Naples Shops Offer Sweet Tooth Niche

“You want it to be velvety, creamy, with a nice buttery taste to it,” said Grace Bolen, owner of Gracie’s Cupcakes and Ice Cream. “And, of course, sweet.”

A sweet tooth is part of what lured Bolen to creating cupcakes. After several years of a career that required travel five days a week, she wanted to work close to home and be with her husband and children. She liked baking, loved sweets and during her travels, Bolen visited cities where cupcake shops were common.

She decided she would try to do something similar. Because she’s not a formally trained baker, that meant Bolen “baked and baked and baked,” she said with a laugh, until she was confident her recipes were right.

Now, Bolen bakes seven or eight dozen cupcakes daily in her shop, which are that day’s flavors. Gracie’s Cupcakes and Ice Cream also sells Royal Scoop, the popular Bonita Springs-made ice cream.

Of those daily dozens, Bolen eats four or five. Call it quality control.

“I will sample everything I make,” Bolen said. “To me, taste is everything.”

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