The Story Behind Saint Cupcake's Resurrection
On the dawn of the beloved cupcake bakery’s return, we step into the recently relaunched Belmont shop to chat with the brand's new owners.
When word got out that Saint Cupcake was closing on New Year's Eve 2013 after eight years of business in Portland, long-time fans panicked. Owner Jami Curl promised the line of mini-desserts would live on to some degree at her Quin Candy-fueled outpost Sprinklefingers on SE Belmont, but as the pixie-haired sugar pusher stepped away from the brand to focus on the growing success of Quin's gumdrops, lollypops, and fruit chews, those cult-favorite cupcakes fell to the back burner.
Like so many other Portland cupcake lovers, Julie and Alex Bond (who own Serratto Restaurant and Bar on NW 21st) felt the injustice of Saint Cupcake’s shutter. “It was a business that should not have closed,” Alex explains. When he heard that the Southwest and Belmont locations were fading away, he and his wife "were just shocked. We wanted to see if there was a way we could bring it back.”
The Bonds’ children attended preschool across the street from the original Saint Cupcake bakery in Northwest Portland, and their fond memories of the shop were a driving motivation for their bid to buy and reopen the business. “We went to Saint Cupcake pretty much every day after school,” Alex remembers.
The Bond's kids and their cupcake-loving compatriots aren't the only ones happy to see the brand reborn. Previous owner Jami Curl is also stoked: “I am thrilled that someone found value in the brand and business that I spent a great deal of time, energy and personal sacrifice to build. Based on the response to my decision to close, I think it's amazing for Portland that someone will carry the torch forward.”
Stop into the Belmont location (recently reopened on May 29 at 3300 SE Belmont) for a taste all of Saint Cupcakes' classics, from toasted coconut cream and mini red velvet to the cookie-laden Big Top or the caramel buttercream-topped Salty Captain—and rest easy knowing they'll taste just like they did before the shutter. Continuity has been a priority for the Bonds, who are preserving both the recipes and the staff of the original Saint Cupcake, from bakers to storefront team members. The Southwest location (1138 SW Morrison St) is slated to re-open its doors in the next few weeks—stay tuned for those sweet, sweet updates.
Looks like the national cupcake bubble is avoiding a pop for a while longer.