Meet: Kate Thompson:

Hard work can make a business sparkle

Two special guests attend a tea party at Cupkates by Kate, a unique cupcake parlor at Tivoli Village, Friday, March 15, 2013.

Cupkates by Kate

Kate Thompson, owner of Cupkates by Kate, stands inside her cupcake parlor at Tivoli Village, Friday, March 15, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Name of business: Cupkates by Kate

Address: The Market LV at Tivoli Village, 420 S. Rampart Blvd., Las Vegas

Phone: 439-3266

Email: [email protected]


Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Owned by: Kate Thompson

In business since: March 1, 2009

Describe your business.

Cupkates is a local, faith-based business founded on the belief that all girls deserve a little sparkle. In a world where children are forced to grow up fast, Cupkates creates an environment that encourages little girls to be just that — little girls.

We specialize in bite-sized treats, including mini cupcakes, cake pops, chocolate-dipped strawberries, dipped apples and cupcake bouquets. Our delicious southern recipes are passed down from my Nana.

We also host fancy tea parties for little girls. We dress up, learn table manners, do crafts, dance, decorate cupcakes and have tea.

Who are your customers?

While our homemade cupcakes and treats are for anyone who has a sweet tooth, children are our focus.

What makes your business unique?

Cupkates is not your typical cupcake shop. Although we do specialize in bite-sized sweets, we try to provide an extra special feel for little princesses through our fancy tea parties.

What is your business philosophy?

Everything I do comes from one simple phrase I learned years back from a very important mentor: “If it doesn’t sparkle, it doesn’t matter!”

What’s the most important part of your job?

To ensure that every person who walks out of my store has had a great experience. I stay, and always will stay, hands on with Cupkates to make sure that happens.

What’s the hardest part about doing business in Las Vegas?

In addition to the financial pressures of getting a business started during these tough economic times, establishing ourself in such a competitive marketplace has been challenging.

I know that we have an amazing product, but getting it out to the public has been challenging.

With that said, I feel that our persistence in providing a quality product will pay off in the long run.

What is the best part about doing business in Las Vegas?

I am a fifth-generation Las Vegan, so I have always taken great pride in my city.

It brings me greater pleasure to know that I can establish a business doing what I love, in the place I love. I truly feel that we live in the greatest city in the world, and I feel blessed to know my past and future will be deeply involved in making this city even better.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

We started this business without help from a bank, which financially has been the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Starting a business is not as easy as it used to be.

Also, establishing ourself as a unique experience business-wise has had its growing pains, but we’re better for it.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?

Establishing businesses in Nevada that are unique to us, and only us, will help the city and state prosper. There are countless hardworking people with original ideas who live here, so helping them make those ideas tangible is essential.

We are big fans of what Tony Hsieh and the Downtown Project are doing to help fund startups with unique ideas. Others could follow the great example they are setting.

In addition to the private sector helping people get started, the state and local government also can continue to improve making the process easier for startups. Lord knows we need all the help we can get.

What have you learned from the recession?

That most everyone can do a better job living within their means. I love nice shoes and clothes just as much as the next girl, but I now have a better understanding about setting priorities with my finances.

Not to say people can’t spoil themselves every once in a while for working hard, but I’ve learned that stringing together consecutive days, weeks, months and years of hard work is much more gratifying than buying a new purse.

Tags: Business