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10 Cupcakes That Won’t Put on the Pounds

Food fads come and go, but there’s no denying that the cupcake has stood the test of time. These miniature cakes are more popular than ever, thanks to the designer cupcake bakeries that have cropped up in cities all over the country. The famous Magnolia bakery in New York City may have started this dessert revolution. With appearances on the television shows “Sex and the City” and “Saturday Night Live,” the busy bakery got some great exposure and became the trendy spot to treat yourself in New York. Cupcakeries in Los Angeles, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., Washington, D.C. and many other American cities have since popped up, and business is booming. Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C., bakes as many as 5,000 cupcakes a day .

While these glorious treats can pack on the pounds, they don’t have to; there are plenty of simple ways to make delicious cupcakes that are less dangerous to your waistline. It can be as easy as cutting back on or leaving off frosting, using a sugar substitute in place of the real thing, swapping some or all of the eggs for egg whites or egg substitute and using low- or nonfat dairy products. You can also sneak in secret ingredients that replace oil and butter: Applesauce, pumpkin, zucchini and even jarred baby food can work wonders, and believe it or not, diet soda also has makes an appearance in a slimmed-down cupcake. But perhaps the easiest way to keep fat and calories in check is to bake cupcakes in mini muffin pans — instant portion control.

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So, let’s get started. Here are 10 lightened cupcake recipes you can try at home.

Weight Loss Tips from the Ladies of Georgetown Cupcake

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne

Right about now, you’re probably craving a cupcake. Just reading the name Georgetown Cupcakes practically has us salivating for one of those melt-in-your-mouth, adorably decorated sweets, perfectly topped off with a swirl of icing. Which makes us wonder: How exactly do owner-sisters Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne-also the stars of TLC’s DC Cupcakes-stay so slim? Turns out, it takes some work. Over the past year, after struggling with pregnancy weight gain (and sympathy weight gain), the two woman shed a combined 100 pounds. And they didn’t even have to give up their famous cupcakes! We got the scoop straight from Berman and LaMontagne on how they lost the weight-and kept it off.

How It Happened

Berman: Ever since we were young, we’ve been extremely active and played a lot of sports-our weight was never a concern for us. Even when starting Georgetown Cupcake and being surrounded by fresh-baked cupcakes every day, we never struggled with our weight. However, when I got pregnant, things changed dramatically. During my pregnancy, I ate-a lot. Before I knew it, I had gained 60 pounds. My husband got a big kick out of the fact that I weighed more than he did. Like many other pregnant women, I did not feel like I was in my own body, and I found myself feeling emotionally overwhelmed by my weight gain. (How Much Pregnancy Weight Should You Really Gain?)

LaMontagne: Katherine and I spend all day, every day, together, and that definitely did not change during her pregnancy. Suffice it to say, being around a pregnant sister all day did not help my personal eating habits. Katherine was eating for two, but the problem was that I was eating as much as Katherine. After Katherine gave birth and started lamenting about her weight gain, I got on the scale for the first time in a long time and saw that I had gained 40 pounds. It was obvious how it happened, but I didn’t want to believe it. I suddenly found myself wondering how to get back to the “old me.”

How We Did It

Berman: After I gave birth, Sophie and I decided to become focused on getting our weight back on track-and we decided to do it together. However, “diet” was not a word that was in our vocabulary. Working in the food world, we love to eat, we love cupcakes and all things sweet, and we knew that we didn’t want to be miserable and give up all the things we love and replace them with diet foods and shakes. What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it? We wanted to lose the weight in a realistic way that was going to work for us.

LaMontagne: We decided that if we didn’t want to give up our favorite foods, we would find a way to burn the calories. And most importantly, we needed to burn the calories in a way that we knew that was doable for us, so we wouldn’t give up after a couple of weeks. So, how did we do it? One simple thing: walking. We walked 6 miles a day. Five days a week. That’s it.

Berman: Some people might think, “Six miles? I can’t possibly do that!” and other people might think “Walking? That’s it?” The truth is, walking six miles a day is extremely doable-and yes, that’s it. We ate balanced diets of all of our favorite foods and desserts (including cupcakes) and we walked six miles a day-within nine months, I lost 60 pounds and Sophie lost 40 pounds! (And if you can master the 6-mile walk, then you can definitely accomplish these 10 Ways to Lose Weight Without Even Trying.)

Why It Worked

Berman: One of the main reasons that Sophie and I were able to do this was the fact that we did it together. Having a buddy who can be your support system through this journey makes a huge difference. When people who can be unhealthy influences surround you, it can make sticking to your routine so much more difficult. When you surround yourself with people who are in it with you, you can support and encourage each other and keep each other accountable. Try to find a friend or family member and do it together. (Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll also score major health perks! Here, 12 Ways Your Best Friend Boosts Your Health.)

LaMontagne: Try to approach it as a permanent lifestyle change-not a “crash diet” with a particular target date or special event in mind. Being active by walking six miles a day and eating sensibly is not a “crash diet”-it’s a conscious choice to lead a healthy lifestyle. And it doesn’t mean giving up all of your favorite foods. You can have your cupcake and eat it too!

Mini Carrot Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake

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Go ahead, indulge-these mini carrot cupcakes are just 50 calories a pop!

  • By Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne

If you’ve ever seen the reality show DC Cupcakes, follow a food Instagram account or simply have a thing for bite-sized cakes, you’ve probably heard of Georgetown Cupcake by now.

Photo by Katie Russell

If you haven’t, this is the sweetest time to discover them because Atlanta’s very own branch of Georgetown Cupcake just opened in Buckhead on March 7th and it’s a measly 17 minutes from campus.

Photo by Katie Russell

It’s understandable that with so many other cupcake options in Atlanta, some may be wondering what sets Georgetown Cupcake apart. For those people, here is a list:

Photo by Morgan Goldberg

1. Every cupcake is only around 250 calories, which makes Georgetown Cupcake a much healthier alternative to competitors such as Sprinkles and Gigi’s, whose cupcakes average 500-600 calories each.

