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Gold Rush Cupcakes Worth of a Gold Medal

By Jake Levin

The most important step to making the most delicious cupcakes ever is to start with fresh, high-quality ingredients, Melanie Gold said.

Sometimes it's all about the brand and other times it's all about the ingredients, but no matter the situation, Gold's mission is always the same: to deliver the best cupcakes possible at Gold Rush Cupcakes in Albuquerque, N.M. She is both the owner and CEO of the business.

Gold Rush Cupcakes is renowned for its cream cheese frostings, as well as the various permutations found within. Gold is insistent on using Philadelphia brand cream cheese for all of her frostings, which can be found on top of some 30 flavors of cupcakes beneath. Crafting the specific flavors is where Gold attempts to find consistency with her ingredients. As an example, for vanilla batters, she'll go with vanilla beans rather than vanilla extract.

Beyond the famous cream cheese flavors, Gold believes there are two other things which make Gold Rush Cupcakes truly stand out. It's an attention to detail no matter the size of the order, as well as pristine customer service.

"Even for orders of 1,000 cupcakes of more, I insist on mixing and baking everything in small batches and baking fresh," Gold said. "I think that is why my cupcakes do not have a 'mass produced' taste. They have very familiar, fresh baked and home-y quality."

Every employee at Gold Rush Cupcakes goes out of their way to make every customer feel special, Gold said, adding that staff members are on a first name basis with the majority of Gold Rush's clientele.

"In some instances, they have become like extended members of our family," she said.

The creativity Gold gets to exercise daily is the favorite part of her job, she said. Customers who only have a vague idea of they want entrust Gold's creative senses to deliver a top-notch order of cupcakes are her favorite kinds of customers, who seldom leave Gold Rush dissatisfied.

"I love that moment when they pick up their order and are blown away (visually) by my interpretation of their request and trust me, hearing how much somebody enjoys the flavor of something I've created never gets old," Gold said.

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