Graduate on Food Network Television Show

Features Lifestyles

Western graduate Sara Baum has hit the ground running all the way to Los Angeles with her television appearance on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” which aired Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Baum graduated from Western last year, with a B.A. in Convergent Media.

“She was one of the most hard working and dynamic students in convergent media because she enjoys the potential of it,” Professor Kenneth Rosenauer said. “She has lots of talent and I’m sure some day I’ll say, ‘I knew her when.’”

Baum is now attending grad school courses at the University of Kansas, and working at Smallcakes, a Kansas City area cupcakery. Their store and staff were featured on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Challenge” twice, and Baum was able to go on the second appearance.

“I was very excited,” Baum said. “It was pretty hard. The network people are helpful but the challenges are real.”

If they had won the challenge, one of the rewards would have been the opportunity to host a Grammy Nominee luncheon. Their motto for the event was “go big or go home,” so they accepted the challenge of making cupcakes to a rock and roll theme. The ingredient options offered by the network were selected considering that theme. They selected potato chips and beer.

“We made potato chip cupcakes with a chocolate stout frosting which has real beer in it,” Baum said. “All the judges liked them; we were surprised when they said we were selected to go home.”

Not all the news is bad though. The store has received over 40 e-mails of support from viewers who claim that Smallcakes was robbed. The exposure the team received from the television program did get the attention of Beautiful Brands International (BBI).

They have signed a contract to market Smallcakes as one of their nationally offered franchises. The Kansas City area stores will train all of the future employees of the new stores planned for Florida and other states across America in the near future. Two of the stores are in Kansas, and a third opening in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

“You can’t really help but smile when eating a cupcake,” said Jeff Martin, owner of Smallcakes, in a recent news release. “That’s really the idea behind Smallcakes; we wanted to provide a product to families and individuals where they can experience joy and happiness all by eating a cupcake. We’re thrilled that we can join with Beautiful Brands to take our successful business and expand it worldwide.”

The television program was filmed at Food Network’s studio in L.A., but Baum has even more plans for the city of L.A. She is moving there in August to attend school.

“I want to become an actress,” Baum said. “This experience cemented my desire to go to school in Los Angeles.”

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