Casey Reinhardt is one amazing entrepreneur, not to mention all around person. If you think she looks familiar, it's more than likely because you've seen her star in MTV's second season of Laguna Beach, The Real Orange County or watched her reign as the champion of the Food Network's 2011 Cake Wars, Walk of Fame contest. And currently Casey's latest success is being the owner, creator, and mastermind behind Casey's Cupcakes!
Her Social Network was inspired by Casey Reinhardt because she is such a super star both professionally and personally. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I can say first hand, she's the most mature, joyful, down to Earth, inspirational, compassionate, talented, and business savvy woman I've met and she's just 25 years old. That alone is something to be amazed by.
I wanted to introduce you to Casey, Casey's Cupcakes, and the C.A.S.E.Y. foundation and give everyone the opportunity to see what makes Casey truly a star in our eyes. Meet Casey Reinhardt, prepare to be amazed:
Q: What made you want to become an entrepreneur when you had already "made it" in the spotlight?
Casey: At three I fell in love with baking. I would tell everyone that my dream was to one day own my own bakery. And even as I got older, that dream and passion grew more and more each time I baked. By my junior year at Pepperdine University, while modeling and acting, the academic environment fueled my bakery aspirations more and made me start thinking seriously about opening up a bakery and become a business owner. After doing a lot of market research and development, I knew my dream would become brick and mortar, and in 2009 I opened my first Casey's Cupcakes in Riverside!
Q: What inspired you to bake and what made you choose cupcakes?
Casey: Every summer growing up, I would spend time at my great-grandmother's house. She was italian and with that culture comes a love of food, expressing love through it, and the passing on of traditions in the kitchen. For my great-grandmother cooking was a way to tell someone you love them, bring them joy, and share a part of her with them. And for me, her love, the times we shared, and the joy I experienced while cooking and baking became my passion! You could say, I fell in love with cooking and baking. One thing my great grandmother taught me is how to create amazing food using fresh and quality ingredients. We would spend hours testing out combinations and adding personal touches to each dish. Some of the many treats we made would include fresh fruit roll-ups, cakes, meals, and my personal favorite was always the cupcakes. After she passed away, I continued baking and experimenting in the kitchen and just couldn't help but want to share with everyone our recipes and find joy in the memory of my loved ones that were lost but never forgotten! Each time you eat a Casey's Cupcake you become a part of my family's tradition!
Q: How has Casey's Cupcakes reinvented the cupcake and created a unique brand?
Casey: Casey's Cupcakes takes cupcakes to another level, along with making it an experience while enjoying each bite! The moment a customer walks into Casey's Cupcakes they are taken back to Paris with me when I was 6. Each Casey's Cupcakes location is decorated and designed after a Parisian bakery. But the environment is just the icing on the cupcake. What makes Casey's Cupcakes number one are two things: high quality/fresh ingredients and glamour. Casey's cupcakes are only made with high quality and fresh ingredients. Each cupcake is made fresh daily and the taste is unlike any other cupcake because of the quality of the ingredient used. In addition, we make cupcakes glamorous. They are dressed to the nine's and each cupcake is a work of art! We also make glamorous specialty cupcakes that are gluten free, sugar free, and vegan!
Casey: Definitely the Decadent Dark Chocolate Cupcake! This cupcake is made of dark chocolate cake, with dark chocolate chips inside. Then, it's topped with dark chocolate frosting and embellished with dark chocolate shavings. It's absolutely delicious!
Q: I noticed a portion of your proceeds go to the C.A.S.E.Y Foundation. What is the C.A.S.E.Y foundation?
Casey: In 2002 I founded the C.A.S.E.Y Foundation. The acronym stands from Children's Alliance for the Success and Education of Youth in Need. I started the foundation because in my life I learned first hand the importance of academics, being involved in activities, and having support from your family and friends to succeed later in life. And I wanted to make sure that support, accessibility, and funding for activities and academic programs was available to all children, in all schools. This program raises money, provides support, and fills in the gaps.
Q: What made you attach your charity and business?
Casey: My passion to give back and help others was instilled in me at a very young age from the example of my parents who created Olive Crest. Naturally when I was developing my business plan, I wanted to make sure to find a way attach my foundation and business. Just recently we created a cupcake called the Stiletto cupcake. It was created to benefit the C.A.S.E.Y foundation. It sold out in 30 minutes at all the locations. It filled me with joy to see those proceeds go to help a school in need provide uniforms for their athletic programs and keep those children encouraged to stay involved in school activites.
Q: What has been your biggest successes as a business owner?
Casey: Winning Cupcake Wars on the Food Network! That was an amazing experience in itself but winning that really put Casey's Cupcakes on the map and highlighted the brand, quality, and wow-factor of the product. Also, opening up two additional locations in Orange County and Laguna Beach was both emotional and a dream come true. To know that customers loved Casey's Cupcakes to the point of creating that growth was humbling and inspiring! For Casey's Cupcakes and for me personally the customer is the number one priority and concern and it's because of their continued support and love of the product that keeps Casey's Cupcakes growing and in high demand!
Q: What has been you biggest struggles as a business owner?
Casey: One of the hardest elements of owning a business is always keeping organized and managing growth and demand. It's difficult to have to say no or turn away a charity event or organizations who want Casey's Cupcakes to be a part of their events. But due to our high demand it happens more than we like it to. However, we always do our best to try to be a part of these events, the next go around or year. Also, for me personally I view my employees as family. Any time one of them graduates and leaves for school, it's like watching a family member leave. It's bitter sweet. I miss them dearly and have come to love them as they've worked for me.
Casey: Scripture and working out. I have to make sure I carve out time for those two things everyday. For me, remembering, "I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength." (Philipians 3:14 NIV) and working out first thing in the morning really helps me start out the day right. And with my busy schedule, having a workout that fits in with my lifestyle is key. I am able to stay fit and eat cupcakes with the RKS Kettlebell System. I love that workout!
Q If you could give advice to other women out there wanting to open their own business, what would it be?
Casey: Do a lot of research. Talk to people that do what you want to do and ask a lot of questions. Also make sure to focus on demographics. And most importantly always remember to keep moving forward. There will be bumps in the road, but all of them are temporary!
Q: What can we expect to see from Casey's Cupcakes in the future?
Casey: In June we will be featuring our new cupcake of the month: Ravishing Raspberry Lemonade Cupcake. We are also starting a wedding cake/celebratory cake division! And we are booking decorate your own cupcake parties as well!
After the interview, I hung up the phone amazed, hungry, and envious of everyone who lives near a Casey's Cupcakes location. The cupcakes look and sound absolutely delicious don't they? If you look at the images and read the descriptions too long I'm warning you now you will develop a fever for a Casey's Cupcake. The one question I forgot to ask Casey is when her locations would be headed south? Texas needs some frosted glamour!! How about your state? Do they need a Casey's Cupcakes too?
So dish it ladies, what did you think about Casey Reinhardt? Isn't she amazing! What was one thing that impressed you most about her?