Cupcakes or Cocktails? At Pick Your Poison, You Have a Choice.
The downtown café features award-winning cupcakes, plus a nice selection of beer and wine.
When Tiffany Wilder’s father heard she was going to open a café that sold alcohol and cupcakes, he thought she was crazy.
Apparently he wasn’t too fond of her putting the word “poison” in a place that sold, you know, food and drink.
But Wilder, a savvy businesswoman with a background in marketing, knew the combination worked with the theme of her place, and so far, the questionable moniker hasn’t hurt business at all.
“The concept was all about the cupcakes…but once we decided on the location, I thought it would be beneficial to add beer and wine,” Wilder says. “We do really well on 3rd Friday with it, so it’s been worth it.”
The fact that Pick Your Poison Cupcake Cafe is even around is a testament to Wilder’s determination and desire to set a positive example for her two daughters.
After opening in December, Wilder’s business partner and primary cupcake baker backed out of the arrangement, leaving the single mom, without any professional experience in a kitchen, to run the business herself.
But after designing the store and signing a long-term lease with the property owner, the former retail and marketing professional decided to buckle up and make the concept work.
“Some days it’s daunting because there’s so much involved with it,” she admits. “I wish I had the personal gift of baking, but I don’t.”
“But I’m determined to make this work because I’m not a quitter. I don’t want to give up and set a bad example for my daughters. That's not how I roll."
Her oldest daughter, Cassidy, has actually become an integral part of the business.
The Countryside High senior is not only helping to bake after she gets out of school, she is actually learning the “nuts and bolts” of the business, much to the delight of her mom.
“I like baking. It’s fun,” Cassidy says. “It’s a cool job to have, especially compared to other kids who are bagging groceries.”
Wilder hired another professional baker after her partner left, and their intriguing creations have been causing a sensation all over town.
Pick Your Poision offers roughly 24 flavors of cupcakes, including peanut butter cup, cookies & cream and red velvet, and they sell three varieties of Cupcake Vinyard wines, plus a nice selection of beer like Magic Hat and Florida Avenue.
And the place has definitely been such a success; it won Best Cupcakes in Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay Magazine and Wilder has both large catered orders and a healthy walk-in clientele.
The popularity of the business and her daughter’s involvement in it has Wilder thinking long term.
“Cassidy is personally invested in it…I can see her running it in five years,” she says. “But I will always be here to help. Not being here would not be an option."
Pick Your Poison Cupcake Cafe
Address: 100 Main Street, Suite 103
Hours: Tue - Thu, 11am - 6pm; Fri, Sat, 11am - 10pm; Sun, Mon, closed