Entrepreneur: David Arrick, laid-off commercial real estate attorney and former celebrity trainer, now founder of Butch Bakery , an online Manhattan cupcakery
Idea: Cupcakes for men. "We stay away from pastels and sprinkles," Arrick says. Hence the "Driller," a maple cupcake smothered with crumbled bacon and chocolate ganache; the "B-52," a Kahlua-soaked cupcake sporting a camouflage topping and the "Beer Run," a chocolate-beer cupcake with beer-infused buttercream and crushed pretzel sprinkles. Can't decide? The "Butch Box" holds all 12 flavors for $48, plus $8 delivery.
"Aha" Moment: Walking past the long line of people waiting for frilly cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, the cupcake craze's ground zero. Two thoughts ran through Arrick's head: "I gotta get on that bandwagon" and "Where's the boy bakery?"
StartUp: Arrick cashed out his 401(k) and ran up credit cards to the tune of $25,000. He worked with bakers and consultants to create recipes and focused on building a strong online presence. "It's the biggest risk I've ever taken, but I've reached an age where the worst that could happen doesn't sound that scary."
Payoff: Original sales projection: $5,000 a month. By year's end, the bakery should net more than $10,000 a month. "I think it's OK to say that we're on the other side of the 'Why didn't I think of that?' fence."
Customers: 90 percent women. "I've tapped into the 'What do you get for a guy?' market."
Work philosophy: "It's just cupcakes. Relax."
Media Love: A cupcake cookbook deal with John Wiley & Sons, slated for release next year, with 50 "guy friendly" (read: easy) recipes for manly occasions (football season, barbecues, spring training.). On deck: A reality show pilot with MY-Tupelo Entertainment. The concept: "Guy reinvents himself through a bakery."
2011 and Beyond: Develop a masculine baking brand, start shipping nationwide, open Butch Bakeries in Chicago, Boston, L.A., San Francisco and Miami; ultimately, "I'll be a cross between Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri."