Drizzle, Sacramento’s newest cupcakery, is looking for a place to call home in downtown
Decadent. Provocative. Orgasmic. Not words normally found in cupcake lexicon, but when we’re talking about the creations of Drizzle owner and pastry chef Rob Porter, they seem to fit. Midtown will be able to judge for itself when Porter brings his cupcakes – works of art, to some – to the central city.
Cupcakes have been all the rage recently, but Drizzle’s Porter says he has something completely different in mind for his shop: a new kind of late-night hangout to complement the bars and restaurants in Midtown and downtown.
“I don’t want to open your everyday, average cupcakery,” Porter, 43, said Tuesday. “I want it to be one of the destination shops that Food Network focuses on. It will be in the vein of an ultralounge where you can hang out or take a date after everything else closes. It will have have a great urban feel.”
Porter says he is working through ongoing negotiations for a 1,200-square-foot location in Midtown and, when a lease is finalized, expects the necessary build-out of the kitchen and storefront to be completed by the end of the year.
While the location he’s negotiating for isn’t set in stone, Porter says he intends to bring Drizzle to the grid, even if it’s at another location.
“We’ve been considering space in the J-K-L street corridor,” Porter said. “Wherever we end up, it’ll be downtown.”
Making the move to a brick-and-mortar storefront from his current online-only business is a big step for Porter, and he says he has his sights set on the central city for good reason.
“Downtown is starving not just for a cupcakery, but for a different kind of dessert place,” Porter said. “We’re not just another bakery. We’re more than that. We want to do more than just cupcakes.”
A New York native who spent the majority of the past two decades as a music producer, Porter says he has always had a passion for baking, so he decided to go back to school to hone his skills and find his niche.
He spent months doing research at Magnolia Bakery and Crumbs Bake Shop, two high-end bakeries in Manhattan, and studied at the Institute of Technology culinary program in Citrus Heights.
What he emerged with was a slew of cupcake recipes that elevate the old standbys of chocolate and vanilla into artistic, flavorful creations made with unique ingredient combinations.
For the chocolate lover, there’s Black and Tan: a Guinness-infused chocolate cupcake with Bass Ale frosting.
Want something to make your sweetheart melt? Try the White Chocolate Chocolate Raspberry (the double chocolate is on purpose).
Feeling like a kid again? Grab one of Drizzle’s Orange Creamsicle cupcakes – all that’s missing is the stick.
One of Drizzle Cupcakes’ creations was introduced at Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant in Fair Oaks for Cinco de Mayo: the Tequila Shot cupcake – and, yes, the shot glass is included.
“The majority of time, people will say, ‘This is the best cupcake ever!’ no matter which flavor they choose,” Porter said. “That’s what I want to hear.”
Eighteen months ago, when owning a cupcakery was little more than a wispy dream, Porter says he started taking small orders from friends and family for birthdays and special events. Word of his talent spread quickly, and the business took off. Drizzle was born as an online business in June 2011.
Drizzle is currently without a kitchen of its own – Porter has leased space in an industrial kitchen at Plates in St. John’s Shelter for Women & Children for the past few months – but he says the move to Midtown will fix that.
“It’s getting crazy with all the orders, so I need a storefront and my own kitchen where I can do the work and have customers come in,” he said.
Porter has been getting a lot of media attention lately, and he and a culinary school classmate, Claudia Williams, recently competed on Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Their episode aired this past Sunday, Aug. 5, and while the duo made it to the second round, they fell short of wining.
By the time Drizzle opens its doors in Midtown or downtown, Porter hopes to have built a solid customer base through his current online store that will plant the seeds for a thriving, unique business.
“I think we are hands down the best cupcakery in the city,” Porter said. “People just don’t know it yet – but they will.”