April 28, 2013

Coccadotts Cake Shop a runner-up on Food Network’s ‘Cupcake Wars’

A local cake shop was seeking some sweet revenge Sunday, but came up just short in a confectionary battle against three other bakeries from across the nation.

A local cake shop was seeking some sweet revenge Sunday, but came up just short in a confectionary battle against three other bakeries from across the nation.

Coccadotts Cake Shop, which has stores in Myrtle Beach and New York, finished second in its return to Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” on Sunday night.

It was a much better experience than the bakery’s last trip to the TV showdown, when they were eliminated in the first round when company founder Rachel Cocca-Dott mistakenly put salt in a batter instead of baking soda.

Despite not cashing in on a $10,000 prize Sunday night, the show’s judges had glowing remarks for both taste and presentation for Coccadotts’ creations that were prepared by Cocca-Dott and business partner Matt O’Connor..

“We’re so proud … we don’t really see it as a loss,” said Michelle Cocca, Cocca-Dott’s stepmother and owner of the Myrtle Beach shop. “That’s such hard work so we’re proud of Rachel and Matt.

“In our minds they should’ve won, but everybody has a right to their own opinion.”

Although the bakery wasn’t a winner on TV Sunday night, it certainly was with its fans. Thousands turned out for three viewing parties that were broadcasted live from locations in Myrtle Beach, Albany, N.Y. and Clifton, N.Y.

Hundreds were lined up at the Clarion Motel in Fantasy Harbour – site of the local party – long before the doors opened at 7 p.m. Fans, some in costume, from young to old enjoyed free food, entertainment, performances by the Socastee High School cheerleaders and, of course, free cupcakes.

Cocca was overwhelmed by the turnout for Sunday’s show despite three weeks of preparations..

“I cannot believe it,” Cocca said more than 30 minutes before the show even started Sunday. “I’m freaking out right now. We didn’t expect this many.

“I’m so excited.”

Popularity among Grand Strand residents is pretty much the norm for the bakery, however. Since opening last year on Sayebrook Parkway, the sweet shop has seen the demand for its baked treats steadily increase.

“This community has been so supportive,” Cocca said. “We had seen the New York store do well already and kind of had a feeling it would be a hit here, too.”

The love of Coccadotts’ wares is not exclusive to residents of the Grand Strand, however. Pam Marshall of Evans, Ga., was in town with a group of friends to run the Diva Half Marathon when they discovered the cake shop.

“We stopped in Coccadotts and now we’re big fans,” she said. “They invited us to come to this party. We ran the half marathon this morning so now we’re ready to eat some cupcakes and cheer them on for the win.”

Although a victory wasn’t in the cards – or cakes, as it were – the shop did itself proud Sunday night and now is back to focusing on the area’s sweet tooth. Cocca said the shop cranks out thousands of cupcakes every day and seeing the smiles on satisfied customers’ faces is victory enough for her.

“It comes down to the customers being happy … that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we do. Everyone being here tonight was a testament to that … all those that stayed and watched and cheered for us.

“You know, we’ll seem them back at the shop.”

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