The Cupcake Bar to Help Bring Feminine Hygiene Products to Those in Need

Period Austin teams up for custom desserts

For dessert entrepreneur Lori Schneider, there’s something inherently joyful about the concept of a cupcake bar.

Schneider was inspired to start her business way back in 2007 when she was running a small catering business as she put herself through culinary school. At one of their events, they tried a cupcake bar concept, letting guests choose their own cupcake, filling, icing and toppings to be built by their cupcake bartender. “I was hooked on the smiles on peoples faces when they got their special, custom cupcake,” says Schneider. “It really brought back a sense of nostalgia and fun.”

Courtesy of The Cupcake Bar

And thus, the Cupcake Bar – an event-based customizable dessert bar – was born. Schneider has added a caramel apple bar, doughnut bar, and other interactive sweet offerings, but cupcakes remain the heart of her business, which she sees, in part, as providing people with an opportunity for indulgent self expression. “It’s fun to watch people’s eyes light up and they get to choose the options they want,” says Schneider. “You can really tell a personality by what they choose on their cupcakes – it’s really fun! It really does become the chance for them to be as subdued or wild as they want with their own cupcake.”

Connecting with individuals through the cupcake medium gives Schneider and her team a strong sense of affinity with her Austin community. “I think that is what is so special about local Austin businesses is that we can collaboratively make a big difference within our own community! It’s very special and unique,” she says. Community support has always been a core value of Schneider’s business practices, and so, at the beginning of this year, when she decided that she wanted to use the Cupcake Bar to find a way to get feminine hygiene products to those in need, partnering with Period Austin, which currently serves Saint Louise House, Trinity Center, SAFE Alliance, and Casa Marianella, a no-brainer.

Courtesy of The Cupcake Bar

For Schneider, and the folks at Period Austin, access to period care is a basic human right. “Fifty percent of the population deal with their periods monthly,” she says, “but the products are very costly, taxed as a consumer item when it is a necessity (explain that?!), and if you are in need and you have to decide how to feed your family or buy these products – what are you going to do?” Schneider says that she admires all the work that Period does for menstruating people in our Austin community. “It’s exciting and we are passionate about being a part of this, to help however we can. I also think that our customers and supporters can all relate and get excited about this, too!”

The Cupcake Bar is starting out by making a $1 donation to Period for every cupcake kit* sold, from now through the end of 2019. Period will use the donations to make period packs for women coming into shelters, who are usually only given two panty liners, and have to make do with socks and even leaves as alternate forms of menstrual pads. In the future, they might be even getting more involved.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership and finding new ways to help them out,” says Schneider. “One possibility is hosting a Period Party where members of the community come to our facility and help make kits for them to take to the shelters. Either way, we are super excited to be a part of the organization and movement, right here in our community!”

[Editor's note: We corrected the donation price.]

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