Get To Know Sheila Norton of B Cupcakes, Add Sweetness To Your Life and Support Black Owned Businesses in Orlando
Media attention and support for black owned businesses has seen a nice surge in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. As food writers compiled lists of favorites, I was thrilled to be asked by Brooke Fehr of Orlando Magazine to contribute to her article “Orlando’s Best Black Owned Restaurants” in honor of Black Business Month. My fellow foodies came up with a great list of restaurants showcasing a variety of flavors and cuisines. To add some sweetness to the list, without hesitation, I immediately replied with:
“Let me tell you about B Cupcakes!”
Contributing to articles for magazines is pretty cool. Sadly, you’re limited to to telling the story in as few words possible. Please allow me to tell you more about B Cupcakes in this post. You just can’t wax poetically about buttercream frosting and all the deliciousness of 20-plus flavors of decadent cupcakes in 100 words or less! Thank you for indulging me by reading along. I hope you’ll be inspired to support this fantastic black woman owned bakery in Orlando.
At B Cupcakes You’re Encouraged To “B Sweet, B Happy, B You!”
It’s easy to follow guidance counselor turned baker Sheila Norton’s directive to “B Sweet, B Happy, B You.” At B Cupcakes, the challenge is choosing from all those gorgeous cupcakes and cakes of all sizes on display in the Apopka bakery.
The intoxicating aromas of fresh baked treats made with sugar, butter and love greets you at the door. There’s something magical about the smell of cakes as they come out of the oven, isn’t there? It puts you in a trance. Guaranteed you’ll wish to devour everything in the case.
Take a look at some of the goodies you’ll find at B Cupcakes and try not to drool. I’ve sampled most of the flavors and all are scrumptious. You can order ahead for pickup and even get delivery in the area thru the major third party platforms DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub and UberEats.
Enjoy Epic Cakes of All Sizes!
It’s not just cupcakes as the name might lead you to believe. You’ll find an epic cake in the right size to satisfy your cravings. From mini cupcakes to full sized. Cake pops to cake slices and even cake in jars.
And for any special celebration, you can special order a beautifully decorated mini cake to a multi tiered one. Sheila will help you add sweetness in your life. And we could sure use some love and sweetness in our lives right now. Celebrate any day!
Meeting Sheila Norton
Sheila Norton and I met several years ago as I was researching an article about “Sweet Treats” for Orlando Sentinel’s Signature Magazine. She was gracious to show me around her second location, near Park Avenue in Winter Park. And I loved hearing about all the favorite flavors and her love of baking. Lucky for me, I got to sample my fair share!
I was hooked on first bite of Red Velvet. Perfect cake texture. Crumbly and moist. And just the right sweetness. Sadly after the Winter Park location closed, I lost touch. But, I never forgot her epic cupcakes. So I was happy to reconnect and discover she’s still doing what she loves. All in her original Apopka / Altamonte Springs location, which opened nearly 10 years ago.
The Impact of Covid-19
As with practically every business, the pandemic has made a big impact. Celebration cakes accounted for 20% of sales. And, higher certain times of year. Suddenly, in an instant social gatherings came to a screeching halt. Cancellations and returned deposits followed. No weddings, graduation parties and large events in need of lavish cakes and cupcake towers.
Yet, she remains optimistic and focused. “Every day is a new day” she said. Every day she adjusts to fluctuating business demands. The uncertainty and lack of precedent has left so many small business owners like her flying blind.
New procedures and safety measures have been put in place. She shares “Cleanliness has always been at the forefront of B Cupcakes. The major changes we’ve made are including an acrylic barrier and wearing masks to ensure everyone’s safety.”
I saw masks required, hand sanitizer and floor markers to allow social distancing in place in the girly pink and white decorated bakery.
“We all need some sweetness in our lives, especially now” she adds. Which is why the bakery remained open regular hours all through quarantine. Customers were happy to get cupcake takeout and delivery.
She has continued to offer all flavors of cupcakes as well. Regular customers would be disappointed not to find their favorites. Sheila bakes all in much smaller batches to make them happy.
B Cupcakes Inspires Us To Be Sweet and Live Life!
It’s easy to spread the love and joy with a box of cupcakes or a beautiful cake. “I see food as art” Sheila adds. But, if you think these cupcakes just look pretty, think again.
“I’ve always loved the idea of giving a modern design to an old fashioned tradition. We so often hear that if it looks good, it probably tastes like crap, and vice versa. I believe that you shouldn’t compromise on flavor to have a beautifully designed cake or beautiful gourmet cupcakes. You can have both flavor and appeal.”
Chatting with Sheila was inspiring. It made me curious if she had a favorite inspirational quote. And, her answer was perfect for these trying times:
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” – Dolly Parton
“I truly love what I do so much that I’m guilty of finding balance in life… making time for my family and loved ones. I think this pandemic has been a stark reminder to many of us that life is unpredictable. It’s giving us the opportunity to focus on the precious blessings in our family and friends and a reminder that life is about creating memories.”
Which Cupcake Flavor Will You Choose?
With 20 plus flavors to choose from, you will have a tough time deciding. I asked Sheila for the top sellers. Not surprised, they were some of my favorites too!
Fans of Red Velvet cake rejoice. This is their signature cupcake and most requested for good reason. Southern style chocolatey goodness topped with delightful cream cheese frosting. You’ll know it by that rich red color with the pretty little red flower on top.
You can’t go wrong with Salted Caramel. Vanilla cake with caramel buttercream frosting topped with a caramel ball and even a caramel surprise inside. Love those!
