Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sugarswirlz, Cardiff

On my way to hear Noam Chomsky talk about the current crises in the Middle East at the St David’s Hall this morning, I stopped to buy a couple of cup cakes from Sugarswirlz.

Sugarswirlz opened in the Dominions Arcade, Cardiff, about two months ago. They sell cup cakes (and nothing else). Some of the flavours are deliriously over the top. Not the obvious place for high drama. However, owner Sally Dodd and shop assistant Terri Mammett have had an eventful couple of weeks; last Wednesday they had to contend with a rampaging shopper and, on the following day, a nearby fire.

On 2nd March, on being told her favourite cup cake flavour had sold out, a woman started trashing the shop (before staff could tell her they would make some more). She smashed glass display panels, threw cup cakes around, and assaulted Sally by pulling her hair. She fled with her two screaming children and, as far as I know, has not been identified. The cost of damage was estimated at £400.

It was a big local news story. As a TV crew were filming in the shop the next day, a fire alarm went off. They tried conducting an interview a few times, but the alarm kept going off. Eventually the arcade was evacuated due to a fire in a nearby building.

When I was in the shop, there was a slight accident involving a child and some chocolate topping, which left the owner completely unfazed. “People come in here and smash things up, that’s nothing!” They can laugh about it now, but at the time it must have been pretty frightening. The main feeling is concern for the woman, as she obviously needs some form of help, and her two boys.

The “cup cake lady” wanted Sweet Tooth Fairy Cakes, a truly unique cake, with multi-coloured butter-icing topped with candy floss. This morning, I went for a Marshmallow and a New York Cheesecake with Flake (all cup cakes are £2.20 each). There was a big choice of flavours (I’ll probably try the Strawberry or the Raspberry next time), and plenty of Sweet Tooth Fairy Cakes (as advertised on the sign near the entrance of the arcade).

I can see why children (and anyone with a sweet tooth) love these cakes. A light, fresh sponge is weighed down with loads of gooey topping. It’s all the sugar rush you want, and more.

Now, what can we do about the Middle East Noam? Well, for starters we can boycott shops that continue to sell food grown on illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank…

Original local news story:

Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign:


  1. Sure hope they catch her! What is with people these days!?!


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