|Having coffee with a friend at Maplewood Coffee and Tea|
In Portland, we are so into coffee that my children's elementary school has its own blend roasted for us by Portland Roasting Company...it's sold as a fundraiser! I do frequent Starbucks on occasion, too, although I'm most definitely a coffee snob. No instant or cheap coffee for me. No fine restaurant in Portland can survive without top-notch coffee--it's a must.
Like the rest of the country, Portland's been in a cupcake craze...even though it might be a little quieter than a few years ago. My favorite cupcake place in town is Cupcake Jones, primarily because we know the owner's mother (and they are fabulous, too). Cupcake Jones is based in the trendy Pearl District.
Until late last year, the other main cupcake joint in town, Saint Cupcake, had a hugely loyal following. Sadly, they closed their doors and now the owner is focusing on candy instead.
Perhaps unique to Portland is the preponderance of gluten-free bakeries in town, including Petunia's Pies and Pastries. The most famous gluten-free bakery, though, is Kyra's Bake Shop (formerly Crave), which has been listed on USA Today's list of 10 Great Places to Bite into a Gourmet Cupcake and Today.com's list of 9 Best Cupcake Shops in the Country.
|Hungry Heart cupcake|
|Cupcake Girls founder Joy Hoover (on right)|
While researching Portland's plentiful cupcake options, I discovered a new organization: the Cupcake Girls. Founded by Joy Hoover, this nonprofit organization's mission is to "bring nonjudgmental support, consistent caring, community resources, and peace, love, and cupcakes to women in the adult entertainment industry."
The Cupcake Girls began after Hoover took a trip to Las Vegas and became aware of the needs of adult entertainers, who lack love, resources, and support. Recently the Cupcake Girls expanded to Portland, which unfortunately has the most strip clubs per capita in the country (that is NOT a list I am proud of for my city). Portland has also become a hub for sex trafficking because of its less restricted laws and access to the I-5 corridor.
The Cupcake Girls offer more than cupcakes. They also provide assistance with medical and dental needs, finances, tutoring, nutrition coaching, law consulting, drug & alcohol rehab, domestic violence, etc.
Watch this short video to hear more about this amazing nonprofit. I'm so glad to have discovered this organization that helps to alleviate the challenges faced by women in this industry. They are providing support to women who often do not have any.
Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for tomorrow: downtown!