2. Georgetown Cupcake offers one free, off-the-menu cupcake per day to the first 100 customers who request it. All you have to do is check Georgetown Cupcake’s Facebook/Twitter to find out the “secret” flavor of the day and redeem it through your cashier.

Photo by Katie Russell

3. Georgetown Cupcake produces a wide variety of flavors, offering classics such as Vanilla Birthday alongside more eccentric flavors such as Cherry Blossom. There is generally something for every palette.

Photo by Katie Russell

4. Georgetown Cupcake mixes up their menu by offering seasonal flavors that rotate every month. During April they will be baking up Hummingbird, Cherry Cheesecake, Cherry Blossom and Caramel-Filled Easter Egg.

Photo by Katie Russell

5. Georgetown Cupcake offers both a vegan and gluten-free cupcake every day for those with dietary constrictions.

6. Most cupcakes are only $3 each, a bit cheaper than competitors such as Sprinkles ($3.75).

One of the biggest challenges of losing weight is actually keeping it off — especially if you’re constantly surrounded by temptation, in the form of an endless supply of cupcakes. These aren’t just any cupcakes, either. These sweets are so addictive that people plan road trips and gladly spend half an hour in line, just to try them. That’s the reality for Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis Berman, the sisters behind Georgetown Cupcake.

And yet, two years after dropping a combined 100 pounds, they’re still at their ideal weight. Without giving up the treats that made them famous. We spoke to the DC Cupcakes stars to find out what they’ve been doing — and why Coach Taylor has played a huge role in their success.

Chelsea Lupkin

Netflix and Walk.

Initially, the sisters lost weight by eating smaller portions and walking six miles a day, five days a week. It helped them get results quickly (100 pounds in 9 months!), but once they hit their goal weight, the duo scaled back. They’re still eating more balanced meals — “no eating late at night, or excessive snacking,” Katherine said — but they now walk three miles at a time, and only once or twice a week.

“We’re not gym people. We’ve joined a gym and spent six months trying to cancel our membership, so we needed to do something we could stick with,” Sophie explained. “You can get in three miles in an hour; that’s like watching two of your favorite shows on a treadmill.”

Often, the two get together and walk while they binge-watch their favorite shows, like House of Cards, Big Little Lies, and classics like Friday Night Lights.

“Friday Night Lights came out in 2007 or 2008, so I completely missed the whole series because I was so engrossed in launching our business,” Katherine said. “I’m a huge fan of Kyle Chandler , so I watched it, got hooked, and got Sophie hooked too. We’d watch and wouldn’t want to stop walking!”

Roy Rochlin

Make Peace With Your Scale.

It’s become common health advice to throw out your scale, but Katherine and Sophie keep theirs front and center, weighing themselves daily. “There’s no better tool to hold you accountable,” Sophie said. “It’s like looking at your credit card statement to check your spending; weighing yourself keeps you in check, so the weight doesn’t creep up on you.”

She speaks from personal experience: “I had gone too long without weighing myself, and one day, I stepped on the scale and realized I gained 40 pounds,” said Sophie. “I literally had a freakout attack, like, ‘How did this happen?!'”

It was the catalyst that got her to change her lifestyle completely.

Michael Kovac/Roy Rochlin

Get J.Lo-Levels of Real With Yourself.

Katherine and Sophie own a cupcake company, and they weren’t about to ban sweets, so they knew their diet had to incorporate treats without derailing their health.

“We know we’ll eat cupcakes at our job, so we try to avoid something super-sweet for breakfast, and we don’t have dessert that often,” Katherine explained.

Typically, they’ll start the day with plenty of protein — either scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast, or an English muffin with avocado and an egg on top — and have a salad or sandwich for lunch. At dinner, they’ll go for fish or chicken with vegetables and often, some kind of starch, like rice or a potato.

No food, however, is off-limits.

“We’re all about having a very balanced approach to eating and exercising,” Sophie said. “If you’re going to have pizza or pasta for lunch, have something lighter for breakfast.”

Snack Responsibly.

In addition to walking while they watch TV, they gave up another aspect of binge-watching: mindless snacking. The sisters rarely snack at night, and they try not to during the day, either — save for the occasional bite while they’re recipe-testing or working.

“We’ll definitely sample here and there, and over the course of the day, it probably adds up to one cupcake,” Katherine said.

Candace Braun Davison

Don’t Punish Yourself.

When Katherine and Sophie committed to losing weight, they were adamant that they didn’t want to diet. They knew they needed a lifestyle change, and one they could get behind. They keep their walks at a casual pace — roughly a 20-minute mile — and have realized that sustaining your goal weight all comes down to one concept: Go easy on yourself.

“Once you make yourself miserable, that’s when you fall off,” Sophie said. “That’s what makes people gain the weight back.”

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Candace Braun Davison Deputy Editor Candace Braun Davison writes, edits, and produces lifestyle content that ranges from celebrity features to roll-up-your-sleeves DIYs, all while relentlessly pursuing the noblest of causes: the quest for the world’s best chocolate chip cookie.

Inside Homes: Comfort, Cupcakes and a Closet to Die For

Georgetown Cupcake’s Katherine Kallinis Berman and lawyer Ben Berman have built a home that accommodates family and their busy lifestyle.

Katherine Kallinis Berman, husband Ben Berman and daughter Isa. All photos by Tony Brown.

If you were to guess that the Bethesda kitchen of Georgetown Cupcake co-founder Katherine Kallinis Berman is the most used room in the house, you’d be correct. “We do eat cupcakes here – A LOT,” she says, “and we’re always baking with my daughter and my mom.”

The spacious kitchen features marble counters, double ovens, two dishwashers, pendant lights from Restoration Hardware and white Dura Supreme cabinetry.

