By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — “My son John has Down syndrome,” said Patricia Truel, explaining the concept behind her Marshfield shop. “He’s 12, and he is co-owner of Cupcakes on 8th. Mommy and Daddy are using the cupcake shop of teach him valuable life skills. … He doesn’t know the value of a quarter yet, so this is a great way to teach him.”
The Truels purchased the business location at 509 E. Eighth St., formerly known as Hair on 8th, last July as a home for their Marshfield startup business.
“I’ve had a cupcake business since 2009 in New York,” explained Patricia. “We move here from Long Island. The laws are a little different here. You have to have a separate kitchen and stuff.
“We were looking to make an investment in rental property, and this building and the house next door became available. It’s one lot of land, so the house came with the business.
“Because I am a stay at home mom, having to care for John — when he was first born he had nine therapies a week, so I couldn’t work (outside the home) — so I just thought, ‘What could I do from home (in New York) and still earn some money and still be available for him and the other children?’
“So I started baking and began doing cupcakes. That is how the whole thing started.”
When Patricia’s husband was transferred inside of his company the fall of 2015, the Truels relocated to central Wisconsin, where they would open the cupcake shop in the hopes that John might benefit from being co-proprietor.
Patricia’s expectation is that these experiences will help John develop the skills that are needed to deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life, at school or work, and in building interpersonal relationships.
“I count the money, and I give change,” said John. “I sweep the floor, dust, take out the trash. I help come up with fun flavors. … My favorite is taste testing.”
The shop specializes in cakes, English toffee, cake pops, carved cakes, and mini cupcakes, but its specialty is gourmet cupcakes.
“In the future we are going to do birthday parties,” added Patricia. “We also do birthday tutu rentals.
“We are also going to offer homemade ice cream in the summertime.”
For more information about the shop, visit the Cupcakes on 8th Facebook page.