We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Hull and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
When I envisioned starting a new business during a global pandemic, I had almost no idea how things would go. Part of me wondered if I’d fall flat on my face and another part of me dreamt of getting so many orders that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I knew reality would likely be somewhere in the middle, but the unknown of where that middle would land was overwhelming at times. To make the process mentally manageable, I decided early on that success would need to be an ever-evolving metric by which I measured my growth as a business. At first, success was checking all the licensure boxes. Then success meant simply covering my start-up costs. Once I meet a success goal, I dream up the next one. Taking it one step at time allows me to enjoy the growth process and always keep in mind why I started HullyCakes (Cupcakes by Ashley Hull) in the first place – to share my love of baking with customers around San Diego.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
HullyCakes (Cupcakes by Ashley Hull) is a made-to-order cupcake and sweet treats cottage bakery located in the Mission Valley area of San Diego. We specialize in personalized cupcakes, tailoring our bakes to our clients’ personal tastes. Whether a client wants elegant wedding cupcakes, the cupcake version of their favorite candy bar, or to bring their child’s dream cupcakes to life (complete with gummy worms), we’re happy to go the extra mile. We also enjoy partnering with other small businesses in the community when possible. For example, our cupcakes can be found at Garden Coffee in Old Town from time to time.
HullyCakes officially launched on Small Business Saturday in November 2020. As a young business that has only known pandemic-life, we’re excited to transition to a more “normal” business environment. As clients begin to feel more comfortable attending gatherings, we look forward to building our client base and serving the San Diego community. Until then, you can find me in the “test kitchen” brainstorming new flavor combinations and designs or developing our next product line – cake pop, anyone?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a transplant to San Diego myself, I love hosting visitors and sharing the best San Diego has to offer. When friends come to visit, I typically take them for a hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve. My favorite route is the Beach Trail, then taking the steps down to the beach and walking back to the car along the cliffs. Watch out for high tide though – I learned that one the hard way! For a hard-earned lunch, I’ll take guests to the Gliderport at Torrey Pines for a sandwich and a view, or pick up tacos at the Taco Stand and stroll along the cliffs in La Jolla.
Another favorite activity of mine is hiking at Cabrillo National Monument and exploring the tide pools. This activity pairs well with a stop at the food hall at Liberty Station and a walk around the grounds. My favorite food stand is Paraná Empanadas Argentinas, followed by a quick drink at Bottlecraft.
Obviously, no visit to San Diego is complete without taking a few days to relax at the beach. My personal favorite is Coronado Beach. It’s a great beach to walk on and guests enjoy watching the military airplanes land at the nearby base. I recommend picking up a sandwich from Park Place Liquor and Deli to enjoy on the beach.
Finally, I’m looking forward to the day when I can take guests to San Diego Symphony’s new performance venue by the bay, The Shell. It’s always fun to close out the day with a concert and fireworks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
HullyCakes (Cupcakes by Ashley Hull) wouldn’t exist without the encouragement of my friends and family. Starting a cupcake business had been an idea in the back of my mind for many years, but I hesitated to take that step. I knew I loved sharing my cupcake creations with those around me, but worried that I’d start to feel differently about baking if it became more than a hobby. I also suffered from imposter syndrome. I was nervous my cupcakes weren’t as tasty as those from the many wonderful bakeries in San Diego. My friends and loving husband were relentless with their encouragement and their years of building me up paid off. I’m so glad I trusted their belief in me! I’m also grateful for all the sweat equity my husband has put into my business. From dishwasher, to photographer, to logistics manager, he wears many invisible hats and for that I can never repay him.
Other: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org