Catherine Hamilton?s Perfect Cupcakes business begins in heaven.
Consider that the 37-year-old Cincinnati native and her street-legal three-wheeled cupcake delivery truck are located in an impossible-to-get vendor location in the Inner Harbor in front of the Marine Biotechnology Center, on a short stretch of street with the heavenly name of Harbor Magic Drive. And, she is the only vendor there.
Just two years in town, Hamilton, her distinctive truck Ms. Sprinkles and the wooden display table dressed with an assortment of colorful, sprinkled butter cream cupcakes are a show-stopper.
Memorial Day weekend marked the entrepreneur?s first days in the cupcake businessin Baltimore, days she says will remain memorable for what the police officer who inspected her vendor?s permit said. "It is a small act of God that you are here. The city just doesn?t do this."
The "this" is heavy issuance of vendor licenses for areas south of Lombard Street.
"The Waterfront Coalition folks had a desire to preserve the integrity of the area and its uniqueness," said Alvin Gillard, the city?s director of the community relations who oversees the Vendor Licensing Board. After jumping more than six months of hurdles, Perfect Cupcakes proved unique enough for a permit.
In Cincinnati, Hamilton owned a clothing store, drawing praise from local media as a "fun, fearless female." Six years later, she moved to San Francisco, where she took a job with a transportation company.
Fate stepped in while she was visiting the warehouse of one its customers. She spotted a white three-wheel delivery truck. "It was love at first sight," she said. "I thought I could build a business around this truck."
Looking for a city more affordable than San Francisco for her next business venture, she chose Baltimore. "I loved that Baltimore was on the water, had a thriving downtown, and its proximity to New York was very attractive."
Hamilton started working on the business last year, getting the truck customized by her roommate?s father and lining up a place to bake the cupcakes. Research turned up Alvin "Sugg" Eddins, who bakes, and Ninel Mednikova, who frosts and decorates.
"Small acts of God have paved the way for many wonderful things in my life," Hamilton said.
IF YOU GO
Perfect Cupcakes is parked in the 700 block of East Pratt Street Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., except for rainy days.