Alumni couple creates mobile business with Lancaster Cupcake

Jeff ’08 and Emily (Barcklow) Mitchell ’08
Owners of
Lancaster Cupcake
Lancaster, Pa.

What did one alumna do while waiting for her nursing license to transfer from one state to another? She baked. Then she started a cupcake business with her husband, which led to an appearance on the Food Network’s hit television show “Cupcake Wars.”

That’s exactly how it happened for Emily (Barcklow) ’08 and Jeff Mitchell ’08, owners of Lancaster Cupcake, a mobile bakery in Lancaster, Pa.

“It was a bit of a divine appointment,” said Jeff, a former vice president of sales and marketing. “If it wouldn’t have taken her nursing license so long to transfer, it might not have happened.”

Gathering a foodie following in Pennsylvania, the Mitchells came up with the name Lancaster Cupcake to represent the local ingredients they use. With business cards in hand, they started contacting wedding venues.

“We went to one wedding expo last year and booked our entire year of weddings,” said Emily.

Cupcake Wars

Friends and family then encouraged the couple to audition for “Cupcake Wars.” So they created an audition tape and were contacted for a casting call. After several rounds of interviews, they traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., to film the episode that aired in November 2012. The Mitchells and three other couples competed to make pizza-themed cupcakes in the first round for the cast of the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated series. Although the pair made it to the finals, they lost in the last round.

Want to see more?
To watch the couple’s audition video for the show, visit:
For a behind the scene’s recap of the episode, visit:

“’Cupcake Wars’ was very intense,” said Emily. “We were prepared [to bake], but we weren’t prepared for the entire experience of being on TV. You get kind of lost in the moment. You’re used to baking very privately, and people just see what goes out. This shows the whole process, so it’s a little more nerve-racking.”

Since the show, business continues to grow. With the addition of a bright pink food truck, an uptick in business and new flavors, the Mitchells continue on the sweet path to success. “It’s nice to take a leap of faith with a hobby and have it become a successful business,” said Emily. “It’s amazing.”

Erin Bray ’10

Posted in 2008, Alumni, Majors & Minors, Nursing, Sport Management | 3 Comments »

Posted on January 8th, 2013

3 Responses to “Alumni couple creates mobile business with Lancaster Cupcake”

  1. Emily Mitchell Says:

    I love it! Thank you for capturing our journey in a beautiful article! Jeff and I loved our experience at Messiah and are so happy to give back to the community in a very “sweet” way!

    – Emily Barcklow Mitchell and Jeff Mitchell , Alumni ’08

  2. Carolyn Kreamer Says:

    Hi Emily!
    Wow, this is so interesting. Are you still in nursing, or have you left that career? Somehow I thought you were in Europe after you got married. I must have gotten confused on that. Stop by sometime to visit. Warmest wishes,

  3. ebray Says:

    Emily, it was a pleasure to meet you and Jeff and to share your wonderful story! Congratulations on the success of Lancaster Cupcake.


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