Since 2008, Babycakes has been serving up the best cupcakes in San Diego, including other sweet treats for their diverse community. That’s right. From cupcakes to wedding cakes and all sorts of desserts in between, they are proud to be San Diego’s go-to celebration destination.
There is a little bit of happiness in every bite…and that’s baked in by design.
Let them eat cake
Babycakes San Diego’s concept was developed by two friends, Christopher Stavros and Rafael Del Rio. “Chris” is an entrepreneur with vast experience in the restaurant industry, and Rafael is an innovative pastry chef. They started out with humble beginnings, trying out recipes in their own kitchen and giving out samples to friends and family.
It was challenging to say the least. Because we were starting Babycakes in the middle of a recession, many of our friends told us we were crazy. But we found that even though people were going through a tough time, they would spend enough to buy a cupcake. Just a few moments of goodness in all of the chaos. It became our signature mission.
Chris Stavros - Serving the most delicious cupcakes in San Diego
Christopher Stavros - Owner of Babycakes
Peering inside the Babycakes bakery in Hillcrest San Diego
Outside view of Babycakes San Diego
Babycakes Imperial Beach San Diego
Chocolate-covered strawberry cupcake
Pistachio flavored cupcakes from Babycakes
Babycakes custom wedding cakes and other assorted pastries
Good times topped with sprinkles
After their grand opening in December 2008, they worked tirelessly for the first couple of years. They transformed their initial location in the Hillcrest area of San Diego into a recognized neighborhood fixture. While the location had been a popular coffeeshop, they succeeded in building a bakery, that includes a growing wedding and event cake business.
Those first two to three years were intense. We were sinking all our profits back into the location. We needed new ovens, refrigeration, sinks, and additional storage space. And this was on top of regular maintenance. Therefore, it was challenging financially. And once you add in additional employees for both the coffeehouse and the bakery, it became overwhelming at times.
What saved us was the amazing support we were receiving from the neighborhood. We were so fortunate to be surrounded by such a generous and supportive community.
Babycakes San Diego continued to grow and really hit their stride around year five. They had completely revamped the location, added a bar and sweet treat drink menu, along with light tapas-style comfort dishes. Babycakes became the local hub to meet up with friends before or after dinner; somewhere that all were welcomed.
On account of Chris, the branding took on a persona that helped build up the fun-filled and sometimes cheeky reputation of Babycakes. Because of signature sweets like the “chocolate vibrator”, the “chunky monkey“, along with popular menu items like “hot & sexy wings“, “finger lickin’ chicken” and the “kinky quesadilla“, patrons knew that they were in for a good time along with satiating their sweet tooth in the process.
But the road to being able to offer the best cupcakes in San Diego wasn’t easy. As they say, “No pain no gain”
Babycakes went through a transition after 10 years into the business. It was time to make a bold move to increase the kitchen, since they were literally working on top of each other in the kitchen with the daily short order chefs working in between the baking staff. The wedding and event cake business was increasing as rapidly as the pastry bar, and the kitchen was feeling the strain.
We looked into outsourcing a kitchen for overflow use, but the numbers didn’t make sense. Not to mention the importance of being able to control your baking space, since the wedding season is hectic. In the end, it was time to rethink how the business was structured.
And so Chris and Rafael opted to move their entire facility into a new location, instead leaving the bar & restaurant scene behind. They needed potential for growth on the baking side of the business. Therefore, it was time for a big change.
It was tough leaving the first space, since it was our first home. However, it was the right move. Now, we have a much bigger reach. This allows us to serve our customers better and reach a greater number of people.
They doubled down on wedding and event cakes , while adding home delivery to their services. Including Imperial Beach and Hillcrest, they now have coffee & dessert houses in three locations around San Diego.
Love all around
By catering to their customers with vegan and gluten-free options, while keeping some of the old ‘nostalgic’ flavor from their humble beginnings, Babycakes continues to win awards. They win local awards like “Best of San Diego” and the “Nicky Awards” – all showcasing how much the community that supports them has grown.
It was important to provide our customers the best cupcakes in San Diego.
They give that love back to the community through sponsorships. That means providing event cakes for local non-profits and, more recently, special treats to the everyday heroes working at Sharp Heathcare in San Diego during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of the day, it’s more than just cupcakes. It’s about offering a unique experience and bringing a bit of happiness into someone’s life ~ even for a moment. That’s what makes Babycakes special…we are just spreading the love ~ one treat at a time.