Richland's new sweet spot

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldFebruary 25, 2014 

Bean & Jeni's Cupcakery

Serena Halls, right, and Jennifer McCall, center, along with the help of McCall's mother Rejeana Roland, left, have opened Bean & Jeni's Cupcakery in the Uptown shopping center in Richland. The shop offers sandwiches, soups and drinks as well as cupcakes, cookies and cakes.

PAUL T. ERICKSON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

There's a sweet spot in the Richland Uptown Shopping Center called Bean and Jeni's Cupcakery.

Decorated in pink, blue, purple and green pastels, the decor is light, bright and totally fun, said owners Jennifer McCall of Othello and her aunt, Serena Halls of Richland.

The two took over the former Fudgies Bakery location in December, leasing the building and buying the ovens, mixers and other equipment.

"For us it was pretty much a turnkey situation," McCall said.

The two specialize in sweet treats -- cookies, pastries, cupcakes and custom cakes, including wedding cakes.

"I did a paintball cake the other day. It looked like it had been splattered good. It was cute," McCall said.

Halls is the baker, going in at about 4 a.m. to get the day's goodies mixed and in the oven.

She also starts the day's soup, a different one each day, to serve with the deli sandwiches the shop offers.

"I start with a soup base, just like you would at home, and then add fresh ingredients -- veggies, herbs, meat. They're fresh and homemade. We want people to feel like they're in their mom's or grandmom's kitchen," Halls said.

Halls and McCall also mix their cookie dough and cake batter from scratch.

"The only thing we buy is puff pastry dough, simply because it takes so long to make and there's just the two of us," Halls said.

McCall is the cake decorator. She learned from her mother, Rejeana Roland of Kennewick, who used to decorate cakes professionally.

"She's retired now, but still comes into the bakery lend a hand," McCall said.

Halls and McCall had been toying with the idea of opening a bakery for the past year or so, but really began looking into what it would take this past summer.

"When this place came available and we found it was in our price range, we went for it, especially since they were selling the equipment," McCall said.

The shop's name is a combination of the two women's nicknames, Jeni for Jennifer, and Bean for Serena.

"I've been called Bean since my early childhood. First they shortened my name to Rena, then began calling me Rena Beana because it rhymed. Bean stuck," Halls said.

Bean and Jeni's Cupcakery is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday at 1375 George Washington Way, Richland.

The phone number is 420-4734, and the business's website is www.bean They are also on Facebook.

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