTREPRENEUR BRINGS
BACK DELIGHTFUL CHILDHOOD MEMORIES WITH A
NEWLY LAUNCHED BRAND OF DIVINE TASTING DESIGNER
CUPCAKES SHE CALLS ‘A PETITE TREAT AFFAIR’
Starbuck, Who Has Already Won Prestigious Cupcake
Competitions And Participated In Local Charity Events,
Plans To Open The First Storefront Location For
Goodie Girls Cupcakes In Glendale, Calif. In Summer 2011
Gearing up for the Summer 2011 opening the first storefront location of Goodie Girls (www.thegoodiegirls.com) in Glendale, Calif., her creative and wildly delicious, highly acclaimed new line of designer cupcakes, Annette Starbuck laughs when she thinks back to the first time she tried to cook anything while growing up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Mac and cheese should have been easy for the typical 11-year-old, but she didn’t let it boil long enough and wound up with a pot full of hard noodles. Another time, she remembers almost setting the house on fire.Many years of trial and error, and a certification from Wilton (the industry leader in cake decorating, quality bakeware and food crafting) later, Starbuck is now a baker extraordinaire and ambitious entrepreneur—and she’s ready for her sweet confections to excite the taste buds of her first official walkup customers.
Goodie Girls, which Starbuck likes to call “A Petite Treat Affair,” is located two blocks from the iconic Americana at Brand shopping and entertainment center. The cupcakes are currently available close to this spot at the Mediterranean Grill and the RayHun sandwich shop.
It wasn’t part of an overall master plan to conquer the world one cupcake at a time, but as Starbuck continued to develop new flavors, a theme began to emerge. Because they are based on so many favorite comfort foods from her own early life, many of her cupcakes bring back cherished childhood memories to those who indulge. Beyond the basics (vanilla cream, chocolate bliss, classic red velvet), Goodie Girls has, among others, cupcakes named Strawberry Lemonade (strawberry cake, lemonade frosting), Salted Caramel, Chambord, Birthday Time, Coconut, Orange Dreamsicle, Bubbly, Hostess, Cinnamon Sugar and two inspired by her lifelong love of PB&J and Blueberry Pancakes. For more sophisticated tastes, there are Green Tea cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes with Champagne frosting.
Starbuck has also developed Cake-Ups, her unique twist on the current pushup cupcake trend that is becoming popular at local events; she hopes that Goodie Girls will set the pace on making these a national sensation. The concept is filling a plastic pushup container with cake, topped by filling, topped by more cake, topped by frosting, capped with a lid, which also makes them travel-friendly for orders outside of L.A.
“I started doing those when I began getting requests to ship cupcakes and realized that they couldn’t stay fresh in the typical mailing environment,” she says. “Some use mason jars but the cost is prohibitive. Using plastic push up containers struck me as a fun and novel idea. That’s how a lot of my best items get started, just with a whimsical notion. Back when I was baking cakes, I began altering the box recipes. They would say add eggs and oil and I would think, ‘What about sour cream?’
“I would experiment and expand and found myself developing my own recipes,” Starbuck adds. “Goodie Girls’ trademark is ingredient based, not decoration based. I use a lot of edible glitter, but the presentation is more about being comforting and pretty than super-trendy. I just like to incorporate everything I have ever learned from experience cooking fresh meals and cakes, before I switched to the more instantly gratifying world of cupcakes!”
Unlike many new business owners, Starbuck (her real last name!) isn’t simply opening her doors and hoping people stop by and check out her goodies. She’s been paving the way for this official debut for months, sharing her line of 15 (to date) unique cake/frosting combinations at numerous charitable events and major competitions.
In November 2010, she participated in two of Southern California’s most prestigious Cupcake Camp events. She made 500 cupcakes for Cupcake Camp Inland Empire at the Mission Inn in Riverside, which raised money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. A lifelong animal lover, Starbuck was happy to repeat the feat for Cupcake Camp Los Angeles, whose proceeds went to several nonprofits, including Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue and American Tortoise Rescue. Her impressive second place showing there (out of over 50 entrants, including some of the city’s top bakeries) earned Starbuck an invitation to participate in February’s Drink Eat Play Cupcake Challenge at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood.
Starbuck is no stranger to the world of baked goods competitions; back in her larger cake making days, she won First Place at the L.A. County Fair (2006) and Second Place at the Perris Fair (Riverside County) in 2007.
Starbuck increased her visibility among the Hollywood elite by making 500 cupcakes for the Presidential Inner Circle Pre-Grammy party at the Paley Center and Pre-Oscar party at the Sofitel Hotel, both in Beverly Hills. She also participated in Prodigy Entertainment presents Rock N’ Roll Night in San Francisco. This event ties in perfectly with her role as manager of A Living Daylight, her husband Anthony Carroll’s alternative pop/rock band, for the past eight years. Carroll is, in turn, a partner in Goodie Girls. Also lending tireless, hands on support to making Starbuck’s dream a reality are her best friend Jamielee Salgatar (owner of Jamielee Style), her father Doug Starbuck and her stepmother Stephanie Starbuck. They have helped her with everything from baking to setting up at the events. She also participated in a collective nationwide bake sale to raise money for relief efforts tied to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters; all told, the event raised $120,000.
Starbuck is currently considering the perfect single charity to organize her cupcake fundraising efforts around. The likely possibility is an organization that does animal rescue or some activity to support the health and rights of dogs. She has two Chihuahuas, Joey Powers and Lily Powers. After a major scare in which Joey went missing for six days, Starbuck began showing great compassion for stray dogs, taking three or four into her home at a time as she tried to track down their owners.
Meanwhile, she is bringing Goodie Girls to numerous charity driven events this spring. Goodie Girls will have a booth at the Movable Feast on May 15 benefiting St. Johns at Union Station and will be a gifting suite sponsor and have a booth at the Dream Magazine Summer Kick-off Party on May 22, which is raising money for Caley Camarillo, a young girl with cystic fibrosis.
The confectionary fun continues in mid-June with the Zooey Magazine Gifting Suite Party benefiting To Write Love on Her Arms, hosted by actress Sophia Bush (June 11), and Cupcake Camp San Gabriel Valley (June 12), where Starbuck will be a judge this time. Later this year, she will be giving out Goodie Girl cupcakes at Indulge LA with celebrity chef Marcel and Madam Chocolat (September 24).
“I think one of the most thrilling aspects of Goodie Girls is that this is the first time I am working completely for myself, rather than working in the service of other people,” she says. “I have enjoyed helping them, but there is something very exciting, and even a little scary about taking a leap of faith like this on a product line that I have singlehandedly created. My ultimate success will come comes down to people loving these cupcakes that I have put so much of my heart and creativity into. The competition for customers is fierce, but at the end of the day, I believe that having a great product makes all the difference.”