While on our trip cross country, I found some wonderful shops and met some great people. Over the next week, I'm going to let you inside these shops - all of which are places you must see if you are ever close by!
First up is Bella and The Cupcake Cafe, owned by Anita Fluke, located at 171 Swanson Avenue #102 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Before I even start I have to say I loved meeting Anita!! What a kick! Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious! When I entered her shop and introduced myself, she welcomed me with opened arms, offered me a cool glass of water and before I knew it, there was a delicious cupcake set aside for me!
I first read about Bella and The Cupcake Cafe when the stores were featured in the article "Sweet Shop" in the August 2011 issue of Romantic Homes magazine. While nearing the California-Arizona border, I checked the map to see how far off our route Bella would be - only 20 miles off the main highway AND the London Bridge was there - another sight we wanted to see. The side trip was well worth it!
Anita created beautiful graphics for her store - The Bella logo you see in the first picture - it is painted on a wall above her wrapping station for the gift shop. The Cupcake Cafe logo you see here is painted on canvas and hung in a prominent corner in The Cupcake Cafe- a separate area in the same building! She came up with a great idea to have a place to gift shop and a place to grab a sweet treat, when a group of regular customers like to linger in her shop!
We got to the store an hour before closing and we were lucky to get a cupcake at all as she was just about sold out! This is the cupcake display case - the front panel of the case is a salvaged window she turned on its side.
The window makes a beautiful display!
The pom-pom trimmed banner adds a whimsical touch!
Cupcake towers, pedestal dishes and boxes sit atop the display cabinet waiting to fill orders to be delivered - Boxes all receive a sticker with "The Cupcake Cafe" logo before going out the door!
A signature decoration at the Cupcake Cafe is the floor to ceiling "Cupcake Tree".
The flocked tree is decorated with pink feather boas and of course, lots of cupcakes!
But cupcakes aren't the only reason people visit Anita's shop! Bella, the gift store side of the shop, is filled with fabulous European and shabby chic treasures displayed in creative ways by Anita. I love her display of bangle bracelets displayed on a cupcake display piece - a perfect marriage of cupcakes and gift ware!!
A queen size bed anchors the space filled with luxurious linens! I love the sign "The Queen will NOT be accepting an audience!"
Soaps made from lavender and olive oils fill the old postal cubbies - I love the green color she picked to paint the wall - it subtly tells shoppers the soap are 'all natural'.
A combination of industrial galvanized boxes and wire baskets anchor this tabletop display - note the Romantic Homes magazine in the middle basket - it is the issue the store is featured in!
Apothecary jars sparkle with their decorative stoppers.
A shabbied vintage cupboard displays Cavalleni postcards, stamps and note cards.
A lavish Louis XVI dressing table shows off purses well.
I just love the vintage clothes rack!
Anita carries lots of vintage and European inspired jewelry - This weathered cement statue sums up how I felt about my visit to Bella and The Cupcake Cafe - Satisfied and relaxed! I recommend a stop by this wonderful shop on your travels! You can contact Anita at (928) 855-PINK (7465). Anita and her friend, Tammy, also have their own online shop www.pinkfunnyfarm.com where they sell vintage and European inspired gift ware.
And don't forgot to visit the little European landmark as well! A billionaire moved the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City brick by brick - the gorgeous bridge features ornate street lamps and there is a English Tudor style tourist town built at the base where you can even pick up some fish and chips! Next post - a find in Amarillo, Texas . . .