17: Baby Steps to a Giant Leap, Impacting Lives through Confectionary Bliss | Pennie Ahuero | Viva la Cupcake

Be Inspired | Do Good:

She’s a GEM making tiny bundles of bliss every day.

Pennie Ahuero of Viva la Cupcake always wanted to open a cupcake shop.  She can trace it back through her 15 years of traveling the world in the Navy as a nurse with her husband.  Upon returning home to Roanoke for good, she stayed home with her boys, worked in the school cafeteria to be close to them, and even became a Pampered Chef consultant.

Pennie admits the “sells” life was not her thing – people, relationships, and cooking are!  She wanted to create something unique and special…The KITCHEN kept calling….

What started without much fanfare, has now become a staple of the Grandin Community (and beyond)

In 2009, with notebooks in hand, full of her internationally inspired ideas, Pennie began baking cupcakes in her home.  Her first confectionery delights were sold during the inaugural summer of the Grandin Community Market.

They were a hit.

So much of a hit that the demand left her burning the candle at both ends.  She was cooking dinner, doing homework with her kids, baking until 11pm, waking up at 4am to frost, getting the kids off to school, and then driving the cupcakes to a makeshift storefront in Grandin.

Pennie needed an alternative.  A space that would serve as a storefront and kitchen.  True to the “village” mentality, another business owner, offered Pennie a tour of the location in which they now reside at the corner of Grandin Road and Memorial Avenue.  It was a perfect spot for Viva La Cupcake to open in 2010.  Immersed in the community she loves and impacting lives that come through the doors.

Now 6 years into the cupcake business, things are growing and changing.  Kids are growing up.  More impact is being made.  And new opportunities are emerging.  Viva la Cupcake received crowdfunding for a “cupcake” truck – a food truck for cupcakes no less.  And, even more exciting, is an additional Viva La Cupcake location in the Crystal Springs neighborhood – opening June 17.





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