Cupcake Scandal

I live in a small town of about 8000 people.  It was recently named Atlantic Canada’s Best Place to Raise a Family and I would mostly agree given that my husband and I opted to uproot our lives 7 years ago to move back and raise our two daughters here.  We have great schools, amazing sports programs that have produced Olympic athletes, live minutes from breathtaking beaches and numerous lakes…it’s a pretty sweet place.


Early this week, Bridgewater celebrated it’s anniversary and as part of the celebration some town councillors strolled about town handing out cupcakes, a seemingly harmless gesture and one that brought momentary smiles to lots of people going about their daily business.  I was a little disappointed to have missed out on the affair because all reports were that the cupcakes were fabulous.  The fact that my oldest daughter, age 13, mentioned them means they must have been good because what 13 year old girl wants to talk to their mom about anything other than to ask for money and/or negotiate a ride somewhere?

Leave it to my town, however, to turn something as simple as cupcakes (and mini ones at that) into a scandal – and not the scandal I would have anticipated.  I figured there would be concerns expressed by some about handing out cupcakes as the Town recently passed a Healthy Food Policy, but that apparently doesn’t warrant scandal status.

What does warrant cupcake scandal status here is having cupcakes made for a town’s anniversary by someone who doesn’t live in town anymore.  I emphasize the word anymore because the baker who made the 3000 cupcakes actually did live in Bridgewater just a few years ago. (Her daughter was a good friend of my daughter when they lived here.)  Said cupcake baker moved out of town to live with her mother when she and her former spouse separated so she would have some support raising her children and she began her small home-based business then and has developed an outstanding reputation, thus the reason she was approached to bake the cupcakes.

Some folks are outraged that someone from ‘outside of town’ was approached to bake the cupcakes when surely there must have been someone within town limits who could accommodate the request to make 3000 cupcakes for $1000 and …gasp…a local bakery allegedly was not even approached.  The shame!  Personally, I would offer a guess that no retail bakery would take on such a job given the time and costs involved for such a small profit margin – about 34 cents before expenses, but what do I know about baking?  Not much other than how to burn stuff.

Personally, I’m not sure if I should be happy or scared that this is the best our town can come up with for a scandal.  As someone who pays an insane amount of money each year in property taxes I have no complaints about the cupcakes.  In fact, I’m glad they opted to go with a small home-based entrepreneur.  Her postal code doesn’t matter to me.

There will always be ‘those’ people who find fault in the simplest of things.  I choose not be one of them, especially when they involve cupcakes made by a single mom trying to support her family who used to live here but because of life circumstances no longer does.  I feel fairly confident that those criticizing the town councillors for not shopping local shop outside of town from time to time for certain things themselves – perhaps to get a bargain or because someone recommended they check out a certain business so I’m not buying their argument one bit and find it hypocritical.

I wonder if cupcakes will become an election platform during the next municipal election?


4 thoughts on “Cupcake Scandal

  1. You are missing the point here. The local bakeries should have been asked if they were interested in doing the job. If not then go outside town. These businesses pay very high taxes in the town and should have at least been looked at. It may sound silly to you because it is cupcakes, but it is still money and what else has gone outside of town without first checking for town possibilities. Mr. Graves really does not care what the town people think on this and I know this first hand as having a lengthy email discussion with him on this.

  2. It sounds like the hearts of the townsfolk are in the right place – it’s really great to hear that so many are conscientious and furthermore aware of the importance of buying local and supporting their own community. It’s also great that town council took the time to approach a previous Bridgewater resident who, having had to move away for personal reasons, probably appreciated the opportunity to do something like this for their own community that they had to prematurely move away from. What a great thing town council did by approaching a mother, a previous Bridgewater resident, and a local private entrepreneur rather than opting to give the opportunity to an already established business. She’s from Bridgewater, she has at least one child to raise, and she’s taken the initiative to give the greater local business scene one more entrepreneurial endeavour. A community has no end to the need for more proactive entrepreneurial people like that – and, of course, the need to support them.

    It’s understandable where the misunderstanding could come from, and again, it’s great that the local folk are thinking local and want the town to support itself. However, it’s unfortunate that a simple gesture like this by town council could create so much ire and negativity – certainly, if you’re concerned, mention it to a councillor for future consideration. For now, though, realize that all they did was a support a small, home-based business, a mother, and a fellow local: everything that a community in today’s world should be doing.

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