CAMDEN — Walk-ins to a storefront in Camden this week are being turned away from ordering gourmet cupcakes, and that’s a promising sign. As bad as Vicki Murray feels about leaving people empty-handed, she is still putting sheetrock into walls and painting. In fact, Laugh Loud Smile Big’s new location does not currently have an oven.
Due to some delays involving updated code enforcement requirements, Laugh Loud is now anticipating an April 6 opening. A full kitchen needs to be installed for its 1,826 square-foot ground floor space at 38 Main Street, which was home to a clothing store for more than a decade, and for a short time prior, was a gift shop.
Along with interior design, Murray is also tasked with a feature that’s new to her:
“I have two bay windows on Main Street with a cupcake shop,” she said. “We’re going to have a blast.”
On a mid-March Thursday afternoon, Murray and her employees were moving fast to string together 80 pompoms in spring colors that will be used to blind-curtain the two windows.
On Saturday, children from the local preschool will provide decorations for Laugh Loud’s first window display. Loyal customers wanted the displays to be a surprise, so, a surprise Murray will provide.
“We don’t take our selves seriously,” said Murray, who, along with her company, is a regular visitor to Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, offering kids, and their families, fun little distractions.
Murray, also, does not refer to herself as a master baker; her is education was at East Carolina, where she earned a bachelor’s in business and has three years education in architectural design.
Her strategy is using good, quality ingredients and surrounding herself with “super talented people.”
Her rental space in Rockport was sold. And when the new owner informed her of the termination of her rental’s extension, Murray realized she was now in game-on mode.
Though the menu remains the same, the changes have come in short order.
Starting in December 2021, the cupcake company ceased taking orders and began searching for a new location. After looking at a few storefronts on Main Street, Murray settled at the corner of Main Street and Tannery Lane. Unlike the whizzing traffic of Route 90, Murray will have parallel parking, summer traffic, and curious window shoppers. She’ll also have other small business owners as neighbors.
“It’s a whole new ballgame,” she said.
Laugh Loud currently employs six people, but Murray anticipates hiring more over the summer.
“I don’t even try to put out there that you are walking into this absolutely amazing business,” she said. “It’s a cupcake shop. And if we can put out a good product, and it’s something fun and enjoyable....” she said.
Laugh Loud, Smile Big will celebrate 10 years in either June or July, according to Murray.
“We’ve had success offering the cupcakes,” she said. “So, we’re going to keep going at it.”
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org