Made in Alaska: Eva's Cupcakery
Mountain View business prides itself on friendliness
ANCHORAGE - Eva Perry and her husband Sylvester cheerfully greeted Becca Antonoplos as she arrived in Eva's Cupcakery, a new cupcake bakery in Mountain View. Antonoplos said it's their friendliness that keeps her coming back.
Call it Southern hospitality. The Perrys have been in Alaska well over a decade, but Eva says she wants to stay true to her Southern roots. She grew up on a farm in Alabama.
"If the truth be told, according to society's standards, I'm from a very poor family. We didn't have a lot of money, but we always had a lot of food," she said. They grew a lot of the food they ate, including one that's still Eva's favorite -- sweet potatoes. And she's incorporated them into her cupcakes. Her sweet potato cupcakes are one of the top sellers. She refined the recipe that she grew up with. She says having an abundance of homegrown vegetables meant they had to be creative with how to use them.
The Perry's connection to the South doesn't mean they haven't made a home here in Alaska. Both came up in the military. Sylvester came up in the '70s, Eva later. After they got out of the armed forces, Eva got a job with the federal government and Sylvester with the state.
Eva said she loved traveling during her service, but she always had a dream of starting her own business. A cupcakery seemed like a natural fit. She majored in home economics and said in her free time she's always kept busy sewing, decorating and cooking. It got to a point, where she told herself, "you're not getting any younger."
She had a dream and a vision. When she shared that with her husband, he supported her all the way. He performs a lot of the administrative tasks in the business. Eva called him her "PR" person. He greets customers like Antonoplos. Sylvester said maintaining personal connections is more unusual in this more connected world. He wants to disconect people from their iPads and phones, which he sees them glued too often as they go about their errands.
For many coming in here, the cupcakes are a special treat. They're a luxury at $4 a piece, purchased often by shoppers checking out the box stores nearby.
Eva says it's been a challenge and she's learned a lot, but she feels it is "her season." Time to take a dream and run with it.