Cupcake Take: Steve

Broken fridge, San Diego, July 2010

Imagine running a commercial kitchen that produces your flagship product. What do you do when a key piece of equipment breaks? While there was probably some freaking out, this gourmet cupcake shop found a necessarily-small-business solution: move everything to a new refrigerator, in this case, the beverage cooler right inside the front door. Doing this effectively brought the backstage into the frontstage. Not only is there transparency here about their process of making cupcakes (as Julie describes here), they are also transparent about their challenges in running a small business. While companies like Google can get away with the Beta label currying forgiveness for the not-ready-for-prime-time-but-we’ll-use-it-anyway-for-free line of products, we probably wouldn’t be charmed by a sticky note on a broken server that contains our data. Some things are mission critical, but having to reach around some eggs to get my can of Mountain Dew isn’t one of them. It’s kinda fun and surprising to see the backstage appear frontstage (see the kitchen design at In-N-Out Burger) and charming that this business could take what was nominally a failure and create a gentle celebration around it.

Also see: Vodafone celebrates construction around their retail outlets here and a far less celebratory sign from the same store here.


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