There’s something so enticing about a Sprinkles cupcake, something that makes you salivate all the way to the door, and swallow your pride about having wasted thirty minutes in a long line that felt more like Purgatory.
The inexplicably long lines only add to the myth. Those working behind the counter thank you for your patience but seem in no great hurry to rush those top-heavy cupcakes off their neat rows and into your impatient maw. By all accounts, they are proud to be part of a company philosophy that encourages you to hang out and watch the traffic rush by, “since we opened the world’s first cupcake bakery in Beverly hills, our freshly baked treats have inspired long lines of devoted Hollywood stars,” touts the sporty Sprinkles box.
No wonder. Sprinkles are baked in small batches and contain no preservatives, trans fats or artificial flavors. They are tops in every way, including the tip of the Food Pyramid, which is reserved for other ‘eat rarely’ foods like lard. But with bittersweet Belgian chocolate? Red Velvet? Pumpkin? Who could resist a mouth-watering bite?
Not my son, home from college on Spring Break, and eager to see the new 24-hour Sprinkles vending machine. Not the Mom in line behind us who toted along two pig-tailed girls who quickly grew weary from the wait and insisted Mom carry them. Not the fashionista in front of us who wanted to treat herself to a cupcake after a professional brow plucking, but became flustered by the dilemma of her parking meter running out. Ticket? Cupcake? She got both.
A few blocks away, Crumbs, the other cupcake shop in town had a few stragglers standing at the counter. I felt sorry for them. Those customers were returning to the home or office without that special signature sprinkle DOT on their custom cupcake. Their to-go goody box was molded plastic, like the kind you see at Ralph’s, not the uber-cool cardboard box secured shut with a nifty Sprinkles sticker.
In a town consumed with the motto You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin, I confess Sprinkles has captured the hearts, minds and taste buds of a finicky community known more for upscale yoga studios and bestselling diet books than sugary 450-calorie confections. While we are all so busy we can hardly keep up with e-mails, texts, tweets, let alone face-time, Sprinkles somehow has wrangled our attention.
The sight of all those perfectly frosted cupcakes, lined up like little artery-blocking soldiers and the irresistible aroma of that freshly-baked cake forces us to re-prioritize our day, surrender to our urges and slow down to savor that sugar high. Perhaps Sprinkles has been doing us a favor by keeping those lines stretching from their doors all the way down the street. If it were too convenient to get our paws on their savory snacks, our health would suffer.
Uh, oh. Almost forgot about the vending machine.