Schenectady County

To downtown Schenectady crowd, pink bus is sweet

A 31-foot bright pink billboard has rolled into the city, to the absolute delight of workers downtow

A 31-foot bright pink billboard has rolled into the city, to the absolute delight of workers downtown.

For a week, Bettie’s Double Decker Cupcake Stand has parked outside the main branch of the County Library. It will remain until Friday.

No, the owner’s name is not Bettie. And every clerk is called a Bettie, even though they’re not named Bettie either.

“Bettie is ’50s slang for a pinup model,” said Leora Flax, one of the regular Betties.

But as she looked around her office — which is literally a mobile kitchen — and considered her apron uniform, she said she feels more like a ’50s housewife.

But it’s all good.

“We’ve been having a lot of fun,” she said.

Every morning, owner Lorraine Murphy bakes the cupcakes and drives them to the bus, which parks at locations throughout the Capital Region. The bakery — which also sells cupcakes — is in downtown Saratoga.

Then Flax sits back and watches the goodies fly out the door, for $3 each.

She sells more than 100 cupcakes an a typical day. But last Sunday in Schenectady, the greenmarket brought so many customers to her door that she went through more than 400 cupcakes.

“Cupcakes are so in right now,” Flax said. “I think it’s you don’t feel so greedy because they’re small.”

Murphy started the mobile cupcake stand in December after searching the country for a double-decker bus.

“We wanted to be unique,” she said. “There was nothing around here to that scale.”

She finally found one in L.A., bought it, and tried to drive it back to New York.

It didn’t go well.

The bus broke down in the Mojave Desert at 2:30 a.m. It was 105 degrees out, Murphy recalled.

“When you call for a tow from the Mojave Desert in the middle of the night and say you have a double-decker bus, they think you’re playing a prank,” she said.

She finally convinced a tow driver to come out. That’s when she learned a double-decker needs a special tow — and a guide car.

It was a long trip back East. But the bus became an instant success once she got it running again.

“It’s been far worth it,” she said. “The reception’s been amazing. There are days when it’s busier than our retail location.”

It’s the only mobile cupcake stand in the area, and the only one in the entire country with indoor seating.

It even has air conditioning — though Wednesday’s heat overloaded the generator and forced the bus to close for the day.

Murphy plans to return to Schenectady soon. The bus will park in the Stockade during the June 26 garden tour.

Categories: Business

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