Tammie Parnell’s life changed drastically in 2008. That year, the former kindergarten teacher and Wells Fargo employee discovered she had breast cancer. Her husband, a mortgage broker, lost his job in the housing market meltdown. As a result, the couple lost their home.
“At that point, I didn’t even care,” she said.
After undergoing treatments and surgery, Parnell lost her job as well, but found herself at a place in life where she didn’t have to find work right away, and thought she would instead pursue a passion she had for baking.
And, thankfully for the residents of Pleasant Hill, today Parnell owns and operates Sinful Bliss Cupcakes in downtown Pleasant Hill.
“I was always doing parties, always planning things," she said. "Cupcakes were trendy, so I started making cupcakes for friends at parties.”
They were a hit, particularly the creative decorations Parnell added to the cupcakes.
“People said I should open a shop,” she recalled. “I cooked out of my home for two years, but it got to the point where one oven just didn’t do it any more. I thought opening a shop would be really easy. It’s not quite that easy,” she said with a wry smile.
She didn’t really know how to bake on a professional basis. While she was no stranger to the oven, and had a few recipes from her family, Parnell had to learn from scratch how to bake on a daily basis.
Sinful Bliss opened its doors in April of last year. At first, things went a little slower than she hoped. But it didn’t take long for word of mouth to spread, and now, in addition to selling many cupcakes a day to customers, the store is getting orders most weekends for weddings.
“People are using tiers of cupcakes now instead of wedding cakes,” Parnell said.
For customers, the most popular cupcakes are the Red Velvet Cheesecake and Vanilla Salted Caramel.
But so far, no one has offered a complaint about any of them. What’s not to love about a homemade cupcake?