The kitchen also doubles as a remote office for Kallinis Berman and her sister and business partner, Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne. Even though the duo has a test kitchen in Georgetown, this is where they’ve come up with some of their most popular recipes, including Butterscotch Waffle Cone, Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip and the soon-to-be released Gluten-Free Vanilla, which they promise is absolutely delicious.

Sisters and Georgetown Cupcake co-founders Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne often work together in Berman’s kitchen.

Just like when they starred in their TLC reality show, “DC Cupcakes,” the sisters are inseparable — working, shopping and attending charity events as a pair. LaMontagne admits she is a permanent fixture in her sibling’s house, where their mother, Elaine Kallinis, also lives to be “Granny-Nanny” to the Bermans’ three-year-old daughter, Isa.

“We do spend a lot of time together. Either we’re in the shops, or I come here,” LaMontagne says. “I don’t have a child yet, so I try to make it a little easier for Katherine by coming here.”

The “glam room” on the second floor features white swivel chairs and a wall of mirrors.

As a result, the second most utilized space is the “glam room” — a makeup space off the master bedroom that resembles one found in many television studios. It features a mirrored wall, bright lights, a counter brimming with family photos, and neatly organized high-end cosmetics and hair products. In one corner there’s even a salon- quality hair washing station. The space is a necessary luxury for the “Cupcake Sisters” who say they need to be camera-ready every time they leave the house because they are often asked to pose for photos with fans.

Kallinis Berman credits builder Carol Sherman of Bethesda Too LLC for creating customizable spaces like the makeup room. She says that the many woman- imagined nooks and crannies designed by Sherman were a draw when buying the house, which the Bermans purchased when half-built.

“My husband,” she jokes,“would probably kill me if I had all that makeup and hair stuff in our bathroom.”

In the marble-enhanced master bathroom Sherman added his-and-her water closets for privacy and the Bermans chose the architecturally striking “Picasso” bathtub by Hydro Systems.

Kallinis Berman’s closet is a fashionista’s dream.

Kallinis Berman’s enviable walk-in closet is every woman’s dream. Anyone who has seen her around town knows she is always impeccably dressed and often sporting coordinating candy-colored Hermès handbags, which she collects. Several of them are displayed on a counter in the center of the closet alongside Judith Lieber cupcake minaudieres. A shoe wall features sky-high Louboutins and Jimmy Choos. Signature orange Hermès boxes line the closet’s shelves.

She also collects Hermès blankets and pillows, and they are scattered throughout the home — on beds, on a chair in her office and on couches in the family room.

A huge leather ottoman from Urban Country occupies the center of the family room.

The couple decorated the house without the help of a designer, relying on custom pieces from Urban Country in Bethesda for the family room (where an enormous leather ottoman is the centerpiece) and late night online shopping sprees on sites like One King’s Lane for simple, classic and un-fussy pieces of furniture.

“Our goal was to create spaces that would be accessible, comfortable and casual,” Ben Berman says. “Whether it is just us, or when we’re entertaining, we wanted to create a relaxed home environment.”

See more photos in the September 2016 issue of Washington Life.

The moment we knew we were ready to start Georgetown Cupcake…

We had dreamed about opening a bakery together ever since we were young girls. Because our parents both worked, our grandparents raised us and we spent much of our early childhood with our grandmother, baking with her in her kitchen. We developed our passion for baking from her – she was a very strong influence on us growing up and was the inspiration behind Georgetown Cupcake.

When we first started to seriously discuss opening Georgetown Cupcake, our grandparents and parents initially discouraged the idea. They had come from Greece and had the mentality that they were working hard to send us to college so that we could graduate and work for large companies. So, we went to college (Princeton and Marymount) and ended up working in the finance and fashion industries. However, we never let go of our dream. We always talked about it and finally, in the summer of 2007, we asked ourselves “Are we going to spend the rest of our lives wondering ‘What if?’ ” We had a very frank and honest conversation and we decided to take the plunge and start Georgetown Cupcake. It was a very scary decision and our family was not very supportive at the time – though now they are! That moment – the one when you decide to make your dream a reality and give up predictability and stability for uncertainty and the unknown – is a very frightening one for entrepreneurs. When others around you doubt you, you start to doubt yourself and question your decision. The most important thing is to believe in yourself and stay focused on your goals.

We work on our business plan for…

Six months! It’s important to outline the broad strokes of your business including a budget and projections, but also to realize that things may change and that you need to be flexible. Our business plan went out the window the first day we opened for business.

Advice for continuously adapting your business plan…

The most successful entrepreneurs are good listeners. If you listen to your customers, they will tell you what you need to know. When we started Georgetown Cupcake, we had built our business model around the idea that customers would call in and place catering orders in advance for special events and celebrations. However, when we first opened our doors, we had a line of walk-in customers that stretched all the way down the block. Our customers wanted their cupcakes right then and there. So, instead of telling our customers our process for placing advance orders like most bakeries focused on weddings and special events – we listened to what our customers wanted and we immediately adapted our business model to focus on walk-in traffic to meet our customers’ needs.

This is also how we launched our nationwide shipping operation. In our first year of business, our customers would come into the store and say that they wanted to ship our cupcakes to friends, family and colleagues across the country. When we replied that we unfortunately did not ship our cupcakes, our customers would end up shipping the cupcakes themselves in regular boxes, and the cupcakes would end up getting damaged in transit. We eventually realized that we had to listen to our customers and adapt our business model to include nationwide shipping so that customers could send our cupcakes as gifts. Our shipping business is now the fastest growing segment of our business.

The most successful businesses are those that are flexible and that are able to adapt quickly to an ever-changing business environment, including changes in technology. Since we started Georgetown Cupcake, consumers have changed how they purchase goods – there has been a definite shift towards mobile in the past five years and as a business, no matter your industry, you need to stay at the forefront of technology in order to stay competitive. Next month, we are launching our new mobile app, to allow customers to order and pay for cupcakes on their mobile devices. Everything is moving toward mobile and businesses that don’t adapt will be left behind.

