Confections Award-Winning Cupcakes

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By Michelle Goldchain | Photos by Linda HughesPWLiving March 2015 0215_Confections_Chocolate

Confections first opened its doors in the Shops at County Center in January 2012, and has since sold over a million cupcakes, said owner Laura Brletic. Her store may also be the most-awarded dessert option in the area, winning “Best Cupcake” in Northern Virginia Magazine, “Best Cake” and “Best Dessert” in Inside Nova’s “Prince William County Reader’s Choice Awards” for three years in a row and placing 35th in The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Cupcakes in America.

Brletic began her venture after having worked in Arlington for many years, seeing numerous cupcakeries but finding none in Prince William. Born and raised in Woodbridge, she wanted to contribute to the community with her passion for baking.

“I’ve always been a baker. I’ve always been into cupcakes and cakes and stuff like that,” said Brletic, adding that she doesn’t have any formal training, but is instead self-taught. She began selling cupcakes from her home after forming the Confections LLC in 2010.

After a few years, she said, “I just realized that I had a really great product, and that’s when we decided to open a storefront.”

A Business Built on Buttercream

PWLiving March 2015 0215_Confections_Staff

Confections Head Custom Decorator/Baker Laura Gooden, Owner Laura Brletic and Head Baker Yaruska Johnson keep customers coming back with their artfully designed, delicious cupcakes, cookies and other treats.

Brletic said that her specialty is the buttercream frosting that forms the foundation of the store’s most popular flavors, including Red Velvet, Salted Caramel Pretzel and Triple Chocolate. If you want to get a bit more adventurous, two of the most unique flavors are Pink Champagne and Maple Bacon.

In addition to the standard flavors offered daily, Confections mixes things up, offering rotating weekly specials as well. On any given day, there are more than 25 types of cupcakes available.

Cupcakes come in three sizes: mini, sold by the dozen for $18; standard, available for $2.75 each or $30 a dozen and jumbo, $5.50 each.

“The cupcakes themselves have distinct flavors, not sacrificing quality of the cupcake, still very moist. The flavor choices seem ever-changing,” said customer Jennifer Cupp Rader, a Manassas resident.

For the cost conscious, the weekly Cupcake Happy Hour, Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m., is the perfect time to try some of the more innovative taste combinations, like Wedding Cake or Nutella. In addition to its variety of cupcakes, the shop offers sweets such as cake pops, fudge, push-pops, whoopie pies, cookies and Rice Krispy treats. Also available are coffee, tea, hot cocoa, sodas, juices and milk to wash down these creations. Noncupcake confections range from $1.50 to $5.00.

While most customers take their goodies to go, Confections is also an inviting place to linger. “I was really impressed with the crisp, clean but retro decor of the shop. The products are beautiful and well-displayed with a large selection of what I was told are family recipes,”said Cupp Rader. In nice weather, customers can take their cupcake break at the bistro tables in front of the shop.

Have Cupcakes, Will Travel

If you’re pressed for time, orders over $25 may be placed online and picked up. Delivery orders are also available, by phone only, with a minimum order of $50.PWLiving March 2015 0215_Confections_Decorating

For weddings and special events, while Confections offers traditional (and intricate!) cakes, it also offers an alternative: cupcake towers. These carefully tiered stacks of cupcakes are custom-designed to the taste of the client. Prices vary depending on the amount and flavor of cupcakes, as well as the design details.

Holly Andrzejewski regularly travels from her home in Gainesville to enjoy Confections’ treats.

She’s president and director of Give Back 2 Others, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to those dealing with lifethreatening illnesses, and has the cupcakery supply dessert for the organization’s fundraisers and other special events.

“They never cease to amaze us with their new flavors and designs. Not only are the cupcakes amazing, but they support the local community in a huge way,” said Andrzejewski.

Confections also donated cupcakes to Give Back’s annual holiday gala this past November. “Not only that, but the owner, Laura, bought tickets and attended the event herself. There aren’t too many small businesses around that would do that, no questions asked,” Andrzejewski said.PWLiving March 2015 0215_Confections_Strawberry

Expect the shop’s goodies to become even more accessible (and irresistible), with plans to begin operating a food truck in the near future, according to Brletic. In the meantime, satisfied customers seem willing to go out of their way to enjoy Confections.

“I live in Lake Ridge and work in Alexandria. We love their cookies so much I’ll drive there in rush hour to get them,” said customer Kimberly Bowyer. “They are always beautiful and so delicious. I have to get extras for my family and for work to have too. They have the best coconut cupcake to be eaten.”

Confections is located at 12801 Galveston Court, Manassas. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Learn more at confectionsonline.com.

Michelle Goldchain is a Woodbridge-raised freelance photojournalist. Reach her at goldchainam@gmail.com or learn more about her at goldchainam.com.

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