If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then one Preston shop has got it covered.
Strictly Cupcakes opened on Cannon Street in April last year, and shop owner, Joanne White, says the orders have been flooding in for their first Valentine’s Day
“As soon as the pictures of the cakes go on Facebook or Twitter we get a lot of orders, we are selling boxes of cupcakes in boxes of four (£10), six (£15) and 12 (£26) as well as cupcake bouquets (small £15, large £25) which are selling really well, we’ve got dozens going out.”
The team behind the cupcakes is pretty much a family affair.
While Joanne, 26, from Houghton, runs the shop, as well as dance shop Strictly Dancing across the street, her brother and mum bake and decorate the cakes.
Joanne says, “My mum has always baked from when she was young and has always baked at home.
“She did a cake decorating course at college then when cupcakes started to become “fashionable” as it were a few years ago, she starting making and selling them for friend’s birthdays, weddings, christenings.
“When this shop became available we decided it would be nice to have somewhere for people to come in and sit and eat their cupcake where we can sell them on a higher level.”
Cannon Street in Preston city centre is fast becoming known for it’s quirky and vintage style boutiques and the shopkeepers have formed quite an allegiance.
“There’s the Retro Rehab vintage shop at the bottom then there’s the Coco Boo boutique a couple of doors down and there are all the cafes and beauty shops too so it’s a nice street to work on,” adds Joanne.
With the big V-Day fast approaching you may be forgiven for thinking it would just be the male population putting in their orders but Joanne says not so.
“At the moment it has been half and half for men and women coming in and ordering Valentines cupcakes.
“Obviously a lot of men have a sweet tooth so their girlfriends and wives are coming in buying the boxes of cupcakes and because the bouquets look like a bunch of flowers the men are coming in and buying them for their ladies.
And if one little cupcake isn’t enough, their are also giant cupcakes - the equivalent of 10 smaller treats - to get your hands on.
So what is the enduring appeal of the sweet treats?
According to Joanne, people are looking for something a little more homely.
“People like to come in to have a proper cup of tea in a china pot instead of a cardboard cup and we’re cheap in comparison to other places; our cupcakes are only £1.75 each and if you go to somewhere similar in, say, Manchester you will pay over £2 for one.
“I think for a home-baked cake, people like to treat themselves, customers are returning to the homemade, old-fashioned way.”
And for old-fashioned love, what’s better than an old-fashioned treat?