As a business, no matter your industry, you need to stay at the forefront of technology in order to stay competitive.

The world in which we live is constantly changing – the business environment, the regulatory environment, technological advances – and as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to adapt to change if you want your business to thrive.

How we identified the opportunity for a cupcake business…

We decided to focus on cupcakes because we had so many wonderful cake recipes from our grandmother and thought that if we did cupcakes, we would be able to offer a wide variety of flavors that would allow customers to customize their own assortments. However at the end of the day, we wanted to focus on making one product, and make it best-in-class.

When we started Georgetown Cupcake, we didn’t expect people to be so intensely passionate about certain flavors. There’s definitely something intrinsically personal about cupcakes and our customers are definitely passionate about their favorite flavors. Our menu development is something we take very seriously since some of our flavors (like Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, and Peanut Butter Fudge) have serious cult followings. Not many other dessert categories have such devoted and loyal followings. Cupcakes are also very versatile. Customers order them for everything from corporate product launches to their child’s birthday parties to office meetings to baby showers to black-tie weddings. One of the best and most fun parts of our business is being a part of our customers’ special celebrations in life.

Top 3 things we did early on that contributed to Georgetown Cupcake’s success…

Our business model is centered on three main pillars, which we focus on every single day, since day one. First, we committed to making a best-in-class product by using the best ingredients. In our business, that means using top-shelf ingredients like Valrhona cococa from France, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, European style butter – and not taking any shortcuts. Second, we took the philosophy that each location should be a destination. We are very focused on choosing the best real estate for our bakeries in each of the cities where we have stores. We also design each store with an open concept so that when customers walk in, they can see the cupcakes being baked, frosted, and decorated – the entire experience is very visual. Finally, we are focused on high-touch exemplary customer service. In particular, we focus on hiring people who are as passionate about Georgetown Cupcake as we are. If you build a team of great people, then they will showcase your passion to customers, and passion is critical in a business’ success.

Ways that we established credibility as a new business…

Shortly after we first opened, Frank Bruni, the restaurant critic at The New York Times at the time, visited our bakery and wrote a glowing review of our cupcakes. We also earned rave reviews from other respected food critics, as well as baked alongside Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey on their talk shows. Having validation from respected food critics and influencers early on definitely helped us build our reputation as serious bakers and as a serious business.

Red velvet cupcakes.

Our first reactions when we were approached to star in our own television show…

Initially we were apprehensive, but one thing we learned when starting Georgetown Cupcake was to always keep an open-mind and to embrace new opportunities. Our television show has been an amazing experience for us –to share our entrepreneurial experience and encourage other women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. We get so many emails and letters from fans who want to start their own businesses and we love that we are able to share our experience with them – the highs and the lows – and it makes it less scary for them. It’s easy to get discouraged when starting a business, but when you realize that it is tough for everyone, it’s easier to deal with the uncertainty and setbacks. At the beginning, both of us got very hung up on the fact that things were always going wrong and wondered “Why can’t there be a day where everything goes smoothly?” And then we realized that the “perfect day” just doesn’t exist when you are an entrepreneur. We learned to embrace all of the daily ups and downs, and to actually love them since they are all part of the experience.

How our business would be different had we not pursued the television opportunity…

Doing a television show definitely had an impact on our business –people from all over the world are now familiar with Georgetown Cupcake. However, had we not had the opportunity to do a television show, our basic approach to operating and growing the business would not have changed. The two of us are still intimately involved in running the day-to-day operations of our business (because we love that aspect of it) and we would still have taken the same disciplined approach to expansion to new cities regardless of whether or not the television opportunity had arisen.

The biggest challenges Georgetown Cupcake has faced…

For us, the most challenging aspect of running a food and specialty retail business is managing growth while maintaining our quality and what makes our brand special. Growing any business also forces you to confront unexpected challenges every day, and dealing with these challenges can often be unnerving and cause you to lose focus.

What we do to overcome these challenges…

To maintain our best-in-class quality while scaling, we have taken a very thoughtful approach to expanding to different cities. We never want our business to have a “chain” feel to it. We are very selective with respect to real estate and opening new locations. We also take a very hands-on approach to managing the day-to-day operations of each location and spend a lot of time personally communicating with each of them. Our corporate structure is very flat – each layer of management increases the distance between the two of us and our customers. While it’s important to delegate as you grow your business, it’s very important to keep your pulse on your customers’ needs and stay involved in the details.

Over time, we also learned to “expect the unexpected.” It’s not a question of “if,” but rather “when” unexpected events will happen. The difference between success and failure is your level of preparation and readiness to act. If you plan ahead, then unexpected events are less stressful and easier to deal with when they do happen. For example, we had barely been open in business in New York City for six months when Hurricane Sandy hit our store in SoHo in lower Manhattan, forcing us to shut down for a week. For a new business, this can be a devastating loss of momentum. However, we used our national shipping capabilities to service our customers in New York City instead and were able to respond quickly.

Top 3 things entrepreneurs should consider when developing a growth strategy…

When deciding how and when to scale, you need to have:

  1. Proven your business model
  2. A plan in place to scale
  3. Enough capital to scale

It’s also important to consider the macroeconomic factors – waiting six months or a year can sometimes make a world of difference in raising capital. When we started Georgetown Cupcake, it was the beginning of the recession and we couldn’t get a bank loan. We had many people tell us “no” but instead of giving up, we found a way to get to “yes”. We ended up starting Georgetown Cupcake by maxing out our own personal credit cards, which isn’t an ideal way to start a business, but it was our only choice at the time. When we started, we also just focused on making our one location in Georgetown successful. We didn’t even think about opening in other cities until after our first year in business, when we had proven our business model, started to develop an expansion plan, and had the necessary capital reserves to expand our business to other cities.

How we determine the perfect location when expanding to a new city…

We are very big proponents of data-driven decision-making. We collect data everywhere we can in our business. Specifically, we analyze our shipping data to see where our cupcakes are going and where are customers are, and use this data to inform our decisions on which new cities to enter.

Within each city, we are very selective in choosing iconic neighborhoods in which to open (SoHo in New York City, Newbury Street in Boston, Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles, and Buckhead in Atlanta) so that anytime a customer visits a Georgetown Cupcake in another city, they have that same special “neighborhood” experience that they do at our flagship in Georgetown.

How we identified our competitive advantages over other bakeries…

Since we opened in 2008, our goal has been to focus on one product and to make it best-in-class. We have stayed true to the core pillars of our business philosophy and haven’t taken any shortcuts along the way. Our recipes have not changed, and we continue to bake our cupcakes from the best ingredients, to create a unique in-store experience for our customers, and to offer an impeccable customer service experience for everyone who comes into any of our stores. Consumers make decisions not just on price and convenience, but ultimately they seek out value.

Strategies we use to continue to stay competitive…

Data-Driven Decision Making
In business, it’s important to know your numbers. Your numbers will tell you what you need to know, and sometimes they tell you things you don’t want to hear. Either way, it is critical to look at them and understand them because they will help you make good business decisions. As a business, we make it a priority to constantly collect and analyze data and have designed our systems to collect data at as many points as possible so we can track a multitude of key business metrics which we monitor on a daily basis. We never guess or shoot from the hip – our numbers inform all of our decisions. For example, there are certain flavors on our menu that we love, but aren’t as popular as others. When deciding on menu updates and which flavors to eliminate, the numbers unfortunately sometimes trump our own personal favorites.

Focusing on Goals
While it is very easy to get distracted by what other companies are doing, we try to stay focused on what we’re doing and making our company the best it can be. For us, that means clearly writing down our near-term and long-term goals and reviewing them regularly. Put them on your bulletin board or frame them on your desk. It’s always important to remember and keep sight of the big picture and where you want to be headed. Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in just getting through the day, or the week, or the month. If you write down and review your goals on a regular basis – you are more likely to ensure that your business is on track.

Ways that we have adapted to different preferences in new locations…

We rely on data as much as possible for business decisions and leave very little to chance or guesswork. Our focus on data-driven decision-making allows us to collect data such as the number of Lava Fudge cupcakes sold during a particular hour on a particular day. We analyze our data to tailor the baking at each of our locations in different cities and at our national shipping headquarters, so that we can bake the correct number of cupcakes at each location in order to fulfill that location’s order while serving walk-in customers.

Strategies for building a loyal customer base…

One of the most valuable things we learned from our television show is the power of connecting with your customers and fans. We are always connecting with our customers through a variety of platforms: television, social media, and most recently, our live “Cupcake Cam” where we are now sharing an inside look at our business – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our customers can literally join us inside the bakery all day long, for an up-close look at what goes on every single day, and experience the entire baking process from the moment the first egg is cracked to the moment the last cupcake is frosted and placed inside a beautiful box for our customers. Engaging your customers, interacting with them personally, and making them feel part of the process is an important key in creating a passion brand.

It is also important to stay active in your community. At Georgetown Cupcake, we support numerous local and national charitable organizations that are focused on women’s and children’s issues. Giving back to your community is one of the most rewarding parts of owning your own business and a way to build strong relationships within the communities you serve.

Advice for entrepreneurs setting up a shipping system…

Do your research. When we first started to research the process for shipping our cupcakes, we spent about six months testing different packaging configurations and shipping processes. We knew that standing up a dedicated shipping facility would require a major financial commitment, and therefore that extensive research and testing was critical before pulling the trigger.

Tools we use to collect and implement feedback from our customers…

We use a variety of platforms to communicate with our customers and implement their feedback each day – everything from phone and email, to social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), and in-person communication. As owners, we still work the front counter at our retail locations whenever we are in our shops, and speaking with our customers on a one-on-one basis is extremely helpful and helps us to keep our pulse on what is going on at the ground level of our business. Also, we offer a free “Secret” Flavor at each of our locations each day. We use this as a way to test out new flavors and get customer feedback on them before we decide to add them to our regular menu.

Most important habit that keeps us productive…

Making “To-Do” lists of near-term and long-term tasks. Crossing off tasks once completed gives you a sense of momentum and accomplishment.

The best part about working Together…

The best part of running Georgetown Cupcake, for us, is the ability to work together every day, as sisters, and live out our dream and our passion. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart – it will challenge you every single day, but having your sister by your side as your support system makes it easier. Your relationship with your sister is a very special one. Your sister is the one person in the world who knows you better than you know yourself and you can be completely candid with one another. We can have very frank, honest conversations with each other and not worry about each other taking it personally. This level of honesty and openness allows us to make the best decisions and gives us an edge in business.

3 must-read books for entrepreneurs…

“The Entrepreneurial Venture,” Harvard Business School Press
A collection of valuable business insights and a must-read for any entrepreneur.

“A Curious Discovery: An Entrepreneur’s Story,” by John Hendricks
An inspiring autobiography from one of the country’s most dynamic entrepreneurs.

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— — Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne are not only sisters but also co-owners of the popular Washington, D.C.-based cupcake chain Georgetown Cupcake and stars of the reality-TV show “DC Cupcakes.”

Now the pair can add another item to their list of things they share in common, substantial weight loss.

The two sisters shed more than 100 pounds together, all while being constantly tempted by sweets and treats in their roles as cupcake chefs.

The weight gain for Berman and LaMontagne began two years ago when a then-pregnant Berman put on 60 pounds.

“The weight came on so quickly and so fast for me,” she told ABC News. “And my portions were a little bit out of control.”

Berman’s sister soon found herself getting heavier, too, putting on the pregnancy-sympathy weight.

“I was basically eating as much as Katherine, even though I was not eating for two,” LaMontagne said. “You just naturally eat as much as they do. You’re in the same surroundings and same situations and, before I knew it, I had gained 40 pounds.”

