In a country with an inexplicable spread of cupcakeries multiplied conveniently throughout almost every town’s borders, it comes with a complete surprise that Phoenixville had yet to debut its own local business booming with personal-sized morsels of cake.
However, striving to fill the delicious void for mini-cakes in our nearby neighborhoods is Betsy Gibbons of Limerick, who premiered Iced by Betsy three weekends ago at Phoenixville Farmers’ Market.
Gibbons, a serious cupcake baker since late 2008, recently moved to Pennsylvania in October of 2009. Previously, Gibbons and her husband, Russ, wheeled their sugared inventory at Alpharetta Farmers Market of Georgia, a suburb based outside of Atlanta.
“I always loved baking, not as a business, but for pleasure,” she confessed. “My husband and I moved to Georgia in September and since I was a teacher, I knew I had to find another way to express my creativity.”
Considering that the frosted symbol of comfort could, quite possibly, be her next career step, the now-local baker did an exceptional amount of taste-testing amongst friends and family until she nailed an undeniably addicting base recipe for chocolate and vanilla cake batter.
“My chocolate recipe is something that I won’t change,” Gibbons suggested confidently. She also revealed that she sided with cupcakes, as opposed to cookies or cakes, because “you are allowed a second chance if you mess up.” Her individual, artistic flare per each fresh miniature cake, whether you are receiving Betsy’s first round or not, quickly crowns our local baker as the area’s cupcake queen.
Although only three weeks-deep in maintaining her farmers’ market stand, many local residents do agree. Her petite cakes, constructed with a majority of organic, local products, are tempting to both the hungry eyes and the empty stomachs. Her first week at the outdoor market she crafted over 200 cupcakes, selling out within her first hour. For Iced’s second week, Betsy was slightly more prepared, crafting 42 dozen cupcakes overnight — nearly 500 cupcakes.
With extreme adoration for local farmers’ markets, the Gibbons, who also participate in Kennett Square’s First Friday market, appreciate community-run aspects within a town, and believe their nearby participation was perfect for their sweet treat business.
“I absolutely love the concept [of farmers markets]: people, fresh produce, local baked goods, happy dogs, smiling kids in strollers, etc.,” she scribed on Iced’s website. “People are never mad when there is a cupcake involved, everyone leaves happy.”
Each week, Gibbons as the talented “cupcake designer,” and Russ as the “cupcake taster,” provide market visitors with a selection of six cupcakes. Currently, Betsy beautifully-displays her concoctions of Raznilla (butter cake pumped with real raspberries), 24 Karat (a spice cake blended with extra carrots), a PB & C (chocolate cake filled with peanut butter), Twisted Lime (a lime cake infused with key lime curd), Chocolate-Covered Strawberry (chocolate cake plopped with strawberry buttercream) and the Midnight Mint (cocoa-cake flooded with mint buttercream).
Her sugary marvels are regularly interchanged, too, and she reveals June will house a new example of her edible food art. Better yet, America’s toothsome icon is, through Betsy’s perfections, now graced with crowns of couture like her chocolate-covered strawberries, peanut butter cups, fresh lime slices and raspberries, and of course, attractive caps of homemade, flavored buttercream and cream cheese frosting.
Not only do the Gibbons provide Saturday morning shoppers with succulent sweet treats, but they additionally fulfill custom orders, including seasonally-appropriate confections like their current offering of graduation cupcakes donned with black fondant caps and diplomas.
For more information, visit Iced by Betsy on her official website at icedbybetsy.com, call 610-755-7062, or visit adorable baking couple at the Phoenixville Farmers’ Market, Sat., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. under the Veterans Memorial Gay Street Bridge.