Small bites for big appetites

Crazy for cupcakes? Scott Markley, a veteran baker and business maker, is your man.

For Markley, the mission of Nashville Cupcake Factory is to provide custom cupcakes at affordable prices. since its inception in 2009, he has catered corporate events, commitment ceremonies and church functions throughout the Metro area. Markley works directly with each customer to create the perfect chunk of sugary bliss.

The inspired entrepreneur made every effort to avoid the pitfalls of starting a new business, taking a more measured approach that allowed him to experiment with his product.

"I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself," Markley said. "I did a lot of trials in terms of the ingredients and the packaging. I took a more catering approach to it. I don't have constant inventory. I make what I need, and everything is made from scratch."

He added, "It's not a cheap venture. It takes a lot of effort, but I truly believe in the product. (Cupcakes) are fun, and they're easy to manage. They're great at any party."

Markley, whose family was involved in the catering industry, has applied a liberal dose of his own life experience into his fledgling company. A Massachusetts native, he honed his baking skills as a manager in a supermarket bakery. Since Markley moved to Nashville with his partner John Bledsoe in 2001, he shared this culinary gift with friends and colleagues, many of whom encouraged him to pursue his passion in a business setting.

Markley's cupcakes are delicious and downright sinful for the waistline, but he's built a small faction of low-fat choices for the health-conscious customer. He respects his audience’s tastes by customizing his savory creations for their needs.

"My mission from the get-go was to keep the costs down and still make something great," said Markley, who says the cupcakes have a three-day shelf life for maximum freshness. "I've learned that you can not please everybody, but the people who are ordering are in the party type of mood, so they like to have fun with it."

To maintain a sense of spontaneity, Markley names a cupcake of the month that's offered at a 10% discount. Recent flavors have included dulce de leche, hot chocolate and raspberry bavarian. Nashville Cupcake Factory's most popular item---"My favorite, too," Markley said---is the orange blossom, an orange cake with coconut buttercream topped with a candied orange.

Markley, who operates exclusively from his home in Donelson, has been scouting out locations in East Nashville to develop a production bakery. He also plans to employ a few assistants to manage the daily operations so his attention can go where it belongs---the cupcakes.

Affordability is the key in Markley's recipe. Cupcakes range in price from $1.00-$3.48, allowing customers to indulge without damaging their budgets. As a catering company, Nashville Cupcake Factory offers free delivery within Davidson County. For a small fee they deliver to a 15 mile radius outside the county.

Markley, who says this is his dream job, hopes that his desserts evoke sweet memories: "The whole idea is for people to bite into the cupcake and say 'This is something that I would like to make in my home'."

To view a full listing of cupcake options, visit Nashville Cupcake Factory also has a Facebook page where you can preview pictures of cupcakes and get information through periodic updates.

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