NEAR WEST SIDE — Cupcake shop Skinny Piggy is back in business after a seven-month hiatus during which owner Monica Rodriguez decided she was going to jumpstart the cupcake trend.
Now, Piggy customers will build their own cupcakes via an assembly line similar to creating a Cold Stone Creamery sundae.
“We’re trying to take apart traditional stuff and reinvent the pastry scene,” said Rodriguez. “But good things take time and now we’re here.”
In 2011, when Rodriguez first opened Skinny Piggy, she had two shops – one at 940 W. Madison St. and one at 1214 W. Taylor St. Last June, Rodriguez decided to permanently close the Madison Street shop and focus all of her effort on re-working the Taylor Street store’s concept.
Originally, Skinny Piggy on Taylor Street involved bags of penny candy for sale, random bouts of heavy metal music, and, of course, cupcakes. Now, after closing shop for seven months, Rodriguez has rebranded with a simpler, cleaner vibe. Customers sit at minimalist wood community tables under a pink and green pig shadowbox made out of wood slats.
Skinny Piggy’s new tagline is “Choose. Decorate. Smile.”
Rodriguez, who co-owns the shop with partner Rafael Orozco, said the “build your own cupcake” concept was inspired after observing customers who consistently swapped out ingredients in the cakes.
“It’s more interactive when people get to make their own thing and be happy with what they made,” Rodriguez said.
Customers can choose between 12 types of cake, then add frosting – like cookies and cream, Italian buttercream, or strawberry cream cheese – and toppings like homemade strawberry compote and chocolate shavings. There’s even a soft serve machine for those gung ho customers who want to accent their cupcake with a drizzle of ice cream.
Rodriguez also has a malt machine and will be making specialty malts, including one with vanilla cream, caramel, bacon, and sea salt – a kind of homage to Skinny Pig’s popular “Macon Cupcake.” Customers can also purchase “gourmet s'mores” which will involve a table side marshmallow roasting.
The cupcake shop’s grand opening is March 14; however, Rodriguez said customers are more than welcome to stroll in before then.