Brooklyn Cupcake is OnDeck's Small Business of the Month for October, 2019. Founded in 2010 by sisters Carmen Rodriguez and Gina Madera, the popular eatery is located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
After a long career in retail, Carmen Rodriguez found herself in 2010 at a crossroads. Her passion for baking cupcakes and other desserts for various company functions had overtaken her interest in a 9-5 job. As word of her cupcake creations spread at work and throughout New York City, Carmen saw the potential of starting her own business and enlisted her sister as a partner to help launch Brooklyn Cupcake.
“We pour our hearts into each cupcake we make,” said Carmen. “Our family is Italian-American and Puerto Rican and that dual heritage inspired us to launch the business with a culturally inspired menu. We created cupcake flavors such as Flan, Dulce de Leche, Tiramisu, Rainbow Cookie and Tres Leche. We even have a Coquito cupcake made with cream of coconut and rum that celebrates the Puerto Rican holiday of the same name.”
What began as a talent for making cupcakes for corporate events, school fairs and neighborhood gatherings quickly thrust Carmen and Gina into the nation’s culinary spotlight. Soon after opening, the sister appeared on Food Network’s “Cooking in America” with Sunny Anderson and on the fabled “Cupcake Wars” show. According to Gina however, the icing on the cake came when the New York Daily News named them “Best Cupcake” in New York City..
“We couldn’t believe how popular we got after the Food Network shows and the Daily News award, ” said Gina Madera. “There were lines outside our door. We were baking cupcakes around the clock. It was a dream come true for us.”
With success came the need for additional financing. Family contributions had helped the sisters launch the business in 2010, but six years later they needed a new location to handle more equipment and a bigger workforce. Carmen and Gina turned to OnDeck for financing.
“We found OnDeck at a crucial time in our company’s growth,” said Carmen. “When time for expansion came, we couldn’t get funding from the normal channels like banks without tons of paperwork and long wait times. In contrast, OnDeck’s online loan application process was easy and transparent. Upon approval, we had the financing needed within 24 hours. For a small business pivoting to meet strong demand, you must rely on dependable resources and OnDeck is a smart resource and a perfect financing partner.”
“So often small businesses have the customer demand to grow but not the ability to finance that growth,” said Andrea Gellert, Chief Revenue Officer, OnDeck. “With hard work and determination, Carmen and Gina have built a new destination spot for New Yorkers and visitors to the City seeking unique and flavorful cupcakes. OnDeck is proud to have provided the financing that Brooklyn Cupcake needed at a key stage in its growth.”