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This one’s a net gain for sure.
When Jill Segal, owner of the multi-award winning Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café in University City, expanded westward and opened a tiny, satellite store at 1131 Colonnade Center in Des Peres, Jilly's Cupcake Bar a-Go-Go seemed like a good idea, a great idea, really. Unfortunately the store was located well off of Manchester Road, out of drivers’ sight. The satellite store was therefore a destination, a planned trip. And since things like cupcakes are often impulse buys, it’s best if you can jump out and stick them right in someone’s face.
And that’s just what Segal is doing.
Jilly’s a-Go-Go will close tomorrow, Thursday July 18, but, BUT, the very next day, Schnucks in Des Peres will begin carrying Jilly’s cupcakes, allocating a section of their bakery case just for that purpose. Next weekend (July 26-28) will be the official Grand Unveiling, according to Segal, which means free samples and a visit on Saturday from the Food Network's Cupcake Wars champeen himself, Chef Casey Shiller (right), a guy so engaging and dynamic he could host his own reality show.
In addition, what many call “the flagship Schnucks” will also carry the four flavors of ice cream Segal just introduced. Those flavors, introduced at a recent Cupcake Wars victory party, are as follows:
- “Cuban Coffee,” inspired by the “Cupcake Wars” challenge, is Cuban coffee ice cream with Jilly’s coffee chip-cake morsels, dark chocolate shavings, swirls of espresso buttercream, and toffee dulce de leche.
- “Space Monkey” is chocolate-banana ice cream with Jilly’s banana-toffee cake morsels, toffee bits, and swirls of caramel-and-cream cheese icing.
- “Island in the Sun” (below) is fresh mango ice cream with Jilly’s pineapple cake morsels, brown sugar-roasted pineapple, white-chocolate shavings, and swirls of mango buttercream.
- “24 Karat Cake” is carrot-cake-and-cream-cheese ice cream, with morsels of Jilly’s carrot cake, swirls of cream-cheese icing, toasted coconut, sugar-roasted walnuts, white-chocolate shavings, and 24-karat gold dust.
“We didn’t want to turn our backs on all the folks who supported us in Des Peres,” Segal said, “and now we don’t have to.”
If the roll out is successful, Segal says Jilly's is poised for expansion. “Schnucks has quite a few stores,” she said in an understatement, “we’ll expand as fast as we’re both comfortable with.”
Jilly's Cupcake Bar & Cafe was the "Reader's Choice" for SLM's A-List Cupcake this year (Dana Holland, Jilly's "savory" chef, accepts the award at left).
The cupcakes will retail at Schnucks-Des Peres for a quarter or two more than in U City, cupcakes Shiller describes as “full size.” We call them “XXL’s.”
Segal and Shiller have a few novelties planned as well, such as a cupcake flavor (currently in development) designed exclusively for Schnucks.
If it's true that cupcakes make people smile, we trust Shiller will create the friendliest cupcake in town.