Kate McEachern is a blonde, cheerful woman whose main goal is to make people happy.
By feeding them cupcakes.
Two months ago, McEachern, a former editor for Dwell, a high-end architecture and lifestyle magazine, turned her attention to baking. She rented space in a commercial kitchen in Richmond, sought out high quality ingredients, and put together a delicious menu of sweets.
Since then she has loaded up an old taco truck (redone and slapped with an endearing logo designed by Brendan Callahan, a senior designer at Dwell) and hit the roads of Berkeley. Customers find her wandering caravan of cupcakes by following the truck on Twitter or Facebook.
The name of this clever endeavor? Cupkates.
“Berkeley has been very, very receptive,” McEachern said Saturday as she leaned out of the window of her truck parked along College Avenue in the Elmwood District. “I feel fortunate.”
Cupkates is the very first cupcake truck in the Bay Area, and it is part of the street food trend sweeping the United States. In the East Bay, foodies are raving about Jon’s Street Eats, run by Jon Kosorek, who used to cook at Fork in San Anselmo. There’s the Crème Brulee Cart in San Francisco’s Mission District, the Mobile Pho Truck, and nomadic restaurants like Radio Africa and Kitchen, and Mission Street Foods.
It’s such a popular phenomenon that the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco held a forum on the trend this week. More than 250 people attended. Even a Canadian newspaper has documented San Francisco’s street food scene.
Sarah Henry, a Berkeley writer and blogger, has an overview of the various eating options on her blog Lettuce Eat Kale.
I have been following Cupkates’ Twitter feed for months, and I finally had a chance on Saturday to try out the selection.
There was a pumpkin spice cupcake, a S’mores cupcake, and chocolate and vanilla varieties.
I had the red velvet, which had a bright red cake and a cream cheese frosting. It was delicious.