Published DateBy Tom Eastman
CONWAY — Cupcake customers began lining up outside the doors of the White Mountain Cupcakery's North Conway shop early Monday morning.
The shop is usually closed Mondays, but not this week. The husband-and-wife-owned, three-year-old business opened for the day so that friends could stop by to congratulate them on their victory in Sunday night's showing on The Food Network of the latest episode of "Cupcake Wars."
"The phone has been ringing off the hook since last night, and although we were supposed to open at 1 p.m. today, we just had to open the doors when friends began showing up," said Kathy Iannuzzi Monday morning, in between taking congratluations — and orders.
"We've already begun to see the effect," said Iannuzzi, who founded the business in 2009 with her husband and partner, Marc. "I just got off the phone from a woman who booked us to do her wedding cake for next October — without even tasting a cake!"
"We're ready," said Marc Iannuzzi. "We have a great staff. We also have the support of friends and family who will help us out with our kids. It's going to be a lot of work, but we definitely are ready to take it on."
In "Cupcake Wars," the Iannuzzis squared off with three other contestants in the three-round event.
They applied and were accepted to compete in the show last spring, traveling to California in July for the taping of the show.
The Iannuzzis had to sign a confidentiality agreement which forbade them from disclosing just how they fared in the competition prior to the show's first airing.
"We've had to keep it quiet, which was very tough!" said Kathy.
They invited friends and family to join them at a cupcake party so they could watch the broadcast together at North Conway's Marriott Residence Inn Sunday night.
"It was quite the party," said Kathy. "We had over 100 friends and family, and we went through at least 350 cupcakes. There were hugs and kisses all around."
The first round was based on fixed ingredients; the second round was based on 50 percent taste and 50 percent decorations.
The third round required the final two contestants to create 1,000 cupcakes within the allotted time round.
Top prize was $10,000 and bragging rights.
"We've got the podium that we used at the show. We're going to set it up here in the shop," said Kathy.
Originally from Everett, Mass., the Iannuzzis moved to Bartlett four years ago to be closer to Marc's parents. They have three children, ages 14, 11 and 3.
Customers can try the winning samples over the next few weeks, including spicy chocolate cupcakes with lime buttercream topped with ganache, the recipe which won the final round for the Iannuzzis.
If you missed the first broadcast, tune in to Channel 57 on The Food Network Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. as theshow will be rebroadcast. It will also be re-run several times after that, according to the Iannuzzis.
White Mountain Cupcakery is located in the former SAU 9 office building that was relocated by developer Joe Berry to a new site three years ago across from the Eastern Slope Inn.
For more information, visit www.whitemountaincupcakery,com or call 733-5310.