Sweet Tees

The first question most folks ask when they hear about Johnny Cupcakes is the obvious one. What is he? A baker? Some kind of drag queen? But, no, the legendary indie huckster makes T-shirts that he sells out of actual bakery cases in a store, a string of stores, all based on unique marketing concepts that he thought up on his own. His trademark is a cupcake and crossbones, and cupcakes figure heavily in his screen-printed imagery. He now employs his whole family, teaches entrepreneurial workshops and, once in a while, heads out of Hull, Massachusetts, in a bona fide CupcakeMobile to sell his wares out of a suitcase at unlikely venues: galleries, toy stores and — duh — cupcake bakeries.

Choosing the Shoppe, Denver’s hippest cupcakery, as a stop on his current Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour made perfect sense to Johnny, and he’ll set up shop there tonight at 8 p.m. for what has got to be the event of the decade for this very cool cupcake commissary. Along with the unique shopping opportunity, which features tour exclusives and other rare J.C. goodies, Shoppe baker and co-owner Emily Skala says there will be live music and an art show. “I’m also making special cupcakes for the occasion,” she adds. “Cookie dough, per his request.” And Skala says the first 25 T-shirt buyers might just be treated to a free one. Win, win.

For more information, go to http://theshoppedenver.com, or learn more about Johnny Cupcakes at www.johnnycupcakes.com/tour.
Tue., April 27, 8 p.m., 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd