4 minute read

Making Life a Bit Sweeter

Q&A with The Frosted Muffin | Photos by Topograph

Anyone's sweeter side can show through after they visit local bakery The Frosted Muffin. Visalia native, owner, and pastry chef Susana Gabriela “Gabby” Guerrero tells us about how she whipped up something special in her own life.

Q. Please tell us when The Frosted Muffin was founded and how it came to be.

A. I was fortunate that Kaity Draper and Tamara Doyal hired me a little over seven years ago as a pastry chef who specialized in custom cakes. After a year and a half, they asked me if I was interested in purchasing the business from them. It was a dream come true for a 40-something mom who was beginning her second act. Today, I run The Frosted Muffin with the help of our pastry chef Stephanie Medina and professional baker Melissa McDaniel. All three of us are originally from Visalia!

Q. Can you share a little about yourself and your background?

A. I was born and raised in Visalia, a Mt. Whitney and COS graduate. I earned a full ride softball scholarship to Cal State Fullerton as a pitcher and completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. Then, after college in 1997, I was drafted to the Women’s Professional Fastpitch softball team Virginia Roadsters, and continued to compete all over the U.S. and internationally. I have been a professional softball instructor for 23 years, coaching at Mt Whitney, Cypress College, and COS.

In 2004, I decided to pursue another passion of mine and enrolled in Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona to become a Certified Le Cordon Bleu Pastry Chef. After graduating, I worked as a cake artist in Mesa and Phoenix, then returned to California with the hopes of starting my own bakery. I became a mom in 2010 to my son Máximo, and in 2017, I was blessed by the Draper and Doyal families to take over The Frosted Muffin.

Q. What types of items do you make on a regular basis and what's your favorite or most unique thing to offer patrons (and why)?

A. We offer 12 different flavors of gourmet cupcakes daily, oversized chocolate chip cookies, buttercream-frosted sugar cookies, Cupshakes, and, twice a week, we offer cream puffs. Our favorite thing to make is our creative custom cupcakes and cakes. We make a cupcake look like an apple for Teacher Appreciation Week, create edible ghosts and turkey cupcake toppers for autumn holidays, and our chocolate buttercream reindeer cupcakes with antlers are a hit at Christmas! We also love creating character birthday cakes and wedding cakes. We are artists, and it’s so fun to let our creative juices flow!

Q. Where do you draw inspiration from?

A. We make ALL of our cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and cream puffs from scratch. We enjoy all types of desserts and foods from various bakeries and restaurants, which has helped us create our own versions of old and new flavors. We are inspired by fruity flavors, bright colors, and the scent of spices. The boss is a self-proclaimed “chocoholic” who loves to add pecans and walnuts, too, so there will always be something chocolate to offer!

Q. What do you hope people experience with you?

A. We hope our patrons experience nostalgia for classic flavors and satisfaction in new creations, such as our Cupshakes. We love making our customers' day a bit sweeter and hope to satisfy their sweet tooth with a smile!

Q. Anything on the horizon for The Frosted Muffin or anything else you’d like to share?

A. We are eager to add to our pastry menu; we introduced cream puffs last year, and they’re a hit! Classic items with fruity flavors for the summer will be coming soon!

Melissa McDaniel, owner Gabby Guerrero, & Stephanie Medina.

Melissa McDaniel, owner Gabby Guerrero, & Stephanie Medina.

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