Back in 2009 when Tiffany Magness opened Green Goodies, 5840 N Classen Blvd No. 5, the cupcake explosion had not yet detonated.
Nevertheless, Magness recognized she had to do something with her shop to stand out, so she decided to specialize in gluten-free and vegan cupcakes. Little did she know the cupcake shops would keep popping up around Oklahoma City like sunflowers on the summer prairie.
So, how next did Magness react to stand apart from the competition? Food Network's “Cupcake Wars.”
Magness, joined by former employee Kerstin Bellah, traveled to California more than half a year ago to compete on the long-running cupcake competition show and came away with $10,000. The episode pitted vegan cupcake specialists, vying for not only the money but the chance to cater a party for guest judge Fran Drescher, a longtime actress and cancer survivor.
While Green Goodies won a vegan competition and has always specialized in cupcakes for those with special dietary needs, the store also serves standard cupcakes for those looking for nothing more than a delicious, indulgent treat.
The Tulsa native had no restaurant or retail food experience before opening Green Goodies, just a deep, long-burning passion for baking. She opted to go green for the simplest reason.
“I saw a niche,” she said. “I'd done a lot of stuff at home, and at the time there wasn't a lot of people doing anything for people with food allergies. There weren't many dairy-free or vegan options around.”
Four years later, Green Goodies is established in Classen Curve, and she's in the first five minutes of the 15 minutes of fame an appearance on Food Network buys you. Magness definitely has the energy and star-quality smile to extend that clock, but a 14-hour shoot for “Cupcake Wars” might've convinced her she's not ready to for TV life.
“I thought a 14-hour day was hard, but they do it every day,” she said.
The winning cupcakes were: lemon-pomegranate, hazelnut-vanilla bean, chipotle-dark chocolate, and a dark chocolate coconut caramel. But the cupcake that caught my eye was a pitch-perfect re-imagining of the Hostess Cupcake, complete with a stripe of curly-q frosting on top of chocolate frosting. Its looks are where the comparisons end. Magness' version is moist, rich and delicious while the old Hostess versions were really just a means to get some baseball cards off the bottom of the box. And to my surprise, Magness informed me the cupcake was vegan.
Magness, 35, said she lived a lifetime during the 14-hour shoot.
“Talk about an emotional roller coaster in the course of 14 hours,” she said. “There was a portion of the day where I was like, ‘I think I'm just gonna go home after round 2.' But it was very rewarding.”
Green Goodies is Magness' first business; she spent the early part of her adult life as a social worker. Though she had little experience going into the venture, Magness said she's always baked and always loves to serve.
“I remember when I was 8 years old, I would have friends over and I'd do a menu and make all kinds of treats,” she said. “It was kind of a stress-reliever, I'd come home and have a bad day from school, and I'd bake.”
Green Goodies is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
For bulk orders, Magness asks for 48 hours notice, though 24 hours will do in some cases.