Twin Cities 'Cupcake Champion' credits reality television for saving bakery

Despite light-rail construction along University Avenue, the owner of Cupcake in Minneapolis tells the Star Tribune, "business was higher this summer than last summer, and I can only say that that's due to the national exposure."
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Despite light-rail construction along University Avenue, the owner of Cupcake in Minneapolis tells the Star Tribune, "business was higher this summer than last summer, and I can only say that that's due to the national exposure."

Kevin VanDeraa won some priceless publicity in June after he was declared the winner of the Food Network's "Cupcake Champions." He beat out three other all-star bakers from the popular reality television series "Cupcake Wars."

In July, Cupcake abandoned its plans for a new location on Grand Avenue in St. Paul after months of fighting the city of St. Paul and neighbors over parking and and a liquor license. Instead, the the popular pastry restaurant opened a shop at the Mall of America.

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Twin Cities baker crowned cupcake champ

The owner of Cupcake bakery in southeast Minneapolis, Kevin VanDeraa, was declared the winner of the Food Network's "Cupcake Champions" competition series Sunday night and took home a $50,000 grand prize. VanDeraa won a challenge on May 27th to advance and compete for the title "Cupcake Champion." VanDeraa is working on plans to open a second location on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

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TPT CEO Jim Pagliarini told the Business Journal the PBS network is hiking its fee for programming by about $400,000 to $2.8 million for the next fiscal year starting September 1. Twin Cities members are being asked for a suggested $100 donation. Pagliarini said, "I guarantee that we will be around for the next couple of decades, no matter what. We always find a way to get the funding."

Cupcake abandons plans on Grand Avenue, heads to MOA

In the end, the controversy over Cupcake was too much of a tempest in a teapot for owners of the popular pastry restaurant. After a year of fighting the city of St. Paul and neighbors over parking and and a liquor license, owner Kevin VanDeraa is pulling the plug on the Grand Avenue location. He is now headed to the Mall of America and will open the new shop next month, the Pioneer Press reports. VanDeraa says he lost $150,000 in an effort to bring the boutique eatery to the St. Paul area.