About once a week, I get solicited by a company, a school, an association, an event organizer, etc. to donate cupcakes in exchange for publicity. In fact I was recently propositioned by a very famous magazine to receive a glowing 1/4-page editorial about my business in exchange for...wait for it...TWO THOUSAND cupcakes for an event they were hosting. Call me naive but I didn't think things like this went down behind the scenes! But I digress. A lot of times I tempted by these offers -- it's an event that sounds like a lot of fun or could open up some new customers to me. But if I was to say yes to everyone, I'd be out a lot of dough (and cash!). I count myself extremely lucky to have such a hot product and so try my best to do some goodwill where I can.
There's only so many free cupcakes I can give away and so only say yes to a select number of these requests. I have a few key criteria I use to evaluate them. My first and most important one is that it must have a charitable goal. And that charity must have a personal relevance for me. In July, I co-organized Cupcake Camp Paris and personally donated over 100 cupcakes -- the proceeds of the event were donated to Rebuilding Haiti Now; I am proud to say we (all the bakers collectively) made a donation of over 1200 euros to this worthwhile cause. In September, I gave 100% of 1 day's sales at my pop-up store at Printemps to Institut Gustave Roussy, dedicated to breast cancer research (over 500 euros raised!). In June, I am partnering with the Centre Pompidou for an event that promotes music and arts to young people. Yes, I am proud to lend my support to these programs and I offer these examples to demonstrate the types of events I am willing to offer free cupcakes for. Give me the chance to make a small difference in this world via my cupcakes and I am all over it. Use me to put a buck in your pocket or create a buzz around your event cause cupcakes are so "hot" right now -- sorry, I'm not your girl.
I'm not trying to come across as holier than thou, it's just that I have to draw the line somewhere and so while my cupcakes are having their moment in the spotlight, I figure I might as well do some good for others rather than reap all the awards.
Like many of you, I have spent several hours this past week glued to my computer screen watching the events as they unfold in Japan. I cannot even imagine what the earthquake and tsunami survivors are going through. I think of all these people who have lost loved ones and family members, and the pain and horror of living through this tragedy. Of the mass devastation they are surrounded by and the continued threat to their health from radiation and lack of essential goods. I am saddened to the bottom of my heart and felt compelled to do something to support the aid and relief efforts underway as Japan tries to rebuild after this tragedy. Luckily, I happened to see a tweet from Sabrina at The Tomato Tart about the Online Bake Sale she is organizing for Japan. There are over 60 bakers involved from all over the world and I am happy and proud to be a part of this. The money raised is going to Second Harvest Japan.
So what am I offering? I will be donating one dozen cupcakes - two of my favorite flavors: you'll get 6 each of my Salted Caramel buttercream topped Devil's Food Cupcakes, and 6 Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry-Champagne buttercream. I'd like to offer a worldwide ship on these. If you are in Paris, you'll get them with my traditional swirl and hand-made decorations. For those who are farther afield, I am still working on this but chances are you will get cupcakes filled with buttercream and topped with a fondant decoration to keep the cupcakes moist and intact during transit.
The bake sale will be held, auction-style, on 30 March at thetomatotart.com. Go check it out. Bid high and bid often! And thank you Sabrina for bringing us together!