German Chocolate with loads of caramel, fresh coconut and crunchy pecans over rich chocolate cake is pure decadence.
Lemon Zest made with fresh lemons is absolutely dreamy.
The Elvis is my Must Eat! I always include it in my variety pack order. This banana cupcake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, dipped in chocolate ganache and sprinkled with sea salt beats boring banana bread any day of the week.
Cookie Butter is a newer flavor that’s become quite popular. A vanilla cupcake filled with cookie butter garnished with a whole cookie. That’s two treats in one!
Lemon Coconut is like a tropical vacation! A creamy lemon core with vanilla cupcake and coconut cream cheese frosting topped with toasted coconut.
The Key Lime Pie cupcake topped with graham cracker crumbles is a dreamy escape in every bite.
Did you say B Cupcakes sells Boozy Cupcakes?
Yes, that’s right! Take the party to the next level with Boozy cupcakes! Made for those 21 and over to indulge in cake infused with Bailey’s, Kahlua, Hennessy and Rum. Perfect for celebrating birthdays or girls’ night in, safe at home. My favorite was the coffee and chocolate flavored Kahlua and Bailey’s.
What’s the MUST EAT cupcake at B Cupcakes?
I always want to know about the “Must Eats” and Sheila’s answer made me immediately set a calendar reminder for New Year’s Eve. I think we will all be happy to say goodbye to 2020 with a champagne infused cupcake!
“Our strawberry champagne is an exclusive flavor available New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. I love every part of this cupcake, from its light and fluffy texture to the sweet strawberry champagne flavor. The flavor melts in your mouth exuding sweet strawberry flavor with light citrusy notes … this cupcake defines LOVE.”
More Flavor Memories!
Food has the power to help create great memories and bring them back, time and time again. I had to know which flavor had a special place in Sheila’s heart.
“My sweet potato cupcake reminds me of home. The smell of it baking reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen during the holidays. It’s a must try on the menu, available daily. It makes a fan out of the most skeptical. The hints of cinnamon and nutmeg combined with freshly baked sweet potatoes feels like home. Biting into it makes me feel like a kid again.”
Easy Entertaining at Home!
Sharing great food is the best way to build community. I always ask chefs for their go to dish for easy entertaining family and friends at home.
“A naked cake is hands-down my quick and easy go to… It can be done from any cake flavor and uses a minimal amount of frosting. Top it with fresh flowers for an elegant look and it becomes the centerpiece for any event.”
Follow Sheila’s go to and order a naked cake for your next party. And if you’re pressed for time and want to keep it really simple and easy, you can’t go wrong with a cupcake topped with sprinkles!
Cupcakes Bring Comfort In These Stressful Times
Cataclysmic changes are happening in our world right now. We are growing, learning, and hopefully making changes for the better. The pandemic combined with fights for racial justice has added to our collective stress. I find food plays an important role in times of turmoil. We not only need it for our sustenance and well-being; we need it for soothing our souls. Sharing food and gathering around the dinner table is synonymous with sharing comfort and love.
With her lovely baked treats, Sheila reminds us to be sweet to one another. This is as simple as sharing cupcakes or celebrating every day with a beautiful cake.
“It’s always heartwarming to read feedback from customers on how B Cupcakes has added a sweet touch and laughter to a family gathering.” she shares.
What’s On Your Someday List?
My mission is to #MakeSomedayHappen, so I always want to know what’s on everyone else’s someday list.
Your “someday list” is a more achievable version of your bucket list. It’s all about the experiences you wish to enjoy that you keep putting off to someday “when you have time”
It could be a place you dream of visiting with loved ones, a new restaurant to try, or even a dish you hope to learn how to make. Maybe even a new experience you wish to accomplish in your business or personal development too.
Sheila’s someday is travel related which always makes me happy.
“My Someday list is definitely to travel more. Visiting west and south Africa are definitely at the top of my list.”
Although we are not traveling right now; We can all still dream of travel someday soon.
Support of Black Owned Businesses Goes Beyond Hashtags
Sheila and I chatted in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. Her comments were englightning and heartfelt.
“It’s really unfortunate to see the continued systemic racism that occurs in our country.” she said. “As a black mother of three children, one of which is a black teenage male, I pray a different prayer for my son. I never thought that I would have to pray that my son is never a victim of police brutality. I never thought that I would have to teach special conduct training sessions with him on how to communicate with the police in the unlikely event that he has an encounter. It’s great to see peaceful protesting from people of all races and walks of life. It’s brought enough attention to make some changes. But there is so much more change that needs to be done.”
As a business owner, Sheila was grateful for the attention black owned businesses like hers have been receiving. There’s been several great compilation lists and articles, like the one I was asked to contribute to for Orlando Magazine. I shared with her my hope that the support being shown continues well beyond the hashtags and the special promotions.
I pledge to do my small part to support wherever I can. We can all do better to help promote black, BIPOC and women owned businesses in our community. Let’s add more sweetness to our lives.
Where To Find B Cupcakes?
B Cupcakes is located at 3030 E Semoran Blvd, #196 in Apopka, Florida. Check the website for menu information and hours. Follow on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news. Don’t miss $2 Tuesdays every week. All cupcakes flavors are only $2! You can stop in the bakery and shop safely, order ahead for takeout or get delivery via your favorite delivery apps.
As Sheila would say: “B Sweet, B Happy, B You!”
I hope you’re inspired to continue to support black owned local businesses. Celebrate life and cross fun things off your someday list. Follow all safety precautions, stay socially distanced and wear a mask. Go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip a time.