Once Berman gave birth to her daughter, in March 2013, the sisters got to work on a weight-loss plan.

“We didn’t want to diet,” LaMontagne said. “That’s not a word that’s in our vocabulary as bakers.”

Instead, LaMontagne and Berman focused on a simple exercise they could do anywhere, anytime.

“So we just started walking, and that’s all we did,” LaMontagne said. “We walked six miles a day, five days a week and we did it consistently.

While allowing themselves one cupcake per day and focusing on more sensible portions overall, the sisters lost a combined 100-plus pounds in nine months.

New York-based nutritionist Maya Feller says the “DC Cupcakes” sisters took the right path in focusing on both diet and exercise.

“It’s really important to think about how one can balance their diet, and how that fits into their overall lifestyle,” Feller told ABC News. “Exercise alone is not the only answer. Diet alone is not the only answer.

“There needs to be a real balance and marriage of the two,” she said.

For Berman and LaMontagne, the sisters found out that great business partners also make great weight-loss partners.

“Having a friend or a sister or somebody that can work out with you is so key because you motivate each other,” Berman said.

Photo credit: Roy Rochlin / Getty

From Delish

One of the biggest challenges of losing weight is actually keeping it off – especially if you’re constantly surrounded by temptation, in the form of an endless supply of cupcakes. These aren’t just any cupcakes, either. These sweets are so addictive that people plan road trips and gladly spend half an hour in line, just to try them. That’s the reality for Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis Berman, the sisters behind Georgetown Cupcake.

And yet, two years after dropping a combined 100 pounds, they’re still at their ideal weight. Without giving up the treats that made them famous. We spoke to the DC Cupcakes stars to find out what they’ve been doing – and why Coach Taylor has played a huge role in their success.

Photo credit: Chelsea Lupkin

Initially, the sisters lost weight by eating smaller portions and walking six miles a day, five days a week. It helped them get results quickly (100 pounds in 9 months!), but once they hit their goal weight, the duo scaled back. They’re still eating more balanced meals – “no eating late at night, or excessive snacking,” Katherine said – but they now walk three miles at a time, and only once or twice a week.

“We’re not gym people. We’ve joined a gym and spent six months trying to cancel our membership, so we needed to do something we could stick with,” Sophie explained. “You can get in three miles in an hour; that’s like watching two of your favorite shows on a treadmill.”

Often, the two get together and walk while they binge-watch their favorite shows, like House of Cards, Big Little Lies, and classics like Friday Night Lights.

“Friday Night Lights came out in 2007 or 2008, so I completely missed the whole series because I was so engrossed in launching our business,” Katherine said. “I’m a huge fan of Kyle Chandler , so I watched it, got hooked, and got Sophie hooked too. We’d watch and wouldn’t want to stop walking!”

Photo credit: Roy Rochlin / Getty

It’s become common health advice to throw out your scale, but Katherine and Sophie keep theirs front and center, weighing themselves daily. “There’s no better tool to hold you accountable,” Sophie said. “It’s like looking at your credit card statement to check your spending; weighing yourself keeps you in check, so the weight doesn’t creep up on you.”

Story continues

She speaks from personal experience: “I had gone too long without weighing myself, and one day, I stepped on the scale and realized I gained 40 pounds,” said Sophie. “I literally had a freakout attack, like, ‘How did this happen?!'”

It was the catalyst that got her to change her lifestyle completely.

Photo credit: Michael Kovac/Roy Rochlin / Getty

Katherine and Sophie own a cupcake company, and they weren’t about to ban sweets, so they knew their diet had to incorporate treats without derailing their health.

“We know we’ll eat cupcakes at our job, so we try to avoid something super-sweet for breakfast, and we don’t have dessert that often,” Katherine explained.

Typically, they’ll start the day with plenty of protein – either scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast, or an English muffin with avocado and an egg on top – and have a salad or sandwich for lunch. At dinner, they’ll go for fish or chicken with vegetables and often, some kind of starch, like rice or a potato.

No food, however, is off-limits.

“We’re all about having a very balanced approach to eating and exercising,” Sophie said. “If you’re going to have pizza or pasta for lunch, have something lighter for breakfast.”

In addition to walking while they watch TV, they gave up another aspect of binge-watching: mindless snacking. The sisters rarely snack at night, and they try not to during the day, either – save for the occasional bite while they’re recipe-testing or working.

“We’ll definitely sample here and there, and over the course of the day, it probably adds up to one cupcake,” Katherine said.

Photo credit: Candace Braun Davison

When Katherine and Sophie committed to losing weight, they were adamant that they didn’t want to diet. They knew they needed a lifestyle change, and one they could get behind. They keep their walks at a casual pace – roughly a 20-minute mile – and have realized that sustaining your goal weight all comes down to one concept: Go easy on yourself.

“Once you make yourself miserable, that’s when you fall off,” Sophie said. “That’s what makes people gain the weight back.”

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Gogglebox: Leeds sisters’ weight gain – viewers won’t stop talking about Ellie and Izzi!

Friday nights mean a couple of things nowadays. Firstly, it’s officially time for a takeaway, and secondly, Gogglebox is on the telly!

The Channel 4 show where viewers watch people watching TV first aired in 2013. And now, six years later, it’s still going strong. Series 14 kicked off in September 2019.

Some of the original Gogglebox families still remain, including the Siddiquis, the Malones and Stephen Webb.

And a pair of telly-watchers in series 14 who have got their Gogglebox and takeaway routine down to a tee are sisters from Leeds Ellie and Izzi Warner.

Screenshot: Ellie and Izzi Warner Gogglebox – Channe; 4

Gogglebox Leeds sisters weight gain

Viewers of Gogglebox have been taking to Twitter for years commenting on the Leeds sisters’ weight gain.

