MyBiz: Cedar Rapids woman taking her cupcakes and creating a business

Owner uses catering background in current venture

George Ford
Published: December 19 2013 | 6:00 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:02 am in
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Debbie Wright has been baking birthday cakes for her children for well over 30 years.

But in 2010, after her position as catering manager at a local restaurant was eliminated due to restructuring, Wright decided to expand her baking talents into a full fledged business venture.

Wright quickly became known for her delicious, inventive cupcakes and The Wright Touch Cupcakery and Bake Shoppe was born.

Wright has concocted 175 flavors and counting for her cupcake creations. From fillings to frosting -- which never include shortening — to toppings, there is never ending inspiration.

Wright said the butterbeer cupcake and the chocolate covered cherry cupcake are two of her current favorites. Other flavors like root beer float — made with Millstream root beer — strawberry champagne and salted nut roll are customer favorites.

Coming up with new flavors is the favorite part of Wright's job. "I love it when I come up with a new flavor and the cupcake, filling, frosting and topping all come together in a marriage of deliciousness," she said.

While chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcakes are always ready for carry out, Wright noted that featured cupcake flavors are announced each Tuesday.

"I have developed all of the recipes," Wright said. "We are serious about what we do, but we have a lot of fun, too."

In the weeks and months after she launched her business, The Wright Touch grew and doubled. “People told me that you’ll know when it’s time to grow and we knew it.”

Wright, who had previously been working out of a licensed home kitchen, opened her storefront location for The Wright Touch near the Bowman Woods neighborhood a year ago this week. The shop is hosting an open house Friday and Saturday to celebrate, complete with samples and door prizes.

While Wright and her cupcakes have been around for a while, she said there is much people don’t realize about her business.

Take the fact that Wright creates a new featured bread pudding recipe every month and offers fresh samples every time you stop in the shop.

“I myself don’t like traditional bread pudding,” Wright said. So she makes flavors like chocolate truffle, white chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint, strawberry rhubarb, and peaches and cream.

The Wright Touch also offers inventive treats like Midwest cannoli — with Wright’s own chocolate mousse filling — spirit-infused lil’ baby cakes, and cup-teenies, which are cake ball-like mini truffles with the look of a cupcake.

They are products that adhere to The Wright Touch’s slogan “beyond ordinary, deliciously different.”

It’s that idea that Wright — a self taught baker who has her three main batters memorized — takes it to heart every morning as she arrives at work at around 4:30 a.m.. She said on average she makes 300 cupcakes per day.

Little details like hand forming cupcake liners and using chocolate shipped in from the East Coast don’t get lost on customers.

Of course, The Wright Touch is more than just tasty treats. Catering is a big component of the business that often gets overshadowed by cupcakes.

Wright works closely with her husband Chad Wright, whose restaurant management and culinary arts degree comes in handy in his role as assistant baker and executive chef for the catering division.

“Chad loves to customize catering orders,” Wright said. “If you want to think outside the box then we can do it.”

The Wrights do everything from boxed lunches to large wedding and other reception events.

“We don’t just show up and drop off food,” Debbie said. “We make it special."

At a glance

  • Business: The Wright Touch Cupcakery and Bake Shoppe
  • Owner: Debbie Wright
  • Address: 7085 C Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
  • Phone: (319) 294-2253
  • Website: http://www.thewrighttouch.ws/

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