heather & lori

To successfully run a business with your best friend, you have to like each other (a lot) and love what you do.

Heather White and Lori Joyce have the recipe down pat. They met working retail in Victoria, BC, when they were just 15 years old and often talked about what it would be like to own a company together someday. Time had other plans; after high school, Heather moved to Calgary to work in the fashion industry (putting that retail experience to work), and Lori went on to earn her degree in animal biology (…which had little to do with retail). Eventually, they both moved onto sales jobs in various industries, their teenage dream of company ownership fading into the past.

Fast forward to 2001. Heather and Lori had reconnected and were working together in New York City – together again, and still talking about starting their own business. The events that shook the city, the nation and the world on September 11, 2001, inspired Heather and Lori to finally stop dreaming and take action. It was time to get started.

Watching the world around them reel while they conducted business every day near Ground Zero, they knew they wanted their company to be fresh, fun and a reminder of simpler, more innocent times. That’s how Cupcakes by Heather & Lori was born.

They opened their first bakery in April, 2002, in Vancouver’s West End on Denman Street – go visit when you’re in the area! Four years and many, many cupcakes later, they opened their second location on West Broadway. Today, with two corporate bakeries and six franchised locations across Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, their company is still growing and more people every day discover Cupcakes.

What makes it work? Sure, one reason is because their amazing, from-scratch, preservative-free cupcakes are made with only the best ingredients, including real butter (seriously, try one and you’ll see why that’s a big deal). Here’s the other reason – Heather and Lori are a rare balance. Heather loves the visionary details of successfully branding and marketing the Cupcakes’ product lines. Lori loves the creative opportunities that franchising the Cupcakes brand create. Both of them have a strong commitment to the community and believe in paying it forward. They donate a portion of their proceeds from the Cause Cupcakes program – customized cause-specific cupcakes, designed in partnership with charitable foundations. They talk about their experiences of starting and running a successful business with other up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and they speak at various
industry events.

Heather and Lori also have their own reality show on We tv called “The Cupcake Girls,” displaying to the world that doing what they do is not always a piece of (cup)cake. Episode titles include, “Are We Having Fun Yet?” “No Pain, No Gain” and “Don’t Dish Out What You Can’t Take.” Clearly, the show is not sugar-coated – they reveal the good, the bad and the “um…what?” moments that make up what it takes to keep things together.

A shared dream between two 15-year-old best friends has become a reality. Today, Heather and Lori are recognized as two of BC‘s top entrepreneurs – and they hope that their success, longstanding friendship and love for what they do will inspire others to achieve their own personal goals (and
eat Cupcakes).