One Twitter user wrote: “Don’t mean to be rude but it seems to me Ellie has put on weight.” Another said: “It’s Friday, it’s Gogglebox and Ellie and Izzy are eating.”

The sisters have made it something of a ritual to have their Friday takeaway and relax in front of the TV but it looks as though they’ve come under fire for it from viewers.

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Screenshot: Ellie and Izzi Warner Gogglebox – Channel 4

Is Izzi Warner pregnant?

One reason for Izzi’s suspected weight gain is probably due to the fact that she’s pregnant in 2019.

Izzi often makes comments about food, remarking that at Christmas time she’ll be “choking on pigs in blankets”, so it’s no secret that she likes her food.

The mum-of-one is due to have her second child in February 2020 – and she revealed in an Instagram post that she’s expecting a girl!

Has Ellie gained weight in 2019?

Joining the show in 2015 alongside her older sister, Izzi, Ellie is 28 years old.

A 2018 article from The Daily Mail reported that Ellie had gained four stone since appearing on Gogglebox.

Ellie, who works as a hairdresser, took to Instagram in 2019 to show her weekly weight loss. Ellie wrote that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” so it looks like she’s working her way back to her original nine stone weight.

  • NO WAY: Who knew Gogglebox’s Tom was a professional dancer? Crew and style explored!

WATCH GOGGLEBOX ON FRIDAY NIGHTS AT 9 PM ON CHANNEL 4.

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Bridezilla ‘fattens up” her two beautiful sisters before her wedding day

In an essay published on Australian lifestyle site Whimn, the now-married author, “Penny,” details the ploy she allegedly concocted to “fatten up” her two beautiful sisters before her wedding day.

One anonymous bridezilla is being accused of going “too far” after claiming she secretly fattened up her two “stunning” sisters before their bridesmaid duties, as she desperately wanted to be the “center of attention” and escape her lifelong fear of being “the plain sister” on her big day.

In the searing essay published on Australian lifestyle site Whimn, the now-married author, who identifies herself as “Penny,” details the wicked ploy she concocted, adding that it stemmed from a lifelong feeling of competition with her older and younger siblings — even though she says the trio are “super close.”

“Penny” says the ploy stemmed from a feeling of lifelong competition with her sisters. (iStock)

Penny justified the extreme measures, claiming that she and her sisters – Maggie and Charlie – all lived together under one roof with her fiancé Richie before they tied the knot, which contributed to an “intense” atmosphere.

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“I’ve been planning my wedding since I knew what a bride was, and I knew I would get a little bridezilla-ish but this wedding-focused atmosphere may have sent me into the stratosphere,” the author admitted. “I started obsessing about every tiny detail and it was pretty much all I spoke about.”

“Both of my sisters are gorgeous. I mean, stunning,” Penny continues. “I always felt like Jan Brady in the middle — I wasn’t as hot and popular as my older sister, and I wasn’t as cute and fun as my younger sister. But I found a man who loved me for me and I couldn’t be happier.”

“I knew I would get a little bridezilla-ish but this wedding-focused atmosphere may have sent me into the stratosphere,” the bride said, adding that she “felt like Jan Brady in the middle” of her two sisters. (iStock)

Meeting with the photographer and considering dresses before her nuptials, Penny admittedly began to “obsess” over the impending wedding photos, and decided that she did not “want to be reminded until my last day on earth that I was the plain sister.” She began to form a devious plan to ensure that her sisters “looked as ordinary as possible on my big day.”

Describing the three women as “fair-skinned and blonde,” the bridezilla selected neon yellow dresses for her sisters that made them appear “washed out and slightly ill,” before setting the “worst” part of her plan in motion.

Penny claimed she began preparing “special slimming” breakfast smoothies for her sisters “every morning” in the months leading up to the big day, under the guise of helping everyone “look our best.” But what Penny instead gave her sisters were drinks prepared with “mega-weight gain protein powder” she bought at a bodybuilding shop.

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“I even went as far as buying a weight loss shake and emptying the contents,” she revealed.

“At first I went easy, but by the month before the wedding I was adding triple the prescribed amount into Maggie and Charlie’s smoothie, leaving my own simply as fruit and coconut water.”

When the wedding day finally dawned, the bride was thrilled that her stunt “worked like a charm,” as Maggie and Charlie each had to have their gowns altered for their “thickening waistlines.”

“The day went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time. I never thought for a moment on my wedding day that I wasn’t the center of attention or the most important person in the room,” the newlywed recalled in her essay. “And now, when I look back on my wedding photos – as I do often as we’ve got them displayed around the house – I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt that I’m standing there glowing and gorgeous in my bridal gown, and my sisters are looking washed out and chubby.”

“But mostly I feel happy,” Penny added, before concluding that she’s “glad” Maggie and Charlie have both lost the weight that they unknowingly gained at her hands.

Twitter users, meanwhile, have since declared Penny’s actions as “unbelievable” and that her stunt had “gone way too far.”

When you’re trying to lose weight, one of the first rules experts tell you is to stay away from your “trigger foods,” or foods that you really just can’t resist. It’s part of the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. If it’s not there, and you have to actually work to get some of it, it’s likely that the craving will pass you by without any damage done.

Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, the sisters and co-owners behind Georgetown Cupcakes, couldn’t exactly follow that rule. After all, their favorite food is part of their job, and they’re surrounded by the sweet treats day in and day out. Still, the two managed to lose a combined 100 pounds in a mere nine months.

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#dccupcakes

A post shared by DC Cupcakes Katherine & Sophie (@katherinesophie) on Mar 9, 2014 at 9:21pm PDT

How’d they do it? Katherine, who ditched the 60 pounds she gained while pregnant, and Sophie, who shed 40 pounds of “sympathy weight,” told Good Morning America that they refused to diet because “it’s not a word in our vocabulary as bakers.” Instead, they made their weight loss journey more casual.

