College Cupcake Tour Stops in D.C. Area

Jonisha M. Tyler | 6/24/2011, 2:05 a.m.
Four men and a busload of cupcakes just made their way to the D.C. area,...
The College Cupcake Tour participants having been promoting their treats in an effort to help with their educational expenses. (Pnoto by Jonisha M. Tyler)

Four men and a busload of cupcakes just made their way to the D.C. area, en-route to New York City to continue raising money towards their college education.

Having recently arrived in Silver Spring, Md., where they set up shop for their "Cupcake Collection" at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church, the group handily enjoyed an evening service and distributed their tasty treats to the crowd.

The Cupcake Collection is a home-based cupcake business which operates in the historic Germantown neighborhood in Nashville, Tenn. The founder and owner, Mignon Francois inspired by her daughter's love of baking, began making cupcakes as a way to generate money for the family and to reach out to her neighbors.

"We do our best to welcome all of our customers like guests," said Francois, a New Orleans native. "After all, our bakery is housed right inside the family living room."

The origin of the "Cupcake Bus" is a different story all together.

"Originally, the idea was for the boys to celebrate their high school graduation, but the plan quickly changed as the wheels began turning and became the Cupcake for Colleges tour," said Kia Jarmon, creative director for the MEPR Agency in Nashville. "The Cupcake Collection believes strongly in education and they have a scholarship fund. So they saw this as an opportunity to make money that could go into their first year of college debt free."

The four entrepreneurs -- Justin London, Dillon Francois (Mignon's son), Kevin Brandon, and Brandon Tasil - aim to raise $15, 000 for their for their first year in college. The cupcakes are free from preservatives and incredibly delicious, and with flavors like Sweet Lemonade, Caramel Apple, Strawberry Cheesecake -- and the classic Red Velvet -- it was hard for many of the Reid Temple churchgoers to stay away.

"A man and a bus full of cupcakes. It's a beautiful thing," said Bryce McDonald. "There was such a huge turnout that the bus had to restock."

Social media, especially Facebook, had a lot to do with the amazing turnouts the tour has received. "They posted a question like, 'Where would you like to see the Cupcake Bus?' -- and in less than an hour there were more than 200 responses," Jarmon said.

After departing Silver Spring, the foursome's plans call for heading to the Big Apple before returning home to Nashville. (But next time, let's just hope they actually come into D.C.)