For Mistie Underhill, success smells a lot like buttercream, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Underhill and her mom, Deanna, own and operate Creations Baking Company, cupcake shops in Mansfield and Midlothian that appeal to everyone’s sweet tooth.
“When people come in, they ooh and aah,” Mistie Underhill said. “They say ‘I need to look’ and “It smells so good.’”
With candy cane pink-striped walls and a 16-foot counter loaded with even more colorful cupcakes, Creations looks as good as it smells. And the cupcakes taste even better.
“The first thing (the customers) say is ‘I’m in heaven,’” said Yesenia Pina, who works in the Mansfield Creations.
Sure, there’s chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and red velvet that are always available, but the Underhills get creative with their creations. The menu could include pancakes & bacon (which was Green Eggs & Ham for Dr Seuss’ birthday, complete with red- and white-striped top hat) or Cinco de Chili for May 5, which mixes chili and cayenne pepper in chocolate cake, cinnamon cream cheese icing with chili powder and a chili on top. For Christmas in July, there’s sticky toffee figgy pudding, coffee cake filled with toffee sauce and a fig slice on top.
Creations’ signature cupcakes are even sweeter, but just as creative. The Promised Land has a milk and honey mousse filling with almond butter cream covered in toasted almonds and drizzled with honey. Deanna Underhill’s favorite, the brownie bottom cheesecake, has a brownie with vanilla cake and cheesecake topped with cream cheese icing and a brownie and drizzled with chocolate. Mistie Underhill likes the Sno Ball, a vanilla cake with whipped cream icing dipped in vanilla glaze and topped with mini sno balls.
“Because it’s crispy on the outside and soft in the middle,” she said. “It’s sweet, light and perfect with a cup of coffee.”
Chip Underhill, Deanna’s husband and Mistie’s dad, likes the cinnamon roll cupcake, a vanilla cupcake with “what you would put in the center of a cinnamon roll inside,” topped with cream frosting and cinnamon sugar.
“You have to try them to understand,” Mistie said.
And a lot of people have. Creations Baking Company opened in Mansfield on March 31, 2016, and offered a free cupcake to everyone who visited that day. A thousand people came, stretching in a line out the front door, across the parking lot and to the street.
The Underhills are used to success. After working as director of operations for 15 Burger King franchises for years, Deanna Underhill bought Busy B’s, a bakery and lunch spot in Cedar Hill, when Mistie was in college at Texas A&M University. Mistie would come home every Friday night, work all weekend, then head back to College Station at 5 a.m. Monday. They made pies, cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, plus lunch.
“We worked six days a week, 80 to 100 hours a week,” Deanna said. “On Friday, we would do 30 to 40 birthday cakes and a couple of wedding cakes. We would be there until midnight. Leave a couple of hours so the crew could clean up, then come back and work until Saturday night when our last cake was delivered. I got burned out. I got tired.”
In October 2011, Chip Underhill got sick, contracting meningitis with major complications.
“It’s 100 percent a miracle that he survived,” Deanna said. “He came home in January 2012 and went back to work part-time in May.”
But his health was still not good and he had to stop working. Deanna and Mistie, exhausted from working in the bakery and caring and worrying about Chip, needed a break.
“We didn’t think it was God’s plan to work that hard all the time and have no life,” Mistie said. “We just closed down Dec. 24, 2014.”
The Underhills took a month off and started selling some cakes out of their homes, but wanted to place where customers could pick up their baked goods.
“I wanted to do a cupcake shop for years,” Mistie said. “We saw this little spot for lease in Midlothian.”
“It was just going to be the two of us, less stress,” Deanna said.
The new Creations Baking Company was only open Thursday through Saturday because those are the busiest bakery days, Mistie said.
“We let everybody know (on Facebook) we were open and were giving away a free cupcake,” she said.
On opening day in Midlothian in March 2015, the line went out the door, down the street to the next street, Deanna said. And the next day was just as busy.
“We didn’t have a phone in the Midlothian bakery for the first month, we just announced it on Facebook,” Deanna said.
Now, the dynamic duo bakes thousands of cupcakes a day, selling 750 to 1,500 every day out of each bakery. They have three employees at each shop, but still start their day at 5 a.m. baking cupcakes. And they aren’t done yet. The pair are looking at other historic downtowns for possible locations for another bakery.
On March 31, Creations Baking Company will celebrate its first birthday in Mansfield - with a sweet deal on cupcakes, the Underhills promise.
They say they feel blessed, to have Chip, to have each other, and to have two successful bakeries.
“We just wanted a cute little shop,” Mistie Underhill said. “Sometimes you feel so trapped. When we were willing to step back and give it to God, he opened doors and made things happen.”
Creations Baking Company
222 N. Walnut Creek