“We didn’t do anything extreme,” Katherine told PEOPLE. “We took a slow and natural approach and it worked.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by DC Cupcakes Katherine & Sophie (@katherinesophie) on Oct 15, 2015 at 8:32pm PDT

More specifically, both sisters started walking six miles a day, five days a week, and “ate sensible portions of our favorite foods and didn’t deprive ourselves of anything,” Sophie said. On average, that revolved around eggs, toast and fruit for breakfast; soup and sandwiches for lunch; and grilled chicken or salmon with veggies and potatoes for dinner.

Where do the cupcakes fit in? “Some days we definitely have more than one, and if we wanted to have more than one flavor a day, we usually share them,” said Katherine. “The nice thing about cupcakes is that they are single portions.”

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We are going to be on #GMA #goodmorningamerica this morning at 8:14am ET! Be sure to check it out if you are awake!!! ☀️

A post shared by DC Cupcakes Katherine & Sophie (@katherinesophie) on Oct 15, 2015 at 4:35am PDT

And last but not least, both Katherine and Sophie realized just how important it is to have a friend—or family member—to share goals with. “When you do this together, you can keep each other accountable and be each other’s support system along the way.”

Looks like they took a page out of these ladies’ handbook. And that’s pretty sweet.

Sitting Down with the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake

Georgetown’s darling entrepreneurs sit for a DC chat

Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne are the co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake, stars of the TLC’s hit series DC Cupcakes and best-selling authors of “The Cupcake Diaries” and “Sweet Celebrations.” Inspired by their grandmother, in 2008, Katherine and Sophie traded careers in fashion and venture capital to follow their passion for baking and opened Georgetown Cupcake in – you guessed it – Georgetown.

The driven sisterly duo describe for us their world-famous cupcakery, favorite restaurants and District living:

What are your favorite things to do or places to go in DC?

KKB: I have a daughter. I’m recently a new mom. So I love to do anything that’s kid friendly in the city. We actually live near Roosevelt Island and we love to walk around the island. It’s very beautiful. And I love going shopping, obviously, for baby clothes and baby toys. Dawn Price Baby is a local DC business. They have the cutest things for children in there. The Georgetown Waterfront is gorgeous, too, especially with the fountains and the park. I love to bring my daughter there.

SKL: And just the design, I love Cady’s Alley here. There is so much character to it. There are very few other neighborhoods in the country, really, that have this kind of character. There’s just something about the alley and the cobblestone. It makes the neighborhood very walkable and it’s very family friendly. It’s a great place to spend a leisurely Sunday or Saturday afternoon.

What are your top three restaurants for a pre-cupcake meal?

KKB: We have a favorite restaurant near Logan Circle.

SKL: Le Diplomate. It’s very good.

KKB: I think if you want to go a little fancier, I would say Ristorante Tosca. It’s very good Italian food.

SKL: We like Good Stuff Eatery.

KKB: Oh yeah. I’m so glad they opened in Georgetown because when I was pregnant with my daughter, I made my father drive me in rush hour traffic, from Georgetown all the way to their Capitol Hill location to get a toasted marshmallow milkshake. It’s the best. It’s worth the splurge. And if you don’t want something too fancy but something a little bit nice, I like Peacock Cafe in Georgetown.

SKL: Yes. We love brunch. That’s our favorite. We love their mint lemonade.

KKB: Oh yeah the mint lemonade at Peacock is really good. They blend the mint leaves into the lemonade. It’s delicious. Oh one more: the one thing that we are obsessed about is the kale salad at Kafe Leopold. It’s one of our favorites. Sometimes we’ll just get it as an entrée.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had since opening Georgetown Cupcake?

KKB: I think for us, definitely hands-down, is being able to ship 10,000 cupcakes to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And it’s been one of the greatest things we’ve ever done and we’ve been able to give back in a way that I don’t think we really understood that we could.

SKL: So every year we donate happily to our troops. It’s a special relationship we have with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs office and the USO. We love supporting our troops. Another highlight was having Sasha Obama’s birthday at our bakery.

KKB: Yes, she had her 10th birthday here and we baked cupcakes with her, her sister and her friends.

SKL: They made them from scratch and frosted them themselves. So that was super fun. It’s just those kinds of experiences; being in Washington, DC you don’t know who’s going to walk into your door.

KKB: It is so true. I mean when we’re walking across Key Bridge to come to work every day, we’ll see Marine One (the presidential helicopter), just fly overhead. You can’t get that in any other city. You really can’t.

SKL: And since being here, we’ve had everyone from U.S. Senators come in to Stevie Wonder to Kim Kardashian. It’s just amazing the kind of people that come through the door here. Martha Stewart visited—

KKB: We did her show twice, and she came in asking for us, but we weren’t here. We were in New York. But she ordered a mocha and coconut and took pictures with our staff.

What is the all-time coolest cupcake that you’ve ever created?

KKB: I would say, for me personally… was when Sophie made the lavender earl grey teacake for my bridal shower. I drink lavender earl grey tea every morning. And so she developed a recipe. She got lavender sugar from France. And it turns the cake into this beautiful pistachio green color, and the lavender frosting. It’s to die for. And now it’s on our menu every April/May.

What do you think is cool about Washington, DC?

KKB: I think what’s cool about Washington, DC is that you are in the most powerful and historic city in the world and – it is home.

SKL: When you drive by the White House and you see the monuments—

KKB: Or a motorcade going by, you pinch yourself and you’re like, “Wow, I live here!”

SKL: It really is a cool city. It’s like history in the making- in your backyard.

KKB: It is pretty crazy, because when we first started Georgetown Cupcake, we would never think that we would have Sasha Obama in the bakery baking with us. We would never think that we would meet the vice president. It’s an amazing place to live because you just never know who you’re going to meet here.

KKB: I‘m a huge fan of DC.

SKL: We’re very proud of being from DC.

After you get your sugar fix at Georgetown Cupcake, discover what else there is to see and do in the neighborhood.

How many calories in a georgetown cupcake

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